Aside from seeding iOS 10.3 beta 1 to its registered developers, Apple also released the first developer-only beta of what would become the fourth major software update to macOS Sierra. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta 1 enhances your Mac with Night Shift mode and other improvements and new features.
“The macOS Sierra 10.12.4 update improves the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac,” according to Apple’s official release notes accompanying the download.
Like your iPhone’s Night Shift mode, which debuted in iOS 9.3, Night Shift in macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta 1 helps you get a better night’s sleep by automatically shifting the colors of the display to the warmer end of the color spectrum after dark.
It’s available in System Preferences → Displays → Night Shift.
Notification Center now has a toggle to activate or deactivate Night Shift manually. Currently available for developer testing, this feature will launch for everyone to try out when macOS Sierra 10.12.4 releases for public consumption in the coming weeks.
Tidbits: PDF improvements, Siri changes & more
In macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta 1, Siri is able to retrieve cricket scores, schedules and player rosters from Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council. Dictation support for Shanghainese has been added for converting text to speech as well.
PDFKit APIs in macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta 1 have been updated for better displaying of PDFs in apps that use the framework. Many people have noted that Preview in macOS Sierra crashes too often and exhibits issues with rendering certain PDFs properly so here’s hoping that the updated PDFKit will resolve these woes.
Responding to Mac App Store reviews
Like in iOS 10.3, developers can now respond to negative reviews on Mac App Store “in a way that is available for all customers to see.” iOS 10.3 also includes a new opt-in switch in Settings to turn on a new immediate feedback feature which lets developers ask customers to provide App Store ratings and reviews while using an app.
macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta 1 can be installed on supported Mac computers with an appropriate configuration profile through the Mac App Store’s Updates tab. If the configuration profile isn’t installed on your Mac, run the Sierra Developer Beta Access Utility to download the latest macOS Sierra beta.
The full macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta 1 installer is available through Apple’s dedicated portal for developers. If you spot other changes, improvements or new user features in macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta 1, shoot us a message via [email protected] and we’ll update the article accordingly.