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Apple issues fourth iOS 17, iPadOS 17 developer beta

New betas for iOS and iPadOS

Apple has provided developers in its beta-testing program with the fourth build of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 for testing.

Developers in the beta program can get the most recent builds by accessing the Apple Developer Center or by 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 fourth betas appears after the third betas, which were initially released on July 5 but updated on July 23. The first of this batch was distributed on June 5 after the WWDC keynote.

The fourth beta update package is build number 21A5291h, replacing the updated third, 21A5277j.

The update list is headed up by various communication features, including new contact posters that cover the display when a call comes in from a contact. Live Voicemail can transcribe voicemails in real time, so the user can decide if they want to answer, and Facetime callers gain the ability to leave a video message if the recipient is unavailable.

NameDrop, a new feature in AirDrop, allows users to exchange contact details by bringing iPhones close to each other. AirDrop by NFC tap and Shareplay by NFC tap, better AirPlay support for hotel TVs, and background AirDrop over the Internet if the local connection is lost.

Password and passkey sharing with contact groups, as well as sharing AirTag with multiple users, are also in the update. A CarPlay SharePlay experience allows for passengers in a driver's contacts to share what's happening with the vehicle's infotainment system.

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 also join the mix.

iPadOS 17 adds the Lock Screen customization options that iOS has, Home Screen widgets, the Health app, a Screen Time eye health feature that measures how close to the screen your eyes are, a better Stage Manager, external webcam support, and Freeform updates.

The third beta of iOS 17 added full crediting in Apple Music, a new Home splash screen, reactive Home Screen widgets, Weather UI changes, and a new modal shown when you recover photos or multiple images in the Photos app.

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.

Find any changes in the new betas? Reach out to us on Twitter at @AppleInsider or @Andrew_OSU, or send Andrew an email at [email protected].