Apple’s software betas keep coming, and now the iOS 17 beta 4 is starting to become available. Only for developers right now, but we expect the public beta to arrive very soon. That means you’ll be able to update the software, and experience some of the upcoming features before the official release later this year.
In fact, the Developer Beta used to require a paid membership to the developer program, which costs $99 a year. With iOS 17, Apple changed its policy to allow even those with free developer accounts (which otherwise only provide access to the developer forums and Xcode) to download the iOS 17 Developer Beta.
New features and changes :
All your iMessage apps in one place :
Tap the new plus button to view all the things you send the most — like photos, audio messages and your location. Swipe up to view the rest of your iMessage apps.
Apple moved all of the extra apps and UI into a new app drawer for iMessage for iOS 17. The design has gone through a few changes since beta 1, but Apple has landed on the most solidified design yet.
All the logos are contained in small circles reminiscent of Apple Watch app icons. Their uniformity makes the UI much more readable and instantly recognizable.
AirPlay options :
AirPlay options are much more proactive in iOS 17 and show up in the Lock Screen and as a notification when available. The animation for the notification has changed.
The icon :
The icon for the Apple TV Remote in Control Center has been updated again. Also, the Home Screen & App Library menu in Settings has a new colorful icon.
New widgets :
iOS 17 brings interactive widgets to lock screen and home screen on Apple iPhones. These widgets support both first-party as well as third-party apps.
Name Drop :
Apple iPhone users can share their contacts with iPhones nearby using the AirDrop feature, already existing on iPhone. This new ability to share contacts via AirDrop is called NameDrop.
Risks and precautions :
Betas are test versions of upcoming software. They are by definition unfinished, and while they should include most or all of the features in the finished product, there will be cosmetic differences and, inevitably, some glitches and problems that will need to be fixed. The glitches and problems are why Apple bothers to beta-test iOS in the first place.
In other words, don’t expect a perfect user experience. In particular, don’t expect existing apps (including ones that you may rely on) to work properly. In extreme cases, you may even find that your device is bricked by the beta, and cannot be used until the next beta comes along and hopefully fixes the problem.
How to download iOS 17 public beta :-
As mentioned above, it is rolling out to those who have enrolled in Apple’s beta testing program. In case you have, you can download iOS 17 by heading to the Settings app on your iPhone. Here, tap on General > Software Update and then toggle on the iOS 17 Public Beta option.