Apple's third round of developer betas has started, with new third builds of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 now available for testing by test program participants.
Developers who are part of the beta program can obtain the most recent builds by either accessing the Apple Developer Center or updating their devices that are already running the beta versions. Members of the public can also access the developer beta using a free tier of the program, however it is generally advised to wait for proper public versions to be offered via the Apple Beta Software Program.
The third developer betas follow the second, which arrived on June 21, while the first was on June 5. The third iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 beta build is number 21A5277h, replacing the second, build 21A5268h.
Apple's lengthy list of changes start with communication features, with new contact posters taking over the display when a call comes in. Live Voicemail will transcribe voicemails in realtime so the user can decide if they want to pick up, while Facetime calls will gain the option to leave a video message if the recipient is unavailable.
NameDrop is a feature within AirDrop that lets users exchange contact details by bringing iPhones near each other. AirDrop by NFC tap and Shareplay by NFC tap were also added, as well as AirPlay better supporting hotel TVBs, and a background AirDrop over the Internet if the local connection is lost.
Sharing of passwords and passkey with groups is included, as well as sharing AirTag with multiple users. Passengers in a driver's contacts can also join a CarPlay SharePlay experience if they wish.
Media changes include crossfade support in Apple Music, Apple Music Sing on Apple TV with Continuity Camera support, Apple Music Radio shows on Apple Podcasts, workout routes in Apple Fitness+, and daily crosswords for Apple News+ subscribers.
iPadOS 17 gains the Lock Screen customization from iPhone, widgets on the Home Screen, the Health app, a Screen Time eye distance feature, a more flexible Stage Manager, external webcam support, and Freeform updates.
AppleInsider and Apple strongly suggest users don't install beta operating systems or other beta software on "mission-critical" or primary devices, as there is the small chance of issues that could result in the loss of data. Testers should instead use secondary or non-essential hardware and ensure they have sufficient backups of their critical data at all times.