iOS 12 public beta 6 improves markup tools, kills Group FaceTime

By

iOS 12
iOS 12 public beta 6 lets you try out the new iPhone and iPad features a month before the expected full release.
Photo: Apple

The wait for a new pre-release version of iOS 12 is over: the sixth beta can be downloaded now by anyone who wants to try it.

The markup tools have been greatly enhanced. Sadly, the other major change is the removal of Group FaceTime.

The iOS includes a set of drawing tools for marking up images, adding sketches in the Notes app, and more. With beta 6, these tools have new features. A new pop-up window for each of the drawing instruments allows the user to choose how thick each line should be, and a slider controls color intensity.

This change adds weight to the rumors that some of the 2018 iPhone models will have support for Apple Pencil.

No Group FaceTime

Developers got access to beta 6 early last week. At that time, it still had Group FaceTime. The decision to hold back the release was made just a few days ago, and this is the first public beta version without it.

Apple hasn’t given a reason why it delayed this feature, but people who tested the beta version found it very unstable. It’s likely the company decided it could clean up the code before the release of iOS 12, which is expected next month.

iOS 12 Public beta 6 isn’t the newest

Anyone who wants to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program can do so. There’s no charge, and it brings early access to iOS (and macOS) versions. Apple recently said that millions of people have already signed up.

Aside from the removal of Apple’s group chat feature, this is essentially the same beta as developers began testing last week.

Those who are part of the Apple Developer Program, and paid a $99 annual fee, don’t have to settle for the sixth beta. They can can download iOS 12 beta 8.

New features in iOS 12

Our video preview of the next iOS version gives an overview of what’s coming to your iPhone or iPad:

A highlight is an increase in speed. Aside from the flawed seventh beta, tests show that the pre-release versions are already faster than iOS 11.

With Siri Shortcuts, an iPhone or iPad can perform complex actions with simple voice commands. iOS 12 also includes Memoji, personalized and animated versions of emoji.

The end of beta testing and the full release is expected to happen in September, alongside the introduction of the 2018 iPhone models.