News: Apple's iOS 13.6 Public Beta 2 for iPhone Includes Option to Automatically Download New Updates

Apple's iOS 13.6 Public Beta 2 for iPhone Includes Option to Automatically Download New Updates

No, you didn't miss a beta. Apple just released the second public beta for iOS 13.6 today, Tuesday, June 9, three hours after the release of 13.6 dev beta 2. This update might come as a surprise to you, considering your iPhone might currently be running iOS 13.5.5 public beta 1. Indeed, this update is that version's successor, just with a major name change.

Apple released this update at 1 p.m. PDT. This is the standard release time for public betas that release on the same day as developer betas. Sometimes, Apple waits an extra day or so, in which case, we see the public beta released at the usual 10 a.m. PDT time.

You might remember Apple doing something similar back in April regarding name changes. The company seeded the first beta for iOS 13.4.5, then followed that up with iOS 13.5 beta 2. Back then, the reasoning was clear — beta 2 introduced Apple and Google's joint COVID-19 exposure notification API. That software is a big deal, so it made sense to upgrade the version number to reflect that importance. Considering 13.6 beta 2's new features, however, that logic doesn't really follow here.

In our testing, 13.6 public beta 2 only adds two new features to iOS. To start, you'll find a new "Customize Automatic Updates menu" in the Software Update settings. This menu breaks up the old "Automatic Updates" setting into two new toggles — "Download iOS Updates," which will automatically download new updates when available, and "Install iOS Updates," which will automatically install new updates overnight.

There's also a new feature in the Health app called "Symptoms." This new menu allows you to choose from a wide variety of data types to track symptoms of illness, such as headache, chills, and sore throat. Each symptom type features a short explainer of the issue. These symptoms can be tracked over time, just like any other data point in the Health app.

The release notes for 13.6 dev beta 2 also show that Apple patched a home screen issue where web apps wouldn't support URLs as expected.

iOS & iPadOS 13.6 Beta 2 Release Notes


The iOS & iPadOS 13.6 SDK provides support to develop apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS & iPadOS 13.6. The SDK comes bundled with Xcode 11.5, available from the Mac App Store. For information on the compatibility requirements for Xcode 11.5, see Xcode 11.5 Release Notes.

HealthKit - New Features

  • New data types are available in HealthKit to track symptoms including headaches, chills, sore throat, and more. (63148620)

Home Screen - Resolved Issues

  • Home Screen web apps support data: URLs as expected. (62738434)

To download and install iOS 13.6 public beta 2, 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 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 by Tyler Stalman/YouTube; Screenshots by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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