Apple seeds fifth developer beta of macOS 10.12.4 with Night Shift [u]

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Apple on Tuesday issued a fifth beta of macOS 10.12.4 to developers, bringing the software update one step closer to a public release.

The new code should be available through Apple's official developer portal, or else through the Mac App Store's Updates tab for people already in line for beta distributions. A public seed could potentially follow within the next few days.

It's not yet clear what changes are in the fifth beta, but the main addition in macOS 10.12.4 should be Night Shift, a carryover of a feature first introduced to iPhones and iPads with iOS 9.3. As on those devices, Night Shift for Mac gradually warms color temperatures to reduce exposure to blue light, which can potentially help people get to sleep more easily.

The update also expands dictation support to more languages, adds better PDFKit APIs, and enables cricket scores in Siri. Other focus areas include iCloud Analytics, and standard bugfixes and performance tweaks.

It's not clear when the finished version of 10.12.4 will be available, but the first beta appeared in late January. If Apple follows its typical rollout schedule, there's unlikely to be more than one or two additional beta seeds.

The update may be the last — or next to last — before Apple unveils macOS 10.13 at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Update: The new macOS 10.12.4 version is also available to public beta testers.

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