Apple gave developers access to the release candidates of iOS 17.1 and macOS 14.1 on Tuesday. This is the last round of testing before introducing them to the public.
Release candidates for iPadOS 17.1, watchOS 10.1 and tvOS 17.1 also went out.
What’s new for iPhone, iPad and more
Release candidates are what Apple used to call golden masters, and give third-party software developers and other beta testers an opportunity to look over the final version of operating systems before they’re introduced to average users.
An advantage of RCs is that they give us a sneak peek at the release notes revealing what features Apple thinks are most important. The one for iOS 17.1 says:
“This update introduces the ability for AirDrop transfers to continue over the internet when you step out of AirDrop range. This release also includes enhancements to StandBy and Apple Music, as well as other features, bug fixes, and security updates for your iPhone.”
As Apple noted, perhaps the most important change in iOS 17.12 is support for AirDrop file transfers over the internet. And the upcoming version tweaks the iPhone 15 Pro Action button’s behavior to prevent accidental keypresses.
iPad users should be interested to hear that the release notes for iPadOS 17.1 say:
“This update introduces the ability for AirDrop transfers to continue over the internet when you step out of AirDrop range. This release also includes enhancements to Apple Music, adds support for Apple Pencil (USB-C), as well as other features, bug fixes, and security updates for your iPad.”
Apple Pencil (USB-C) was just announced on Tuesday.
Updates coming soon
Apple already committed to introducing iOS 17.1 on or before Wednesday, October 24. If the company follows its previous habits, the other operating systems will also launch at the same time.
In the meantime, the release candidates for iOS 17.1, macOS Sonoma 14.1, iPadOS 17.1, tvOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1 are only for those in Apple’s developer program. But they should reach Apple’s public beta system in the next few days.