Technology

What’s new in iOS 13 beta 4?

It’s a big week in Cupertino! Not only is iOS 13 being made available to all users tomorrow, iPhone 11 units have shipped from China and are on their way to pre-order purchasers everywhere! 

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One last reminder before tomorrow’s release, if you are getting an iPhone 11 on Friday, you’ll need to downgrade to iOS 12.4.1 tonight so that you can get the final signed iOS 13 release tomorrow. Your iPhone 11 won’t be able to restore an iOS 13.1 backup. 

But just because you’re upgrading doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this beta. Once beta profiles are available for your new iPhone 11 device, you can enroll it on the Apple Beta Software site and install iOS 13.1 Public Beta 4.

And you’ll definitely want to test out the 11 with the latest beta. The new devices have special chips that allow hyper-sensitive, super-accurate location services. So if you point your iPhone 11 running iOS 13.1 at another similar device, you’ll see an AirDrop option for that specific device. Very handy for crowded areas where there may be several AirDrop enabled devices.

But for right now? It’s just you and your old, trusty previous-gen iPhone. 

What’s New

The iOS 13.1 Public Beta 4 release notes from Apple are a rehash of last week’s. But one thing that is new that you won’t find in the release notes is that Apple Arcade. So if you haven’t yet, hop over to the App Store and start your free trial (before everyone floods the service tomorrow). 

  • The volume indicator displays an icon for the Apple device you’re actually controlling. 
  • Sharing ETAs via Maps is back with a new, easier to parse interface.
  • New Dynamic Wallpapers.
  • Audio Sharing is available for all AirPods and PowerBeats Pro. 
  • Lights in the Home app can now have different icons.
  • If you go to Settings > General > Fonts, there’s now a link to the App Store, indicating that we’ll be able to install system fonts via apps with future iOS 13 releases.
  • Paired XBox One and PS4 controllers will appear in your battery management widget on the Home screen. 
  • Airdrop now features destination icons that show the device rather than the user. 

What’s Fixed

Since the notes haven’t changed, the assumption is that there are no new recorded bug fixes in this, near final, release. That’s a shame, because there are still a fair amount for what’s supposed to be a bug-fix focused release. To be fair, though, several bugs in the “Broken” list will fix themselves once iOS 13 is released. 

What’s Broken

  • If you’re in the developer beta for watchOS 6, you must upgrade to version 2 or later or your iPhone running iOS 13.1 will no longer connect.
  • Searching in Notes may deliver unexpected results.
  • The offline-finding capability of the Find My app is currently limited until iOS 13 releases (so, tomorrow). 
  • You might see the message: “Couldn’t connect to iCloud” when creating a new Pages, Numbers, or Keynote document in a shared folder. Close and reopen the document to fix it.
  • Localization bugs are still being rooted out – devices set to use certain languages might exhibit clipped or misaligned layout or display unlocalized text. 
  • If you enable Share Across Devices, Screen Time settings don’t sync with iCloud until your iOS device is restarted. And make sure that you do, because any edits you make to your Screen Time settings on that device before restarting are lost. 
  • Complications will disappear from your Apple Watch if it isn’t running watchOS 6 beta. Your mileage may vary on this one. 
  • Google Chromecast is listed on the iOS 13.1 bug list, but it’s working for me. Your mileage may vary.
  • Smart things apps such as Neato and Panasonic Homehawk that require Wi-Fi access for setup may not properly display your current wireless network. 

What’s Next

iOS 13 will be released to the public tomorrow and iOS 13.1 will be right behind it a little over a week later on September 30. iOS 13.1 will wrap up with next week’s Public Beta build and we’ll be looking at iOS 13.2 Public Beta 1 to drop sometime in the first or second week of October. 

Incidentally, if you downgraded back to iOS 12.4.1 so that you could install the public build of iOS 13 and be ready for your new iPhone 11, keep an eye out this weekend. New beta profiles for the iPhone 11 series devices should be available on Saturday or Sunday. Then you can install this iOS 13.1 build and be ready for iOS 13.2!


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