News: Apple Releases iOS 13.4 Public Beta 3 for iPhone, Hints at Future 'OS Recovery' Mode

Apple Releases iOS 13.4 Public Beta 3 for iPhone, Hints at Future 'OS Recovery' Mode

In a welcomed Wednesday twist, iOS 13.4 public beta 3 follows the release of developer beta 3 by just three hours. While that isn't super uncommon for most beta cycles, it is for this one. Apple waited 24 hours between dev beta 2 and public beta 2, and five full days between dev beta 1 and public beta 1. It's nice to see these betas coming out on the same day again.

The third public beta came out at 4 p.m. EST (1 p.m. PST) on Feb. 26. As mentioned, it comes three hours after dev beta 3, which released at 1 p.m. EST. As such, we've had ample time already to dive into the beta and check out what's new. This time around, however, there's not much to say.

The one new feature discovered so far is "OS Recovery." As reported by 9to5Mac, OS Recovery isn't available for use yet, but the theory is that it will be an internet-based OS recovery mode for iPhones. That way, you'll be able to use recovery mode to address issues with your iPhone without needing to plug it into a Mac or PC first.

If you're interested in what Apple thinks are the notable features, changes, and bugs concerning iOS 13.4 beta 3, check out the release notes below:

iOS & iPadOS 13.4 Beta 3 Release Notes


  • 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

  • To install iOS 13.4 beta 3 using the Restore Image, first install Xcode 11.4 beta 2.

General - Resolved Issues

  • Fixed an issue that could cause the Settings app to quit unexpectedly after a user viewed specific app settings and then returned to the main Settings page. (59124369)

Keyboard - New Features

  • QuickType Keyboard now supports predictive input for Arabic.
  • QuickType Keyboard now supports Live Conversion for Japanese and Chinese (Zhuyin).
  • QuickType 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 - Resolved Issues

  • Fixed an issue where Photos might not sync as expected to Apple Watch. (59324590)

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)

Beta 2 featured a bunch of new updates, especially when compared to beta 3:

  • A new Streaming Options section in TV settings.
  • A new Download Options section in TV settings.
  • An update to the Mail toolbar, which itself was updated with beta 1.
  • "Change Your Clicks" is now "Home Button Haptics" on iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus.
  • 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.
  • Hints in the code that iOS will soon support MX Anywhere 2 and Corsair Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse.
  • Hints in the code that CarKeys will be sharable via iMessage.

To download and install iOS 13.4 public beta 3, sign up through Apple's beta site, download and install the configuration profile, then update over the air. If you already have the profile, go to Settings –> General –> Software Update to begin the installation of 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 emoji, enhanced security, podcast transcripts, Apple Cash virtual numbers, and other useful features. There are even new additions hidden within Safari. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.4 update.

Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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