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Apple: CES goers, don't forget about us!

Apple might not be at the CES 2012 show in Vegas this week, but that doesn't mean the company is sitting around twiddling its thumbs.

Apple might not be at the CES 2012 show in Vegas this week, but that doesn't mean the company is sitting around twiddling its thumbs.

Apple, which is notorious for drawing attention from rivals during their would-be showcases, for starters has released iOS 5.1 beta 3 to iPhone and iPad developers Monday.

APPLE IPHONEYS: The iPhone 5 edition

Developers were still awaiting a full change log to see what is new in the third beta release, which follows a second beta release issued about a month ago.

The update includes bug fixes and improvements, including the reintroduction of the 3G toggle capability, which lets Apple device users easily switch from 3G to Wi-Fi access to save battery life.

Cam Bunton of the Apple watching blog Today's iPhone was effusive in his praise of this feature: "For those, like myself, who spend most of their time indoors or in an area with a WiFi connection available, 3G is a service that isn't required. Switching it off can increase your phone's standby by a huge amount. As an example, recently when I had the Galaxy Nexus it went from lasting one day to lasting 3 full days without charging. I'd expect the same or similar results from the iPhone 4S."

Separately, RIM did use CES to announced the rollout to carriers of its full-blown dot.one upgrade to the BlackBerry OS, Version 7.1. It supports a new near-field communications (NFC) enabled capability called BlackBerry Tag that lets users easily exchange info by tapping their phones together. Version 7.1 also lets users turn their BlackBerry into a mobile hotspot for up to five devices, including tablets and laptop computers.

RIM also previewed Version 2.0 of its PlayBook OS, which supports a unified inbox, new inbox management tools, and multitasking within email. RIM plans to make Version 2.0 of its PlayBook OS available for free next month.

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