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Apple rolls out the third developer beta round for testing

iOS 17

Apple's third round of developer betas for the current generation has arrived, including iOS 17.5 and macOS Sonoma 14.5.

Developers participating in Apple's beta program can acquire the new builds from the Apple Developer Center or by updating their iPhone or iPad already running the betas through through the Settings app. Public beta versions usually arrive shortly after the developer versions, and can be signed up to via the Apple Beta Software Program website.

The third betas for iOS 17.5, iPadOS 17.5, tvOS 17.5, watchOS 10.5, and macOS Sonoma 14.5 arrive after the second, which were distributed on April 16. The first beta versions surfaced on April 2.

The third iOS and iPadOS 17.5 betas have build number 21F5063f, replacing the second, 21F5058e, while the third build of tvOS 17.5 and HomePod Software 17.5 is build number 21L5558d, up from 21L5553e.

The third watchOS 10.5 developer beta build is number 21T5560d, taking over from 21T5555d, and macOS Sonoma 14.5's second build is number 23F5064f, overtaking the first, 23F5059e.

At the same time, Apple has introduced the third release candidate builds for two older macOS generations. The third RC of macOS Monterey 12.7.5 is build number 21H1216 and the third RC for macOS Ventura 13.6.7 is build number 22G716.

The second beta of iOS 17.5 brought us Apple's Web Distribution system, meant to allow authorized developers to distribute their iOS apps to EU iPhones directly using their website, rather than a storefront. Apple supplies access to APIs to handle online distribution, system functionality integration, backup and restoration, and other functions.

Apps to be offered via Web Distribution must meet Apple's requirements for notarization, like other iOS apps, with the domain name the app will be installed from registered in App Store Connect.

The beta also included a fix to an unexpected bug in iOS 1.4.1 that displayed the Palestinian flag in the keyboard's auto-suggestions when users typed in "Jerusalem" into iMessage. After the beta, the flag stopped being displayed in the suggestion box.

The first beta for iOS 17.5 included code references to enable the side-loading of apps in the European Union, following the introduction of the Digital Markets Act. This included code references to Web Distribution.

There were also mentions first beta code of an expansion to anti-stalking measures for AirTags.

Outside of these, there were relatively few user-visible changes in the beta. What was found included included adjustments to the Podcasts widget, and charging information changes under Settings.

AppleInsider and Apple strongly suggest users don't install test operating systems or other beta or RC 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 builds? Reach out to us on Twitter at @AppleInsider or @Andrew_OSU, or send Andrew an email at [email protected].