How does iOS 13 measure up to previous iOS betas?

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iOS Days in Beta chart: Will Hains' excellent chart breaks down the iOS betas.
Will Hains' excellent chart breaks down the betas.
Photo: Will Hains

We’re up to the eighth beta of iOS 13, but that’s not nearly the record for iOS betas. That honor goes to iOS 11. It might seem like we’ve had a lot of betas this time around, but two years ago, Apple seeded 13 betas before hitting the Gold Master stage.

With just a few weeks left until the expected iPhone 11 launch, it seems unlikely that record will fall. In terms of sheer number of betas, iOS 13 is not even close. But what about total time spent in beta? Or the fewest betas? Let’s look at the chart.

Latest macOS Catalina beta lets you dump iTunes (if you dare)

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macOS Catalina
macOS left the desert of Mojave for the island of Catalina.
Photo: Apple

Anyone who’s fed up with iTunes can put the latest pre-release version of macOS Catalina on their Mac now and start using the new Apple Music, Apple Podcast and Apple TV apps instead. Of course, today’s public beta, the fourth in the series, comes with a long list of known problems so it might not be worth the hassle.

Check out the redesigned share sheet in iOS 13 beta 5

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Ipad on wet chair
Sharing is caring, etc.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Up until the latest developer beta 5, the iOS 13 share sheet has been a mess. At the top is the truly excellent quick-share row, which automatically suggests sharing destinations that you use often — iMessage and email contacts, AirDrop destinations, and so on. Then there was the familiar row of app icons.

However, below that came a single long list of B&W labels, mixing up all the other sharing options, along with all of your shortcuts. It was impossible to use. It also felt like a placeholder for a new UI design.

Now, that new design has been added, and it’s … OK. There’s still no color differentiation for your shortcuts, and the list is still too long, but you can customize some sections. Let’s take a look at the new iOS 13 share sheet options.

Everything new in iOS 13 beta 5

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Windows, next to a window.
Windows, next to a window.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The big news in iOS 13 developer beta 5 is that the share sheet has finally been fixed up. Previously, it has been almost impossible to use in the iOS 13 beta, thanks to pretty much every share option being lumped into one never-ending list.

We have a post all about the new share sheet in iOS 13. Check it out to see what’s new on that front. For everything else, keep reading here.

Everything new in iOS 13 developer beta 4

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The new Photo Library in iPadOS.
The new Photo Library in iPadOS.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There’s good ness and bad news in iOS 13 beta 4 — the good news is that the next version of iOS has gotten some polish, lots of bug fixes, and at least one great new feature. The bad news is that new glitches have been introduced, and that the share sheet is still way, way harder to use than the current iOS 12 version. But let’s take a look at what’s new.

Beta users can now sign into iCloud using Face ID or Touch ID

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The latest Apple betas offer the option of signing in with Face ID or Touch ID.
The latest Apple betas offer the option of signing in with Face ID or Touch ID.
Screenshot: Charlie Sorrel

Users running the latest iOS 13, iPadOS 13 or macOS Catalina betas can now sign into iCloud using either Face ID or Touch ID.

If you’re using these beta versions, visiting iCloud in Safari will present a pop-up asking if you want to log in using biometrics.

6 great iOS 13 and iPadOS features (and 3 terrible ones)

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With iPadOS, you're one step closer to replacing your Mac with an iPad.
With iPadOS, you're one step closer to replacing your Mac with an iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Despite being a really flaky beta so far, iPadOS works well enough to realize that it brings some real game-changing new features, plus a lot of excellent comfort tweaks that make using it much easier.

Today I’ll list my favorite new features in iOS 13 and iPadOS, along with a few changes I’d be happy to live without.

How to prepare your Mac for macOS Catalina public beta

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Catalina looks pretty good, but should you install the public beta already?
macOS Catalina is coming soon.
Photo: Apple

The macOS Catalina public beta is here, so if you’re feeling brave, you can go ahead and install it on your Mac. But should you bother? Is early access to Project Catalyst apps, Voice Control, the Photos app redesign, Sidecar and Screen Time worth the risks?

Probably not. Or not yet, at least. But if you want to go ahead and install macOS Catalina on your Mac, here are a few tips and warnings.

How to prepare your iPad or iPhone for the iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas

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iOS 13 could render your iPhone useless.
iOS 13 could render your iPhone useless.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas are here. And if you plan to test them, you need to take a few steps to get ready. And remember, you will be testing them. Or, more likely, you’ll be testing your own patience.

The early betas are almost always buggy, screwy and crashy. You may lose work. Weird things may happen to your iCloud data. Your favorite (and essential) apps may flat-out fail to launch.

But still, these public betas are already more stable than the very raw early developer versions. If you’re planning on trying them out, here’s how to do it.