Apple has doled out the sixth developer betas for iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, that test participants can install and try out on their devices right now.
Developers taking part in the beta program can acquire the latest versions via the Apple Developer Center or by updating their devices with the beta software. Public beta versions are generally available shortly after the developer releases through the Apple Beta Software Program.
The sixth beta update package is build number 21A5312c, replacing the fifth, 21A5303d.
Communications features are the top item in the update agenda, with Contact Posters, Live Voicemail, and FaceTime video messages on the list. NameDrop boosts AirDrop by allowing the sharing of contacts.
There is also password and passkey sharing with contact groups, better AirPlay support for hotel TVs, background AirDrop over the Internet, and an updated CarPlay SharePlay experience. 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 are also present.
iPadOS 17 gains Lock Screen customizations similar to iOS, Home Screen widgets, the Health app, eye health in Screen Time, improved Stage Manager and webcam support, and other elements.
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.
Beta 4 introduced a new app drawer for iMessage, a toggle for NameDrop, StandBy Mode changes, and a bunch of other UI alterations.
Beta 5 smoothed the UI animations, added a new graphic to Health's State of Mind category, a minor Check In update, and a change to the Live Voicemail prompt.
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.