New iOS, macOS and tvOS betas move us closer to the real thing

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iMessages in iCloud is coming in iOS 11.3.
iMessages in iCloud is coming in iOS 11.3.
Image: Cult of Mac

Fresh beta versions of iOS 11.3, macOS 10.13.4 and tvOS 11.3 point to the full release of these new versions drawing nearer.

Apple made the latest betas of these operating systems available to developers Monday. The company is always working on updates for all its computers, from desktops to watches and everything in between. Even better, most of these updates will bring new features when the final versions ship.

Anyone wanting a sneak peek at what’s in the offing can sign up to be a beta tester. Developers can register as well, and this gets them earlier access to upcoming versions of Apple software. All the betas released today are only for developers, but public beta should be out soon.

iOS 11.3 beta 4: Amimojis, iPhone throttling and more

This is the fourth iOS 11.3 beta introduced to developers. It’s expected to be released to the general public in a day or so.

Earlier versions revealed new features coming to iPhone and iPad. There’ll be new dragon, lion and other Animojis, and an update to ARKit. Plus, users will be able to store iMessages in iCloud.

Perhaps most significantly, iOS 11.3 will add a tool allowing users to check the status of their mobile device’s battery. This will show how badly the battery’s original capacity has been degraded over time. It also will offer the ability to turn off Apple’s controversial performance-throttling feature for older phones.

iOS 11.3 Animoji
The new Animoji in iOS 11.3.
Photo: Apple Apple

At this point, the fourth beta iOS 11.3 doesn’t seem to offer any other new features. That could indicate that its release date is nearing, if the software has reached the point where the only changes are bug fixes.

So far, all Apple has said is that iOS 11.3 will be introduced in the spring. It’s possible this version will debut with some new iPad models, as the betas supposedly include some references to these.

macOS 10.13.4: iMessages, 32-Bit apps, privacy

Today also brings the fourth developer beta of macOS 10.13.4, which apparently contains only bug fixes like today’s iOS beta.

Among the previously revealed features coming in High Sierra 10.13.4 users will gain support for storing iMessages in iCloud, just like iPhones and iPad. Other tweaks include renaming iBooks to just Books, and bringing the Ink Cloud wallpaper to all Macs.

Users will also see a new warning when opening 32-bit apps, since Apple is phasing out support for them. Another alert will let users know when the current app is storing their private information.

tvOS 11.3: Match Content

Apple TV also got a new beta today. The fourth beta of tvOS 11.3 gives people an early look at upcoming improvements to the Match Content feature, as well as automatic frame-rate switching on supported set-top boxes.