People familiar with the latest software update said it is known as Build 8C148. Software that has reached the golden master status is typically final code that will be released to the public.
Previous reports indicated that the release of iOS 4.2 was held up by issues with Wi-Fi connectivity in the first golden master. The release of numerous golden masters to developers would suggest that an issue with the software was spotted before it could be released to the public.
Some users who connected their iPhone or iPad to iTunes on Thursday were given error messages that the software update server could not be contacted. That led to some anticipation that iOS 4.2 might finally be released, though it never came to be.
Despite the numerous software updates released to developers and rumors of Wi-Fi issues, Apple has until the end of the month to meet the November launch for iOS 4.2 it promised in September. The update will mark the debut of iOS 4 on the iPad, bringing features like folders and multitasking.