Apple released the third beta for iOS 11.4 on Tuesday, May 1. This update comes exactly two weeks after the release of the second beta, which, in addition to adding a new wallpaper, fixed issues with AirPlay, Music, and Keychain. The only noticeable change in beta 3 is a fix for unresponsive 3D Touch.
If you're a developer or public beta tester with a valid configuration profile, you can download the 11.4 beta right now. Open the Settings app, head over to "General," then tap "Software Update." Finally, follow the on-screen instructions to download and install iOS 11.4 beta 3 onto your iPhone.
Beta 3 of iOS 11.4 does not appear to add any major features or fixes except a fix for an issue with 3D Touch on most iPhones where it wouldn't work on the home screen right away after unlocking the device. Instead, this update seems to provide bug fixes and security patches only. Aside from that, if you're running the beta, it's important to update often, as any security vulnerabilities found in a previous beta will only be patched as part of a newer beta.
One thing that has been uncovered in the latest beta is Siri support for AirPlay 2 controls. You can simply tell Siri on your iPhone or iPad (or even the Apple TV) to play music or podcasts on a compatible AirPlay 2 speaker (which includes Apple TV and soon even HomePods).
Apple does list some known issues with 11.4 yet to be fixed with beta 3. Some, however, include workarounds for the time being:
- Workaround: Use startSecureConnection to establish a secure connection.
- Facial landmarks identified by the Vision framework may flicker in temporal use cases such as video.
- Debugging a disabled Messages extension may cause Messages to crash.
- Workaround: Before starting the debug session, enable the extension by tapping the More (•••) button to show the list of apps, then tapping the Edit button, and then tapping the switch to turn on the extension.
- After a simulated iOS device starts up, it's not possible to pull down the Lock screen.
- Workaround: Lock and unlock the simulated device and then reopen Home screen.
iOS 11.4 as a whole will be bringing long-awaited features to iPhones, such as AirPlay 2 and Messages on iCloud. These two in particular still have not found their way to a major iOS release, even though they were announced during the iOS 11 presentation in June 2017.
While we expect AirPlay 2 and Messages on iCloud to appear in the official release of 11.4, it's possible Apple will leave us hanging once again. We believed the same to be the case when Apple tested the features in iOS 11.3, before the company omitted them from the public release.
Hopefully, with iOS 11.4, Apple will feel these features are finally ready for the public to try because I know I'm not alone when I say this ... we're tired of waiting.