Apple Releases Eighth iOS 13 Beta — Here’s What’s New

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With less than three weeks to go to Apple’s expected unveiling of iOS 13 and its 2019 iPhone lineup, Apple is ramping up the delivery of new betas for its new flagship mobile operating system, with the eighth developer beta of iOS 13 landing yesterday — less than a week after the last beta.

The corresponding public beta — the seventh in that series — also arrived basically simultaneously with the developer beta, rather than after the typical 1–2 day delay. This suggests an increasing level of confidence by Apple in the stability of these latest betas, although of course it should go without saying that they are still betas and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

There were 11 developer betas in last year’s iOS 12 beta cycle, and it seems like Apple is on track for about that number this year if it continues to release new betas on a weekly cycle. However, it’s also possible that we may even see more than one new beta per week as we get closer to the expected launch date.

Based on information found in the last beta, Apple is expected to hold its major fall iPhone and iOS event on September 10th, which lines up perfectly with other predictions, and is completely consistent with Apple’s timeline in previous years, which with

Apple will undoubtedly announce the final release date for iOS 13 during this event, which will likely be followed by a “Gold Master” final release of iOS 13 for developers, which is normally identical to the final version that ultimately goes out to the public.

What’s New in iOS 13 Developer Beta 8 (Public Beta 7)

We’re well past the halfway point in Apple’s iOS 13 beta cycle, and these final few releases are naturally going to be focused on fixing bugs, improving performance, and polishing things up in general, and that seems to be exactly what the latest beta is doing.

Those updating from the preceding beta will notice that this latest one is a very small download — under 200 MB in total — which also points to far fewer changes over prior betas. The new build number is 17A5572a, which arguably could indicate a more stable release — the letter suffix is an indication of how many times a build has to go through Apple’s QA process before it’s approved for release, so an “a” means it got cleared on the first attempt.

The new beta does offer two noticeable fixes over beta 7 that we’ve already observed ourselves. The last beta actually broke something in the Mail app that caused it to stop refreshing properly, often requiring it to be force-quit before it would actually show new messages, despite the badge count being correct. This no longer seems to be a problem in the latest beta. Problems with connecting to SMB/CIFS servers in the Files app also seem to have been addressed.

Apple also appears to be polishing up the “3D Touch” context menus that come up when pressing on app icons, with the Clock app getting a new “Start Timer” option, and the News app getting some new icons, for example. The 3D Touch and Haptic Touch also appears to be more responsive, and the overall user experience feels much smoother than it has over the past few betas.

Overall, iOS 13 is a pretty major update compared to what we’ve seen over the past few years, with dozens of new features, including a new systemwide dark mode, new swipe keyboard, sharing, and privacy features, a whole new Reminders app, a major new Photos experience, and a whole lot more. We also wouldn’t be surprised if Apple has one or two other new features up its sleeve for the new iPhone models when they arrive in September.

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