iOS 12

Apple releases iOS 12 Public Beta Four

Apple has released the fourth iOS 12 public beta for iPhone and iPad. Members of Apple’s Beta Software Program can download the previews now and register devices now. If you have already installed iOS 12 public beta, then you can simply update using your iPhone in the normal manner.

Apple has made iOS 12 more useful for owners of older iPhones and iPads, with performance improvements aimed at improving the experience for those devices, along with newer models. Owners of iPads will also be able to use some extra gestures and see notification grouping features borrowed from the iPhone X.

Digital health is a focus of the new version, including the Screen Time function that can be used to monitor app usage and restrict access to apps, in order to help reduce a user’s dependency on certain types of apps, such as games or social networks.

Updated versions of stock apps, including News, Weather, Stocks, and Voice Memos, are included in iOS 12, along with a brand new first-party app “Measure,” which will use ARKit to determine the dimensions of real-world objects using the device’s rear camera.

Other updates in the operating system include third-party map support for CarPlay, MeMoji, group FaceTime, and the new Siri Shortcuts.

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 enroll 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.

The iOS 12 beta 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.

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