News: Apple's iOS 14 Developer Beta 6 for iPhone Contains Spatial Audio & Fixes for Files, Widgets, Automations, Mail & More

Apple's iOS 14 Developer Beta 6 for iPhone Contains Spatial Audio & Fixes for Files, Widgets, Automations, Mail & More

At first, Apple's six developer beta for iOS 14 isn't much to look at, but there wouldn't have been an update if there weren't some important issues to address. Most of the serious updates in build number 18A5357e revolve around SwiftUI, which even has a few new features, and there's a fix to Shortcuts automation that will likely please you if you use those.

As for user-facing fixes and patches that have been resolved in beta 6:

  • The Airplane Mode indicator now correctly shows the right status in the Settings app.
  • Attached encrypted APFS volumes appear in the sidebar again in Files.
  • No more prompts to use HomePods as a stereo pair when viewing Home accessory details (whenever the HomePods are assigned to the same room).
  • Clipped or misaligned layouts for certain languages have been fixed.
  • And they no longer show unlocalized text.
  • Accounts in Mail that require re-authentication after certain events are now able to be re-authenticated.
  • Calls placed over cellular or Wi-Fi show up correctly as "Phone" for mic use in Control Center.
  • Automations in the Shortcuts app now correctly run if they're scheduled immediately after one another.
  • You can create new untitled documents in document-based apps from the in-app document browser.
  • No more blank widgets.
  • Location-based widgets will reload correctly after changing location settings.

When it comes to new features or changes, we've seen these in beta 6:

  • Sender names in received emails in Mail are blue instead of black (Light mode) or white (Dark mode).
  • Spatial Audio has arrived for AirPods Pro in Settings –> Accessibility –> AirPods. If you have AirPods but not AirPods Pro, you won't see anything in Accessibility. With the "Follow iPhone" or "Follow iPad" switched toggled on, "audio for supported movies and TV shows will sound like it's coming from your [device] instead of following your head movement." If enabled, there will be toggles for it in Control Center and Bluetooth settings as well. (Note that Spatial Audio has been added but may not work yet.)
  • The larger News widget that showed up in beta 5 had been removed when adding widgets from the home screen. It is still there when adding them from the Today View since it can only be added there anywhere.
  • In the Photos app, the Other Albums section in the "Albums" tab has been renamed Utilities. We suspected it might happen when Apple called it "Utilities" in the description for the switch that hides the "Hidden" album.
  • The page dots' background on the home screen (in Edit mode or when long-pressing and scrolling) extends further now.
  • There's a new splash screen when opening Apple Maps for the first time. However, cycling routes are still only available in San Francisco from what we can tell.
  • In the App Library, the "Lifestyle" category has been merged with "Other," with the latter being the collection's name.
  • Some apps in App Library have moved to different categories, according to others, but it seems very inconsistent across different users. For instance, someone claimed that "Feedback" was moved to the "Other" category, but it was always in "Other" for us. For another example, we've seen "Chrome" in "Utilities" where it belongs, but in beta 5 it was in "Other," but in previous betas it was in "Utilities." Your mileage may vary.
  • The time picker in apps and settings has the time field outlined so that you know it's selected. It helps make it more obvious when you can start inputting digits right away (e.g., like right after tapping + to add a new alarm in Clock) or when you need to select the time field (e.g., after tapping the time in the Date & Time settings when it's not set to automatic, or after tapping the start or stop time in a new Calendar event). The outlines color varies by app (it's orange in Clock, blue in Settings, red in Calendar, etc.).

The update came out on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m. PDT, the company's standard time for developer beta updates. It follows iOS 14 developer beta 5 by one week, and iOS 14 public beta 5 by six days. Public beta testers received iOS 14 public beta 6 three hours later.

iOS 14 Developer Beta 6 Full Release Notes

To see everything that's new in iOS 14 developer beta 6, including code snippets, check out the full release notes below.

iOS & iPadOS 14 Beta 6 Release Notes

Update your apps to use new features, and test your apps against API changes.


The iOS & iPadOS 14 SDK provides support to develop apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS & iPadOS 14. The SDK comes bundled with Xcode 12 beta 6, available from Beta Software Downloads. For information on the compatibility requirements for Xcode 12 beta 6, see Xcode 12 Beta 6 Release Notes.

