Apple has released two minor software updates today. A tweaked version of iOS 5.0.1 (Build 9A406) for the iPhone 4S has been pushed for users who haven’t yet upgraded to the latest firmware (essentially replacing the current 5.0.1 build).
The second-generation Apple TV has been updated to version 4.4.4 (Build 9A406a) and features small bug fixes and stability improvements. Both updates can be downloaded now.
It’s very odd for Apple to release such a small tweak when the next iOS update is on the near horizon. iPhone 4S users that have not yet upgraded to iOS 5.0.1 are able to install the altered version (direct link) that Apple seeded today. The firmware itself has no noticeable changes and is likely related to Apple putting the finishing touches on the iOS 5.1 beta that is currently being tested by developers.
MacRumors also speculates that the update has something to with Apple’s next round of international 4S rollouts. It’s probable that small alterations are needed to allow other international customers access to the full 5.0.1 firmware when they update their smartphones from the pre-installed iOS 5.0.
The Apple TV’s minor 4.4.4 update strictly contains “stability and performance” fixes, according to Apple. Users can download the latest software on the Apple TV itself or download it directly from Apple’s website (direct link).