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Just a day after developers were supplied with a second pre-release beta of iOS 11.2, Apple issued a new build for public testers as well, but with one small surprise: Apple Pay Cash is now available to try ahead of its public launch.
Apple appears to have remotely enabled Apple Pay Cash for iOS 11.2 testers, meaning developers running the build from Monday should also have access to the feature soon.
Available to beta participants based within the United States only, the payment system allows users to send cash to other users via a dedicated Apple Pay app within Messages in iOS 11. Funds are transferred to a prepaid "Apple Pay Cash" card, powered by partner Green Dot, which can then be used as a payment source for further Apple Pay transactions.
The person-to-person payments are funded using existing credit and debit cards already added to Apple Pay, with transactions involving credit cards incurring a small fee while debit cards will not. Funds added to a user's Apple Pay Cash card can only be used for Apple Pay purchases in stores, online, and in apps, but cannot be transferred into a user's bank account.
Apple originally introduced Apple Pay Cash as a feature of iOS 11 that would be added after the initial launch, in a similar way to how Apple Pay was introduced to users. Considering its appearance in the public beta of iOS 11.2, it is highly likely to launch when the iOS update ships in the near future.
Other changes in iOS 11.2 include a Now Playing widget for Apple TV media in Control Center. It also adds SiriKit commands for HomePod, and rectifies a minor Calculator bug.
iOS 11.2 beta 2 is identified as build 15C5097d.
Apple cautions against installing beta releases of its operating systems on mission-critical hardware, and recommends dedicated gear for testing.