General: Known Issues

Important: Updating to iOS & iPadOS 14 beta from previous versions of iOS & iPadOS might take significantly longer than expected. Data loss could occur if the update is interrupted. (59101197)

  • macOS Big Sur 11 beta or Xcode 12 beta might be required to sync or update devices running iOS & iPadOS 14 beta.

Apple Security Bounty

  • iOS & iPadOS 14 beta 6 is designated as qualifying for the 50% Apple Security Bounty bonus payment for issues that are unknown to Apple or reintroduced in this release. See Apple Security Bounty for more information.

Control Center: Resolved

  • The Airplane Mode indicator now reflects the current Airplane Mode status in Settings. (66932775)

App Store: Known Issues

ClassKit: Resolved

Core Haptics: Known Issues

Files: Resolved

  • Encrypted APFS volumes now appear in the sidebar. (66825585)

Fonts: Known Issues

  • Beginning in iOS & iPadOS 14 beta, fonts installed using configuration profiles are only available to apps supporting the font APIs and entitlements introduced in iOS & iPadOS 13. If your app provides a custom font-selection interface, it can no longer access fonts installed via configuration profiles. For reference, see the WWDC 2019 Session Font Management and Text Scaling (55317428)

Home Screen: Known Issues

  • Spotlight might not appear as expected. (64121178) — Workaround: Restart your device.

HomeKit: Resolved

  • You are no longer prompted to use HomePods as a stereo pair whenever viewing accessory details, if the HomePods are assigned to the same room. (66736623)

Localization: Resolved

  • Certain languages no longer exhibit clipped or misaligned layout.
  • Certain languages no longer display unlocalized text. (63246545, 64040564)

Mail: Known Issues

  • The signature might be duplicated if you close a draft and reopen it. (66843208)

Mail: Resolved

  • Exchange OAuth accounts which require user re-authentication, such as after restoring your device from a backup, are now able to re-authenticate. (66805583)

Maps: Known Issues

  • After updating to iOS & iPadOS 14 beta 2 or later, user data, such as Favorites, Collections, and Recents no longer syncs with devices running earlier versions of iOS & iPadOS. (65005848)

Nearby Interaction: Resolved

  • Nearby Interaction framework now initiates successfully when the device is located in Japan, South Korea, or Vietnam. (66822968)

Phone and FaceTime: Resolved

  • Control Center now indicates "Phone" is using the microphone for calls placed over the cellular network and over Wi-Fi networks. (64269165)

Shortcuts: Resolved

  • Automations now run correctly if they're scheduled immediately after one another. (65255964)

SwiftUI: Known Issues

  • ProgressView generic type signature has changed, adding the ProgressViewStyleConfiguration.CurrentValueLabel generic parameter. This change does not require any source changes, but will cause apps compiled using an earlier beta SDK to quit unexpectedly. (63580200) — Workaround: Re-compile apps for iOS & iPadOS 14 beta 6 or later to resolve this issue.
  • The KeyboardShortcut modifier and commands(content:) aren't currently functional. (65704705)
  • Rebuilding against the iOS 14 SDK will modify instances of custom(_:size:) to scale with dynamic type. To create a font which doesn't scale with dynamic type, use custom(_:fixedSize:). (51463566)
  • The SignInWithAppleButton view expands to fill its container. (64136568) — Workaround: Apply a frame modifier.

SwiftUI: New Features

  • The ImportFilesAction and ExportFilesAction APIs have been replaced with a collection of new view modifiers.
  • Use the new .fileImporter() modifier to present a system interface for importing one or more files into your app, and the new .fileMover() modifier to move one or more existing files to a new location. The following is an example of a simple UI for importing and moving files:
struct FileMover : View {
    @Binding var selectedFiles: [URL]
    var includeDirectories: Bool = false

