News: Apple Releases iOS 13.4 Developer Beta 2 for iPhone, Has New TV Options & Updated Mail Toolbar

Apple Releases iOS 13.4 Developer Beta 2 for iPhone, Has New TV Options & Updated Mail Toolbar

Last week, Apple released the first iOS 13.4 beta with fun and useful new features, such as new Memoji, an upgrade Mail toolbar, and the ability to control your NFC-compatible car via CarKey. To add to that, Apple just released iOS 13.4 developer beta 2, but does the update have any more new changes to be excited about?

Apple pushed out the update on Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST), the company's standard beta update release time. It's for developers only, but the public beta version followed shortly behind at the same time on Feb. 20, just 24 hours apart.

So, what's new in dev beta 2? A few things. First, Apple added a suite of new settings to the TV app. Under the new Streaming Options heading:

  • Use Cellular Data: By default, it's toggled off, but if you have a decent cellular plan, you can turn it on to stream movies and TV shows when you don't have Wi-Fi.
  • Cellular: If you turn on the above setting, you can choose between "Data Saver" (up to 600 MB per hour) or "High Quality," which Apple says uses more data.
  • Wi-Fi: There's no toggle for this one since how else would you stream anything without cellular data. But you can choose the same "Data Saver" and "High Quality" options. Only this time, Data Saver goes up to 1 GB per hour. You might want to use Data Saver here if you're connected to a personal hotspot or low on bandwidth.

There's also a new Download Options section with the following settings.

  • Use Cellular Data: It's precisely like the streaming setting above, and it's also off by default.
  • Cellular: If you turn on the above toggle, you can choose between "Fast Downloads" or "High Quality," the latter of which will take longer.
  • Wi-Fi: You can also choose between "Fast Downloads" or "High Quality" here.
  • Audio Languages: If you want to listen to a film or TV series in a different language than your region's default, you can add audio files for other languages with your download. Matching subtitles will also be available for each language, as well as audio descriptions if you have that enabled in Accessibility. If your chosen language isn't available for a particular piece of content, Apple will divert to the default language.
iOS 13.4 beta 1 (left) vs. iOS 13.4 beta 2 (right).

The Mail toolbar, which received an upgrade in beta 1, has been tweaked again. This time, it's more like how it was in iOS 12, with Delete, Move, Reply, and Compose options. The only thing missing is the Flag shortcut, which did appear in beta 1.

iOS 13.4 beta 1 (left) vs. iOS 13.4 beta 2 (right).

Also new is a slight tweak to the "Home Button" settings in "General" where it changed from "Choose Your Clicks" to "Home Button Haptic" with a better description of what the tool is for (changing how the button feels). There's a new prompt when turning on AssistiveTouch for the first time that asks you if you want to add "Dwell" and "Scroll" to the top-level customization.

And hidden in the code are hints that there are two more computer mice supported, the Corsair Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse and MX Anywhere 2, as well as the suggestion that CarKey will let you share your key with others via iMessage.

According to Apple's release notes, the QuickType Keyboard supports predictive input for Arabic and live conversion for Japanese and Chinese (Zhuyin). The update also fixes an issue where the Siri interface in CarPlay might not work as expected.

You can see the full release notes below:


The iOS & iPadOS 13.4 SDK provides support to develop apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS & iPadOS 13.4. The SDK comes bundled with Xcode 11.4, available from Beta Software Downloads. For information on the compatibility requirements for Xcode 11.4, see Xcode 11.4 Beta 2 Release Notes.

General - Known Issues

  • After a user views specific app settings and then returns to the main Settings page, the Settings app might quit unexpectedly. (59124369
  • To install iOS 13.4 beta 2 using the Restore Image, first install Xcode 11.4 beta 2.

CarPlay - Resolved Issues

  • Fixed an issue where the Siri interface may not appear as expected. (58685659)

Keyboard - New Features

  • QuickType Keyboard now supports predictive input for Arabic.
  • QuickType Keyboard now supports live Conversion for Japanese and Chinese (Zhuyin).
  • Keyboard now supports Swiss German layout for 12.9" iPad layout.

Keyboard - Resolved Issues

  • 12.9" iPad layouts for several languages now match the hardware keyboard layouts accurately.

Location Services - New Features

  • When an app requests Always authorization for the first time after having previously been authorized for While Using the App, the device immediately presents the location authorization prompt. (57106235)

Photos - New Features

  • New keyboard shortcuts are available in Photos on iPadOS, which allow you to quickly navigate between tabs, search, and create albums. While in full screen mode, you can also delete, duplicate, and enter Edit mode using a keyboard. (57195967)

Photos - Known Issues

  • Photos might not sync as expected to Apple Watch. (59324590)

RealityKit - Resolved Issues

  • The code-generated loading methods load Reality Files. (58925510)

SwiftUI - New Features

  • When using a NavigationView with multiple columns, the navigation bar now shows a control to toggle the columns. (49074511)
  • The onDrag and onDrop modifiers are now available on iOS. (49661347)

You can compare beta 2's changes to what we saw from beta 1:

  • 9 New Memoji stickers
  • An update Mail toolbar, featuring "Move" and "Flag" options
  • Developers can now sell iOS and macOS apps as one purchase
  • iCloud Folder sharing is back; Family Sharing integration is now supported in TV
  • Third-party navigation and new call controls support in CarPlay
  • Control Center on Home-button iPhones resembles the layout of Face ID devices, with network information in the top left and battery information in the top right
  • When an app previously authorized for "While Using the App" location permission requests "Always" authorization, your iPhone will then show the location authorization prompt
  • You can now create Shazam shortcuts
  • A new "Always Listen for 'Hey Siri' " option which will listen for commands even when your iPhone is face down or covered
  • You'll see a new temporary VPN Disabled icon in the status bar
  • You can tell Siri to go to the home screen
  • Apple Music lyrics identify instrumental sections with an ellipsis

To update your iPhone to iOS 13.4 dev beta 2, you need to be a registered developer. You can use the restore image for your iPhone available in the Developer portal (install with iTunes or Finder) or install the configuration profile, then update over the air. If you already have the profile installed on your iPhone, head over to Settings –> General –> Software Update to start installing the latest beta build, or you can wait until it installs automatically if "Automatic Updates" is enabled.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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