Apple has been pushing out beta versions of iOS 5.1 for a few months now, but so far we've yet to see a GM (Gold Master) version 5.1 that indicates that usually means that the software is ready for prime time. However, that hasn't stopped some folks from getting their hands on a new version of iOS 5.1 and revealing a couple of new features found in the update. According to a report from BlogdoiPhone, which claims to have spent time with a "pre-GM" version of iOS 5.1, the new build has purportedly shown that a camera button has been placed permanently onto the lock screen and only requires a user to swipe up to take a quick photo. Currently a user must double tap the home button and then push a camera button located on the lock screen to capture an image. Additionally, Japanese support in Siri will reportedly make the iOS 5.1 cut. BGR claims to have gotten hold of the iOS 5.1 GM and has corroborated the existence of these features.
This pair of leaked features may not be some of the biggest additions we've ever seen in a new OS, but we're certainly not ones to complain about getting quicker access to our smartphone's camera. As for when regular folks like you and I will be able to install iOS 5.1 on our iDevices, it seems likely that an update will drop around the same time as the introduction of the new iPad, which is rumored to be debuting on March 7th. (BGR mentions that it may hit "on or around March 9th.") Until then, we'll have to make do with the leaked screenshots that have surfaced. You can find more images at the BlogdoiPhone and BGR source links below.