Apple – on Monday – released the iOS 12 Beta 5, which at first glance seemed in line with the expectations, offering several new features and tweaks. However, on digging deeper, one could find new code elements embedded inside the beta version that promises one of the best features iPhone users could ask for – a dual-SIM iPhone.
Dual-SIM iPhone – almost confirmed
For a long time, rumors and reports have been talking about the dual-SIM functionality in the upcoming iPhone. Apple, on the other hand, did not utter a single word about the dual-SIM iPhone even during the WWDC 2018 in June. However, according to 9To5Mac, there is a code inside the iOS 12 Beta 5 that confirms the dual-SIM feature.
9To5Mac also shared images of the code showing references to “second SIM status,” a “second SIM tray status” and a “dual SIM device.” The code hints that some iPhones will include trays to accommodate two SIM cards. Simply put, the company is keen on designing iOS 12 to support multiple SIMs. Earlier reports noted that dual-SIM iPhones would be available in two versions – phones that would run on two physical SIM cards, and devices that would combine a regular SIM with an e-SIM.
With the dual-SIM feature, the iPhone users would be able to frequently switch between different carriers without having to swap out SIM cards. Earlier, Bloomberg also reported that the iPhone X Plus and the budget LCD variant of the iPhone X would have the dual-SIM options for some regions.
It is, however, not known if the Cupertino, California-based company is looking to sell the dual-SIM iPhone globally or just restrict it to the Asian markets like India and China. Dual-SIM phones are not as common in the developed markets, such as the U.S. and the UK, as they are in Asia, especially India and China.
Some of the biggest brands, such as Samsung and Xiaomi have made a strong market base backed by the dual-SIM smartphone sales. In India, Apple has less than 2% market share, suggesting that the company might launch a dual-SIM iPhone to grab more market share.
iOS 12 Beta 5 – what’s new?
If what the beta code is hinting is true, it will not be the first time when Apple’s beta OS revealed the future hardware or software support. Previously, the iOS 11 beta versions revealed about the Face ID, Animoji and updated AirPods, while the HomePod firmware revealed the iPhone X screen design.
Separately, other than strong hints of the dual-SIM support, AppleInsider reported that the iOS 12 developer Beta 5 adds darker controls under Control Center and an increased Wallpaper saturation. The update also brings new icons for media type albums in the photos app as well as the new splash screen. The iOS 12 Beta 5 also includes an image of the new AirPods case suggesting design tweaks and the presence of Qi standard-based wireless charging.
Further, the company also added features such as “Share Across Devices” toggle in the Screen Time section and smaller text for the Clear All Notifications button. The update also adds new connecting and disconnecting tones for FaceTime.
Rising popularity of Apple’s software beta programs
In separate news, the popularity of Apple’s software beta programs has increased over time with CEO Tim Cook announcing that over four million people participated in the programs. During the third-quarter earnings conference call on Thursday, Cook stated that these participants are running beta software on their iPhones, Macs, Apple Watch, iPad and Apple TV devices.
“In June, we hosted an extremely successful developers conference that previewed many major advances coming this fall to our four operating systems: iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS,” Cook said. “Developer and customer reaction has been very positive and we have over four million users participating in our new OS beta programs.”
Historically, the iPhone maker has never boasted about the beta testers before, so it is unclear how the four million figure compares to the participation in the past years. With Apple talking about the number of beta testers now can be seen as an indication that this is the biggest ever for the company. However, there is no information on the operating system breakup and whether developers are included in that four million figure or not.
At the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), the company launched the iOS 12, watchOS 5 and macOS 10.14 and tvOS 12. Since then, it has been releasing the beta version, but the full release is scheduled for the fall of this year.