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iOS 13

Apple releases iOS 13.4 Public Beta One

Apple has released the first public beta of iOS 13.4. Members of Apple’s Beta Software Program can download the previews now and register devices now.

This release brings with it a few notable new features and fixes for problems that have been found in previous releases. The biggest new feature is probably the arrival of iCloud Drive folder sharing, something that was available in early iOS 13 betas but was later pulled.

One fix that will be hugely popular among users of the Mail app is the arrival of two new icons to the toolbar. Apple removed the flag and move folder icons in a previous release, and it wasn’t a popular moe with users.

Other changes include new Shazam integrations in the Shortcuts app as well as some new Memoji stickers. There’s also support for hardware keyboard key modifiers, too.

Most interesting of everything is the discovery of a new CarKey API. It’s believed that this new API will be used to allow iPhones and Apple Watches to unlock cars if they have the correct hardware built into them. It’s unlikely this feature will be made available just yet, though. This is the first time references to it have been found in any iOS release, beta or otherwise.

A new CarKey API is included which will enable Apple Watch and iPhone owners to unlock, lock, and start their vehicles directly from their devices. One of the interesting features of CarKey is that users will be able to share access to their car with designated friends and family.

iOS 13.4 Public Beta One Features

  • 9 New Memoji stickers
  • An update Mail toolbar, featuring “Move” and “Flag” options
  • Developers can now sell iOS and macOS apps as one purchase
  • iCloud Folder sharing is back; Family Sharing integration is now supported in TV
  • CarKey API will bring the ability to control your NFC-compatible car with your iPhone
  • Third-party navigation and new call controls support in CarPlay
  • Control Center on home button iPhones resembles the layout of iPhone X devices, with network information in the top-left, and battery information in the top-right
  • When an app previously authorized for “While Using the App” location permission requests “Always” authorization, your iPhone will then show the location authorization prompt
  • You can now create Shazam shortcuts
  • A new “Always Listen for ‘Hey Siri’ ” option in Accessibility –> Siri, which will listen for Hey Siri commands even when your iPhone is face down or covered
  • You’ll see a new temporary VPN Disabled icon in the status bar
  • You can tell Siri to go to the home screen
  • Apple Music lyrics identifies instrumental sections with an ellipsis
  • Family Sharing integration in TV
  • Browse by genre in your TV Library
  • New “Details” button for shows in TV

The iOS 13.4 beta 1 can be downloaded as an over-the-air update. If and when you encounter issues, you should use the Feedback Assistant app that Apple includes with the beta releases of its software.

How to sign up for a developer account or public beta membership

If you’re interested in becoming an Apple developer, you can visit developer.apple.com and join Apple’s Developer program. To get access to app distribution and developer betas, you’ll need to enrol in the company’s $99 year developer membership.

Developers tend to get beta software first, but that software can be unstable and bug-prone. If you only want a peek at Apple’s new software, but don’t want to take the risk of bricking your device on a developer seed, the company offers the public beta program for users.

Unlike Apple’s developer program, the Beta Software Program is free, and should offer more stable code than some developer seeds. Before you dive in though, you should note that this is an incomplete version of the operating system, with all the bugs and glitches that includes.

Users should nevertheless be cautious about installing beta code on a primary device, since it can still potentially cause issues like crashes, battery drain, or slow performance. You can sign up for the public beta by clicking the Sign Up link.

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