Apple on Tuesday released the fourth public beta version of its upcoming iOS 12 software update, which corresponds to iOS 12 developer beta 5.
The update seems to be mostly focused on bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements. But it also hints at new features for Apple’s HomePod smart speaker.
As spotted by 9to5Mac, a new image in beta 4 reveals that HomePod “Personal Requests” may allow users to send and read messages, make phone calls, create notes, and add reminders, among other functionality. The ability to make cellular calls directly from a HomePod device was first hinted earlier this month.
Some of the bugs that the latest beta squashes include the following.
- A bug in the App Store that resulted in error messages when trying to download an app.
- Inaccurate signal strength indicators on the Home or Lock screen.
- A bug that caused the Wallet app to consistently crash on launch.
- Issues with cross-device syncing for Apple’s Screen Time app.
- Addressed an issue with Siri Shortcuts functionality in CarPlay.
Beta testers should be aware that iOS 12 public beta 4 does introduce several new bugs, including glitchy Bluetooth pairing on a device restart, problems sending cash in Apple Pay, and an inability for Siri to open an app by name in CarPlay.
As always, we recommended refraining from downloading beta software on your primary smartphone or other “mission critical” devices. Similarly, always create a full backup via iTunes or iCloud before proceeding.
- The fourth public beta of iOS 12 should now be available to registered public software testers as an over-the-air update on devices with the proper certificate installed.
- If you’re not a registered beta tester but would like to sign up, you can do so at Apple’s beta testing hub.
It also includes major features like Group FaceTime; an overhauled Apple Maps experience; new Animoji and customizable Memoji characters; a “digital health” Screen Time app; additional features for Do Not Disturb; and a suite of Siri updates including a voice-activated automation app called Shortcuts.
The software update will see a public rollout in the fall alongside new iPhones and other devices.