Welcome to the Beta Beat! iOS 15 Public Beta 4 released last week, and there are all kinds of goodies beyond the standard bug fixes (although there are plenty of them as well).
How to get iOS 15 Public Beta 4
But first, if you’re wondering how to sign up for the iOS 15 public beta to get started, you’ll want to check out my guide to Apple’s beta program.
Once you’ve enrolled your device, you’ll see the new profile in your device’s Settings app. There you will have to make your first big decision as a public beta tester. While iOS 14 introduced the ability to install a stable public version or the current beta, they must come from the same base. This means that in order to participate in the iOS 15 beta, you will need to remove the iOS 14 beta profile from your phone.
Keep in mind that it is beta software. Things will go badly. Features will not work. The applications will not work. Things might just break for no reason. If you install it on your primary device, be prepared with a reliable backup in case things go down in testing.
While this is an “iterative” development year instead of a “drastic change” year, there is still a lot that beta testers will have to play with. You can check out my full list here. For Public Beta 4, there are quite a few new tweaks:
- Apple MagSafe battery is now fully supported (rather than being listed as a generic battery)
- Icons have been updated in the UI, including Notes, Notifications (in the Settings app), and the Camera icon on the Home screen
- You can now turn off focus messages for individual contacts
- In Shortcuts, there is a new Return to Home screen action
- Don’t want people to see your notifications when you share the screen? There is an option to disable only this in the settings.
- You can now share the memories generated by the Photos app
- The big story continues to be Safari in iOS 15 with many tweaks:
- There is now a permanent recharge button in the address bar
- Instead of an ellipse in the address bar, there is now a share button
- Long press on the address bar reveals a bookmarks view option so you can quickly access your bookmarks
- You can activate reader mode from the address bar
What is broken?
The only unofficial bug I’ve noticed is that iOS 15 always ignores requests to not suggest certain widgets. Work around this problem by disabling widget suggestions in the Edit Stack pop-up settings. Now let’s take a look at the official release notes.
- Audio playback may not work for up to 60 seconds after restarting. Wait a bit and it will work out on its own.
- CarPlay may fail if you share the screen when connecting to your vehicle
- When using Guided Access with VoiceOver, you may not be able to enter the Guided Access Code to end Guided Access
- Files may close unexpectedly if you choose Open in New Window for a file
- Text indicating that Find My network is active when your iOS device needs to be charged will only appear if the device language is set to English.
- Concentration is … a little too focused. You cannot switch to Do Not Disturb using Siri.
- The matter is always a mess – Apple TV can’t reach them over WiFi (only Ethernet), you can’t connect to a third-party hub, accessories may give no answer message after pairing, pairing may take a long time time and fail anyway, you can only pair five accessories, and only the home account owner can pair them.
- The widget gallery may show the wrong category of widgets after selecting a category from the sidebar.
- The Bay Bridge is still to scale incorrectly and the rounded corners of buildings disappear in the Maps app
- No new reality for you! You may not be able to create new projects in Reality Composer
- Safari may have a muted erase button in the search bar, and when enabled, Safari extensions will not appear in the smart search field when Show separate tab bar is selected.
- SharePlay is improving but may not work well with more than five participants. If you start a season on your Apple TV, you might not receive the confirmation pop-up on your iPhone.
- Siri voice recognition on the device (i.e. offline) is currently only available for the following languages: Chinese (Mandarin – Mainland China), English (Australia), English (Canada), English ( United Kingdom) and English (United States)
- In Siri: VoiceOver and spoken content users may not initially see all of the available voice options. The voice options should appear after a while.
- Third-party VPN apps fail to connect if they use a private API that no longer exists in iOS 15
As you can see, the list is getting shorter and shorter! There have been a few new bugs this week around VoiceOver but overall it’s looking good!
Keep in mind that as a beta tester it is your responsibility to report any bugs you find in iOS 15 Public Beta 4, especially third-party bugs. Make sure the Feedback app is always at hand!
What is corrected?
So what was cleaned up this week? Not as much as in Public Beta 3, but a lot of the more annoying bugs have been fixed.
- The Betterment app now works with iOS 15
- Twitter no longer crashes immediately on launch
- You no longer see the CarpPlay vehicle compass overlapping the resume button while panning the map during active navigation.
- After canceling a widget gallery search, the cancel button disappears as expected
- iCloud Private Relay no longer sends you an “incompatible network” message if it fails during the first connection
- Some languages no longer display unlocalized text
- Process crashes no longer produce two crash logs
- Rivers no longer disappear and buildings no longer overlap in Maps
- Application recording activity does not revert to default after a system update or a backup restore
- Background activity spurts are now only provided when apps have been used in the foreground in the last week
- Safari now doesn’t crash when closing tabs, can scroll on iPad, and minimizes and maximizes tab bar as expected
- You can now turn off notifications on your device when using SharePlay
- If you have a first generation Apple Watch, iOS 15 can create a boot loop cycle
- Hungarians, rejoice! The weather is working again.
With the release of iOS 14.7.1, we are officially in the “downsizing” phase of iOS 14. No additional beta versions are released and beta testers are focusing squarely on iOS 15.
Having said that, we are currently in a two week beta cycle. So I wouldn’t expect the first version of iOS 15 to arrive earlier than early September. Time will tell if August will see an increase in weekly releases.
There are still a lot of bugs to fix but development is progressing well. For a brand new iOS, it’s surprisingly stable. But honestly, unless you’re really into one of the new features (you can see the full list here), there’s nothing overwhelming about iOS 15. My recommendation is that, if you are just curious, wait until the first official release, then upgrade to the beta of iOS 15.1.
See you soon for the highlights of iOS 15 Public Beta 5!