Apple has released the iOS 12 developer beta 5 for compatible iPhones and iPads. The new developer beta brings a lot of changes. The final build of iOS 12 will be released to the public in September alongside new iPhones. Registered developers can install the iOS 12 developer beta 5 via Apple’s Developer Center or as an over-the-air update if their devices have the proper certificate.
The iOS 12 developer beta 5 arrives just a couple of weeks after the fourth beta. Apple has also released the fifth developer beta versions for macOS 10.14, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12. The latest iOS 12 beta brings a bunch of new features such as a new splash screen for the Photos app and darker Control Center controls. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest features Apple has added in the iOS 12 developer beta 5 and what the beta tells us about Apple’s future products.
New AirPods case in the offing
The latest developer beta hints at a new AirPods case, which has been rumored for quite some time. Folks at 9to5Mac discovered updated pictures of the new charging case hidden within the beta. The case has a status LED on the exterior to let users see the charging status without having to open the case. The amber light suggests it is currently charging or low on battery. The green light indicates the case is sufficiently charged.
The new AirPods case will be particularly useful when charging them using the upcoming AirPower charging mat. Apple announced AirPower last year, but is yet to start shipping the wireless charging mat. The iOS 12 developer beta 5 also includes the model identifier AirPods1,2, which would be an improvement over the current AirPods1,1. The Cupertino company is expected to announce the new charging case alongside the upcoming iPhones in September.
iOS 12 developer beta 5 hints at dual-SIM iPhones
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said earlier that Apple would launch dual-SIM iPhones in 2018. Kuo predicts the dual-SIM model will be sold in select regions, which may not include the US due to resistance from wireless carriers there. Apple is preparing to launch three iPhones this year. It is unclear which model(s) would get the dual-SIM option.
The latest developer beta contains references to the “second SIM tray status”, “second SIM status”, and a “dual sim device.” It’s a clear indication that Apple is preparing the iOS 12 to support two SIM cards. Dual-SIM card phones are particularly popular in emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil, and Nigeria. Having two SIM cards on the same phone allows users to switch between different carrier data plans without swapping out the SIM.
HomePod gets the ability to make and receive phone calls
In its current form, Apple’s HomePod smart speaker isn’t worth its $350 price tag. It has a lot of limitations. But the iOS 12 developer beta 5 hints HomePod will get tons of new features this fall, including the ability to make and receive phone calls. The smart speaker will also be able to create notes, add reminders, send and read text messages, and more when connected to the same WiFi network as the iPhone.
Currently, HomePod doesn’t allow users to make or receive phone calls, something that most of its cheaper rivals already do. If HomePod owners do want to talk via the smart speaker, they have to make the phone call on their iPhone and then transfer it to the smart speaker. The Cupertino company is testing the new software for its smart speaker internally, which should be rolled out to the public later this year.
Battery Health comes out of beta mode
Apple added Battery Health with iOS 11.3, and the feature has been in beta ever since. In iOS 12 developer beta 5, the Battery Health feature is no longer in beta mode. The feature was introduced after user backlash over performance throttling on older iPhones with degraded batteries. The Battery Health feature allows users to choose whether they want to deal with below-bar performance to get better battery life or compromise battery life for performance.
Other major features in iOS 12 developer beta 5
Among other things, the latest beta brings Lyric Search explainer in Apple Music, increased wallpaper saturation, and darker Control Center controls. There is also a new splash screen for the Photos app, new icons for media type albums in the Photos app, ‘Share Across Devices’ toggle in Screen Time, and smaller text for clearing notifications. The beta has also removed family members from Screen Time, though you can still find them under Apple ID > Family Sharing.
According to Apple’s release notes, the iOS 12 developer beta 5 also contains some new bugs. The company noted that if you use Apple Pay Cash to send or request money via Siri, it might result in an error. If you restart your device, the Bluetooth accessories paired with it might not function correctly. Also, Siri is unable to open an app by name while using CarPlay. Apple added that some Siri Shortcuts might not work as intended.
We expect the company to fix these bugs in the future beta versions. The previous betas also contained many bugs that have been fixed now.