Apple is speeding things up in the iOS 11.4 development. The company released to developers the fifth beta for iOS 11.4 on Monday, May 15. Public beta testers got the update just hours later. The update comes just one week after the release of the fourth 11.4 beta, which introduced minor bug fixes and security patches to iPhone running the software. This beta version doesn't seem any different.
If you're a developer or public beta tester with a valid configuration profile, you can download the new update right now. To do so, open the Settings app, tap on "General," then tap "Software Update." Finally, just follow the on-screen instructions to download and install iOS 11.4 beta 5 onto your iPhone.
So far, the only big noticeable difference is that the volume slider in the Control Center works correctly, which has been an on and off issue over the last couple betas. The update is also massive, weighing in at over 2 GB for most iPhone models, so this hints at the possibility of it being almost complete. It doesn't look like a GM (golden master) just yet, because of the build number, but the large size means we're getting closer to a final release.
Beta 5 introduces no resolved issues for developers, at least according to Apple's release notes. Apple does identify known issues which have been around since iOS 11.4 beta 1, with workarounds should they exist:
- Workaround: Use startSecureConnection to establish a secure connection.
• Facial landmarks identified by the Vision framework may flicker in temporal use cases such as video. (32406440)
- Debugging a disabled Messages extension may cause Messages to crash. (33657938)
- 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. (33274699)
- Workaround: Lock and unlock the simulated device and then reopen Home screen.
So far, iOS 11.4's beta releases have been a roller coaster of features, fixes, and problems. Beta 2, for example, introduced four major bug fixes, as well as various minor ones. However, it shipped with poor performance, a laggy UI, and some new issues of its own, all of which masked any highlights the beta release had to offer.
Luckily, beta 3 scrapped new features for targeted bug control. The release didn't introduce much in terms of flash, but what was immediately obvious was an uptick in positive usability. While both beta 3 and beta 4 added a few problems of their own to the iOS mix, performance has remained consistently better than it was with beta 2. Hopefully, the same can be said for beta 5, but we won't know until we sink our teeth into it.
It's not all bugs with iOS 11.4 — unless Apple changes course once again, Messages on iCloud and AirPlay 2 will be formally introduced with the new software. These features have not yet found their way to an official iOS release, even though they were announced as part of iOS 11 in June 2017.