Apple has settled into a steady pace of seeding to developers betas of its operating systems. Near the beginning of each week, expect updated pre-release versions of iOS 12.1, watchOS 5.1, and tvOS 12.1. Today is the fourth round.
These include some hotly-anticipated features, but leave Apple Watch Series 4 users up on the air.
New features across a range of devices
Two of these are being developed together because they include many of the same features. The next versions of iOS and watchOS will be the debut of Group FaceTime. The ability to make FaceTime calls to multiple people simultaneously was supposed to launch last month, but Apple needed extra time to debug the code. In addition, they’ll have 70 new emojis.
macOS 10.14.1 will also get these features, but it didn’t get a fresh beta today.
Some device specific changes in watchOS 5.1 and iOS 12.1 beta 4
Beyond that, there are some extras in iOS 12.1 beta 4 just for iPhone users. They include dual SIM support for the iPhone XS series, and real-time depth adjustment in the camera app.
With the release of watchOS 5.1 beta 4 so recent, it’s not yet known if this version includes the ECG application Apple promised for its latest wearable. The hardware to take an electrocardiogram is built into Apple Watch Series 4, but the software has yet to be introduced.
Not for the public, yet
Currently, the forth beta versions of watchOS 5.1, iOS 12.1, and tvOS 12.1 are only available to those who have enrolled in the Apple Developer Program and paid their $99 annual fee.
A public version of most of these will almost certainly be made available soon. The exception is watchOS, which isn’t included in Apple public beta program.