Apple on Wednesday released the first beta versions of iOS and iPadOS 13.4, macOS Catalina 10.15.4, tvOS 13.4 and watchOS 6.2 to registered developers, kicking off a new cycle of software testing. The updates are relatively light on user-facing features, but the iOS and iPadOS versions still have a few notable additions. Continue reading to find out what's new.
There’s a new API called CarKey that will open the door for users to unlock, lock or start their vehicles with an iPhone or Apple Watch. Continue reading or learn more about CarKey's technology here.
Universal Apps Across Devices
The new software versions, as well as Apple's Xcode development platform, now supports universal purchases for cross-platform apps.
That’ll let developers sell different versions of an app in a single purchase, meaning you can buy a Mac app and also get the iPad version.
It will be fully implemented in March 2020, according to Apple’s documentation.
iCloud Folder Sharing
iPadOS users will also be able to take advantage of new keyboard shortcuts for navigating and using the Photos app.
iOS and iPadOS 13.4 also reintroduce iCloud folder sharing, a feature that was shown off at WWDC but ultimately pulled before the final release. Apple has also reportedly revamped the toolbar in Mail.
9 New Memoji Stickers
As spotted by iMore’s Rene Ritchie, there are now also new Memoji sticker options and third-party navigation and call support for CarPlay.
Screen Time Communication Limits in macOS
Alongside that, Apple has also brought Screen Time Communication Limits to macOS Catalina for the first time in 10.15.4. Alongside iCloud Folder Sharing, that seems to be the only major addition to macOS Catalina.
Apple Watch In-App Purchases
Typically, watchOS and tvOS point releases are even scarcer on user-facing features, and watchOS 6.2 and tvOS 13.4 aren’t any different. There don’t appear to be any major additions in tvOS 13.4, but watchOS 6.2 seems to introduce support for in-app purchases for Apple Watch apps.
Bug Fixes and Improvements
Of course, it’s pretty much a certainty that all of the upcoming updates will contain important bug fixes, security patches and under-the-hood improvements. Given the relatively buggy software releases this year, that’s more than enough reason to update to the latest software when it becomes available.
How Do I Get It?
Registered Apple developers can now download the first beta via the Developer Center or as an over-the-air update on devices with the proper configuration profile. We expect a public beta version to drop sometime in the coming days.