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Apple issues third developer betas of iOS 11.4, macOS 10.13.5, tvOS 11.4 & watchOS 4.3.1

Arriving approximately two weeks after the second betas were seeded, Apple has released its third developer betas of iOS 11.4, macOS 10.13.5, tvOS 11.4, and watchOS 4.3.1 for testing.

AirPlay 2 on an iPhone X



The beta code is available to download for developers registered into the testing program via the Apple Developer Center, as well as through over-the-air updates. The public beta counterparts are usually made available to download a few days after the developer seeds are distributed.

The third iOS 11.4 beta has two build numbers: 15F4061d and 15F4061e. It is unclear at this time why there are two builds, or if they both apply to one or more types of device. The previous beta build had the number 15F5037c.

The latest beta of tvOS 11.4 bears build number 15L5560b. The previous second beta had the build number 15L5546a.

iOS 11.4 and tvOS 11.4 once more include support for AirPlay 2, Apple's new wireless streaming protocol replacing Airplay, boasting features like multi-room audio support. The technology was previously tested in the 11.3 beta releases, before being stripped out for the final public release.

Also new additions included in iOS 11.4 is the ClassKit framework for developers to make educational apps work with Apple's school-based tools, and the re-addition of support for Messages in iCloud, which can synchronize conversations between multiple Apple devices logged into the same Apple ID account. Similar to the treatment of AirPlay, Messages in iCloud was said to be included in iOS 11, but while it has appeared in betas, it has yet to make it to the full public release of the operating system.

The latest High Sierra 10.13.5 beta bears the build number 17F59b, with the previous having number 17B45c.

Apple released macOS 10.13.4 to the public on March 29, introducing enhanced eGPU support to the operating system. The addition makes it easier for users to connect a separate Thunderbolt 3 enclosure equipped with a dedicated video card to a Mac, which can increase the available processing power for graphics-heavy tasks, such as VR, gaming, and CAD.

The release also included Business Chat, allowing users to communicate directly with companies via Messages, and even make purchases of goods or services. The update also provided more clarity on privacy and personal data, sorting of Safari bookmarks, and various stability, performance, and security changes.

The current third beta of watchOS 4.3.1 has the build number 15T5555c. The previous release, the second beta, had the build number 15T5545b.

Apple has started to warn Apple Watch users that older apps will not be supported in "future versions" of watchOS, via a notification added since the first beta. Overall, watchOS 4.3.1 has little in the way of changes, and seems to largely be a minor update rather than a major release.

AppleInsider is currently testing out the new betas to find out what changes have been introduced in the latest releases, if any have been made.

AppleInsider, and Apple itself, strongly advise against installing beta releases on mission-critical hardware, due to the potential loss of data. Use secondary devices for beta testing, where available, and keep backups of any important data before installation or updating the software.