Apple seeded to developers the first release candidates for iOS 14.6 and iPadOS 14.6 on Monday. These are only small updates for these operating systems, and their timing may be controlled by the 2021 iPad Pro, which will reach customers on Friday.
Not to be left out, devs also got access to the initial release candidates for watchOS 7.5 and tvOS 14.6 on Monday.
Update: Shortly thereafter, Apple also seeded macOS Big Sur 11.4 RC to developers.
A release candidate is what Apple used to call a Golden Master. It’s supposed to be final version given to developers early so that can test it. And test their applications with it. It’s the last step of testing before the release.
What’s new in iOS 14.6 and iPadOS 14.6
With iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 reaching customers only three weeks ago. The upcoming followups only include a few minor tweaks. So far, no notable new features have appeared in betas.
That means iPadOS 14.6 might be coming out now primarily because it’s required for the iPad Pro that’ll launch on May 21. And iOS 14.6 is tied to it.
Something similar could be happening with tvOS 14.6. A new Apple TV 4K version is about to reach customers, so an OS update is needed. Besides, it’s modified version of iOS, so it updates whenever iPhones do.
For Apple Warch users, watchOS 7.4 debuted April 26, and a fairly minor update for it is apparently in the offing with version 7.5.
Update: There don’t appear to be big changes in macOS 11.4 either.
Not yet public betas
Though these are Release Candidates, they could also be called beta 4 for each these operating systems. And as such they are available for developers before the general public. They’re restricted to those in the Apple Developer Program, which costs $99 a year.
Anyone in the free Apple Beta Software Program is likely to get access to these version very soon, however.