Apple Seeds Fifth iOS 11.4 Beta to Testers

Control Center in iOS 11

A fifth and likely final beta build of iOS 11.4 arrived yesterday for those who are in the Apple Beta program.  The update doesn’t bring any new features to the platform other than what has already been discussed but does bring a few fixes.

The update weighs in at 2.2GB, indicating that this is the full build and is likely a release candidate build.  For those new to beta testing, release candidates are generally the build that a developer wants to release as the general availability (GA) release.  In other words, they feel their work is done and barring a show stopping bug being found, this should be the build everyone sees when 11.4 is released.

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iOS 11.4 to Bring a Lockdown of Lightening Connection to Charging Only Without Passcodes

iOS Logo

It appears that once again Apple is upping device security with the upcoming release of iOS 11.4.  In a new report on Elcomsoft indicates that when the new build of iOS rolls out, it will come with a Lightening Connection lockdown that requires the device to unlocked or the password/fingerprint to be entered every seven days.  The feature is meant to prevent tethering a device to a PC or Mac and brute force cracking the device to gain access.

The feature first appeared in iOS 11.3 but was dropped during the beta testing.  It reappeared in 11.4 and, to this point, has pretty much gone unnoticed until now.  What this means is after 7 days, if the device hasn’t been unlocked either with biometrics or a password, the Lightening connector becomes a charging port only.  No data is transmitted to or from the device by the connected laptop.

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Fourth iOS 11.4 Beta Released to Testers

Control Center in iOS 11

A week after the third beta of iOS 11.4 was released, a fourth new beta of the next update to Apple’s mobile platform has been released to testers.  For those who have a device registered in the Apple Beta Program, you should see the update as available to download to your compatible device.

The beta released today is a bit of a surprise given Apple usually spaces out their updates several weeks during beta testing.  The quick release likely indicates that an issue was discovered and needed to be patched quickly but Apple has not confirmed this fact.

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Apple HomePod Set to Gain Calendar Access When iOS 11.4 is Released

Apple HomePod

It looks like the Apple HomePod is about to get a much needed feature:  Calendar access.  Right now HomePod isn’t able to access your calendar.  It can access your Messages, Reminders and Notes, which is handy but having calendar access is key to increasing the productivity of users of the smart speaker.  It looks like it is going to be changing pretty soon.

In the 3rd beta of iOS 11.4, when you go through the process of setting up an Apple HomePod, you now will see an icon for Calendar along with Messages, Reminders and Notes.  It is the strongest indication yet that calendar support is coming – although Apple hasn’t said anything on the topic to date.

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Third Beta of iOS 11.4 Released to Testers

iOS 11.3 Control Center

Less than a month after the second beta for iOS 11.4, a new build is now rolling out to testers in the Apple Beta Program.  The update has all of the appearances of a bug fixing exercise as no new features have been noted by the beta testing community to this point.

If you want to test in the Beta program, you can register your device here.  Keep in mind that your device has to be able to run iOS 11 to register into the program.

As most readers will know, there are two significant features expected to arrive when 11.4 is finally released to the public:  Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2.

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iOS 11.4 Beta 2 Arrives for Testers With Several Improvements

iOS 11.3 Control Center

The second beta of iOS 11.4 has arrived for testers running their iPhones, bringing several bug fixes along with the new Messages in iCloud.  The beta is only available to those who have registered their devices in the Apple beta program with the official release of the new version expected to be late in May or early June.

The big new feature in this build is Messages in iCloud which returns to the beta program.  It originally showed up in the 11.3 beta program but was dropped and not released as part of that update.  It appears that Apple has been doing their homework and will allow users to enable it.  This will allow for new messages to be sync’d to your iCloud account along with photos and videos which will save space on your iPhone.

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