    @State private var isImporting: Bool = false
    @State private var isMovingSelection: Bool = false

    var body: some View {
        List(selectedFiles, id: \.self) { url in
        .toolbar {
            Button("Import", action: { isImporting = true })
            Button("Move", action: { isMovingSelection = true })
            isPresented: $isImporting,
            allowedContentTypes: includeDirectories ? [.item, .directory] : [.item],
            allowsMultipleSelection: true
        ) { result in
            do {
                selectedFiles = try result.get()
            } catch {
                // Handle failure.
        .fileMover(isPresented: $isMovingSelection, files: selectedFiles) {
            if case .success = $0 {
                selectedFiles = []
            } else {
                // Handle failure.
  • Use the new .fileExporter() modifier to present a system interface for exporting one or more documents from your app. In this example, an app provides a simple note-taking interface for quickly jotting down some text and then exporting it to disk:
struct QuickNote : View {
    @Binding var draft: QuickNoteDocument
    @State private var isExporting: Bool = false

    var body: some View {
        TextEditor(text: $draft.text)
            .toolbar {
                Button("Save", action: { isExporting = true })
                isPresented: $isExporting,
                document: draft,
                contentType: .plainText,
                defaultFilename: "MyNote"
            ) { result in
                // Clear the draft now that it's saved.
                if case .success = result {
                    draft.text = ""
                } else {
                    // Handle failure.

struct QuickNoteDocument : FileDocument {
    static var readableContentTypes: [UTType] { [.plainText] }

    var text: String

    init(text: String) {
        self.text = text

    init(configuration: ReadConfiguration) throws {
        // Deserialize the document.

    func fileWrapper(configuration: WriteConfiguration) throws -> FileWrapper {
        // Serialize the document.
  • Use the new .fileMover() modifier to present a system interface for moving one or more existing files to a new location. (66182201)

SwiftUI: Resolved

  • Document-based apps are now able to create new untitled documents in the app document browser. (66936677)

Third-Party Apps: Known Issues

  • Apps using JSONKit might quit unexpectedly on launch. Some forks of JSONKit hardcode private, pointer-representation details, which are subject to change. (60290929) — Workaround: Use NSJSONSerialization instead.
  • fstab has been removed. Filesystem contents outside of an app's sandbox can no longer be used for validation. (61098152)
  • Apps using the NativeScript framework might quit unexpectedly on launch. NativeScript performs an unsafe operation to determine if an arbitrary pointer is an Objective-C object pointer. You can temporarily resolve this issue by using object__getClass(_:) instead of reading the isa directly; however, update this code to avoid checking whether arbitrary pointers are Objective-C object pointers. (62913064)

Wallet: Known Issues

  • isPassLibraryAvailable() doesn't ensure uniform availability of pass library functionality between platforms and devices. (60697880) — Workaround: Call a more specific API to check available functionality, such as canAddPasses().

Widgets: Known Issues

  • When the parent app of a widget has been granted Selected Photos access, an alert might appear each time the widget runs. (66398732) — Workaround: Add PHPhotoLibraryPreventAutomaticLimitedAccessAlert = YES to the Info.plist of the widget extension.
  • All widgets must be rebuilt using the iOS & iPadOS 14 beta 4 SDK or later and won't run on previous versions of iOS & iPadOS 14 beta. (65290210)
  • Some widgets might disappear from your Home Screen after updating to iOS & iPadOS 14 beta 2 or later. (64823469) — Workaround: Add the missing widgets back to your Home Screen.
  • You can't resize an existing widget. (63500799) — Workaround: Remove the widget and re-add it at the desired size.
  • You might need to reconfigure your widgets after updating to iOS & iPadOS 14 Beta 3 or later. (65485709)
  • The Weather widget might be unable to determine your location. (66929312)
  • The Weather widget might appear blank after updating to iOS 14 beta 6. (66782070) — Workaround: Tap the widget to open the Weather app, then return to the widget on the Home screen.
  • On iPadOS, the Weather widget might unexpectedly have Always location access. (66922805)

Widgets: Resolved

  • Widgets no longer appear blank after updating to iOS & iPadOS 14 beta 6. (65989369)
  • Location-based widgets now reload after changing location authorization settings. (66280169)

How to Update Your iPhone to the Latest Beta

To update your iPhone to iOS 14 beta 6, you'll 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.

Keep Your Connection Secure Without a Monthly Bill. Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for all your devices with a one-time purchase from the new Gadget Hacks Shop, and watch Hulu or Netflix without regional restrictions, increase security when browsing on public networks, and more.

Buy Now (80% off) >

Other worthwhile deals to check out:

Cover photos and screenshots by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

Be the First to Comment

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest