Apple on Monday seeded fifth beta versions of its various operating systems to developers. It’s the third array of OS betas since the start of this month, which could suggest that we’ll see a public release sooner than later. That being said, this batch of operating system updates is expected to be pretty incremental — with few major features. Here’s what you can expect.
Apple’s upcoming iOS 11.4 isn’t as large of a release as iOS 11.3, but it’ll probably introduce some long-awaited features to the mobile operating system.
Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2 were both present in previous beta builds of iOS 11, but were removed from the final release for unknown reasons.
Apple says that iOS 11.4 will also add the ClassKit framework, a developer’s toolkit aimed at the education sector. ClassKit will allow app developers to create applications that work with Apple’s existing education tools, including Schoolwork.
ClassKit was originally debuted at Apple’s Chicago event in March, alongside a host of other student- and teacher-focused products and platforms.
When it launches, AirPlay 2 will allow users to play the same audio content across their ecosystem of Apple devices. This audio playback will be controllable via Siri or iPhone.
No new major additions were reported since it was seeded this morning, but it might be safe to assume that it’s mostly an under-the-hood update.
On the other hand, watchOS 4.3.1 does include a new warning advising users a future version of watchOS will kill off support for older apps. This echoes similar warnings Apple has given in its other updates.
The watchOS advisory applies to apps created for watchOS 1. Apple has started requiring all new app submissions to be created for at least watchOS 2 or later.
Note that betas can be buggy, so we don’t recommend installing beta software on your daily driver. At the very least, be sure to perform a full backup of your device before proceeding.
The betas are available via the Apple developer portal, or as over-the-air updates for developers who are already beta testing the software.
Apple has also released public versions for users who are a part of the Apple Beta Software Program. You can sign up for that here.