Apple releases fifth developer betas of iOS 11.4, macOS 10.13.5, tvOS 11.4 & watchOS 4.3.1
Apple has released its fifth developer betas of iOS 11.4, macOS 10.13.5, tvOS 11.4, and watchOS 4.3.1, with this third batch of betas seeded since the start of May indicating the operating systems are getting closer to a full release.
The beta code is available to download from the Apple Developer Center and via over-the-air updates to devices, for developers registered into the testing program. Typically, public beta counterparts to the developer betas are released a few days later.
The fifth beta of iOS 11.4 has build number 15F5077a. The previous fourth beta used the single build number 15F5071a, while the third was split into two separate builds.
Apple's education-focused ClassKit Framework is included in iOS 11.4, which allows developers to get their apps to work with Apple's school-based tools. This includes Schoolwork, an upcoming app that lets teachers assign projects within other apps, with ClassKit enabling Schoolwork links to take students to where they need to work.
Reappearing in iOS 11.4's betas Messages in iCloud can synchronize conversations between multiple Apple devices logged into the same Apple ID account. The feature was originally revealed to be added in iOS 11, but has yet to make it out from beta and into a full public iOS release.
The new beta of tvOS 11.4 has build number 15L5576a, up from the fourth beta's build of 15L5570a.
Both iOS 11.4 and tvOS 11.4 betas include support for AirPlay 2, an incoming update to the AirPlay wireless streaming protocol that introduces new features like multi-room audio. AirPlay 2 initially appeared in the betas for iOS 11.3, but was removed ahead of the public release, before being reintroduced in the 11.4 betas.
The fifth beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 has build number 17F70a. The previous fourth build had number 17F66a.
The main addition to 10.13.5 so far is support for Messages in iCloud, allowing the feature to work in conjunction with iOS devices that are also running on the developer beta. The minor version number change suggests few new features will be included in the public release, with it instead including performance improvements and bug fixes.
On March 29, macOS 10.13.4 was released with enhanced eGPU support, making it easier for users to connect a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure housing a graphics card to their Mac. The external card allows the Mac to increase its performance for graphics-heavy tasks, including gaming, VR, and CAD applications.
Business Chat, a feature that allowed users to communicate with businesses via Messages, and purchase goods snd services during the conversation, was included as part of the release, as well as changes to Safari's bookmark sorting, and increased clarity on privacy and personal data.
The fifth beta of watchOS 4.3.1 bears build number 15T5567a, replacing the fourth beta with build number 15T5565a.
Since the start of the watchOS betas, Apple has started to advise users that older apps will not be supported in "future versions" of watchOS.
AppleInsider is currently testing out the new code to find out what changes have been introduced, if any.
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.