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Apple releases third version of new iOS 7 ahead of autumn launch

Apple has released its third beta version of iOS 7, only two weeks after pushing out the second iteration of its newest operating system to developers.

The latest update includes fixes for pre-release bugs in Messages, iCloud, and AirPlay.

Specifically, problems with the new iCloud Keychain feature have been patched, as well as issues with the Find My iPhone and Bookmarks toggles, according to Apple Insider, which cited sources familiar with the release notes.

The Messages application, meanwhile, no longer presents an empty message list; Apple also addressed a flaw that caused the app to crash when the user viewed attachments on two separate threads.

A reportedly common issue that caused some apps to receive duplicate push notifications, or none at all, has been updated, and the app switcher now shows all suspended applications, Apple Insider said.

Developers with an authorised Apple account can download the software update, and get back to building iOS 7-compatible applications before the OS' expected autumn launch.

Apple unleashed iOS 7 to the developer community at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on 10 June. At the time, the updated OS was only available for the iPhone and iPod touch, however, so last month's beta update included a version for the iPad. Beta 2 also included the return of Voice Memo, the option to select a male voice for Siri, an overhauled Reminders app, and a variety of other small tweaks.

In beta 3, Cupertino also squashed a bug that would not save per-app settings in the Background App Refresh option. Additionally, custom Passcode Lock and Auto-Lock settings have been fixed, along with authorisation alerts for Newsstand background downloads.

There is still more work for Apple before the general public can get their hands on the new operating system; developers told Apple Insider that a range of applications, including Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Safari, Passbook, and others, still have problems.

The iOS 7 update, scheduled to release this autumn for iPhone 4 and up, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini, and the fifth-generation iPod touch, is "the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone," CEO Tim Cook said at WWDC.