iOS 13 Public Beta 2 Available Now: Here’s What’s New (and How to Get It)

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Compared to previous years, this year’s public beta cycle for Apple’s major software updates has been a bit scattered, with public betas arriving earlier than expected, yet much later than their corresponding developer betas, and not even all at the same time.

For example, while Apple has traditionally waited until July to release the first public betas of major iOS, tvOS, and macOS updates, this year they arrived on June 24, a week after the same build was released to developers.

Apple has kept its developer betas running on its usual steady two-week cycle, with all of the first, second, and third betas coming out on June 3, June 17, and July 2, respectively, and while it looked like the public betas were simply going to be released on alternating weeks, Apple snuck out the second macOS and tvOS public betas last week, leaving the corresponding iOS 13 update conspicuous by its absence.

However, after all of that, plus the July 4th holiday, it was a safe bet that we’d see the second iOS 13 beta arriving in the hands of public beta testers today, and Apple hasn’t disappointed, so those in the public beta program should now be able to get their hands on the latest public beta, and those who have been waiting to take the plunge may have more incentive to do so.

What’s New in iOS 13 Public Beta 2

Unlike the first public beta released two weeks ago, the latest iOS 13 public beta doesn’t exactly mirror last week’s third developer beta; Apple has also pushed out a very slightly updated version of that third beta to registered developers today, with a build number of 17A5522g, as opposed to last week’s 17A5522f. This is the same build as the current public beta.

Although we didn’t hear any developer reports of problems with last week’s beta, presumably Apple found some reason to release a very small incremental build, which justifies its strategy for delaying public betas to make sure there are no nasty surprises for non-developers.

Still, other than what likely amounts to a single bug fix, the second public beta is essentially the same as last week’s developer beta. The marquee feature in the newest beta is FaceTime Attention Correction, which uses Apple’s augmented reality “ARKit” frameworks to actually reposition a users eyes to make it look like they’re looking into the FaceTime camera during a video call, rather than down at their iPhone screen. Developers who have tested it out already have described it as a pretty cool and magical feature, and it’s actually unclear whether the receiving device also has to be running iOS 13 for it to work, but we suspect not since all of the magic should be happening at the sender’s end.

Additional smaller improvements in the latest beta include:

  1. A new popup in the Home app advises users if their HomeKit cameras don’t support secure recording.
  2. New transitions in the Home app are used when long-pressing on a button.
  3. A new “Me” tab in the Find My app displays the user’s current location.
  4. A new promo video has been added for Apple’s upcoming Arcade service, which can be found in the App Store on the “Arcade” tab.
  5. Split View in iPadOS now adds an indicator to show which side of the display is receiving text input.
  6. Headphone Audio Levels in Settings now feature a new explanation on how it works.
  7. You can now take full-page screenshots outside of Safari
  8. The “Archive” button in Mail is now purple.
  9. The Contacts app now highlights your emergency contacts
  10. A “Noise Cancellation” option is now available in Control Center

How to Get It

If you already signed up for and installed the first public beta of iOS 13, then you can update to the second public beta in the same way as any other iOS update — just go into Settings, General, Software Update and the new version should appear.

iOS 13 Public Beta 2
  1. If you’ve been holding back in the hopes of a more stable second beta, and haven’t signed up yet, you’ll need to visit beta.apple.com on your iPhone or iPad, sign up to become a Public Beta Tester (if you haven’t already).
  2. Then follow the instructions to download and install the configuration profile to enroll each of your devices that you want to install the betas onto.
  3. Once enrolled, this and all subsequent public betas will be offered to you as automatic over-the-air updates, in the same way as public iOS updates.

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