Apple seeds fifth betas of iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2 and tvOS 10.2

Following yesterday’s release of macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta 5, Apple on Wednesday issued fifth betas of iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2 and tvOS 10.2. Registered developers and members of the Apple Developer Program can install iOS 10.3 beta 5 (build 14E5269a), watchOS 3.2 beta 5 (build 14V5243a) and tvOS 10.2 beta 5 (build 14W5260a) over-the-air through the Software Update mechanism provided their devices have a special configuration profile, available on Apple’s portal for developers.

Xcode 8.3 beta 4 (build 8W143q) was also seeded today.

iOS 10.3 features

iOS 10.3 brings several new features and outward-facing improvements along with bug fixes, performance improvements and security enhancements.

For example, the software update includes a new Find My AirPods feature for locating a misplaced earbud in the Find My iPhone app. A one-handed floating iPad keyboard was discovered in iOS 10.3 code, but it remains to be seen if Apple will expose it to users when iOS 10.3 launches for public consumption.

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A new App Compatibility section in Settings will name and shame legacy apps.

You’ll see a reworded prompt when a 32-bit app may slow down a 64-bit device. The message confirms that 32-bit apps won’t work with future versions of iOS unless they’re updated—yet another indication that iOS 11 will be 64-bit only.

Read more about the new App Compatibility section here.

iOS 10.3 will permit apps to update their icon to convey various states right on the Home screen, without requiring an update. For example, an app could change its Home screen icon when you upgrade to the full version via the In-App Purchase mechanism.

Other notable changes in iOS 10.3 include:

  • Apple File System
  • iCloud Analytics opt-in feature
  • Redesigned iCloud section, now at the top of the Settings app
  • Siri and CarPlay improvements
  • Reduce Motion for websites
  • Settings toggle to disable in-app ratings and reviews
  • Hourly forecast in Maps
  • Navigation improvements for Mail’s Conversation View
  • Easier typing on Chinese and Japanese keyboards

When iOS 10.3 ships to customers, app developers will be finally able to respond to customer reviews on the App Store in a way that is available for all customers to see.

For the full list of changes in iOS 10.3, be sure to check out this article.

watchOS 3.2 features

watchOS 3.2 brings Theater Mode to Apple Watch via a new toggle in Control Center which disables the Raise to Wake feature and mutes audible alerts.

According to Apple:

Theater Mode lets users quickly mute the sound on their Apple Watch and avoid waking the screen on wrist raise. Users still receive notifications (including haptics) while in Theater Mode, which they can view by tapping the screen or pressing the Digital Crown.

Be sure to read our full coverage of Theater Mode in watchOS 3.2.

watchOS 3.2 will also let you control apps via Siri like you can on iOS 10.

Using Siri, you’ll be able to tell your Apple Watch to send a message, make a payment, book a ride, start a workout, call a contact or search photos in compatible apps.

tvOS 10.2 features

Aside from bug fixes and performance improvements, tvOS 10.2 updates scrolling behavior to help you navigate long lists faster than before. Simply do a large swipe on the remote, then swipe on the far right side to navigate specific indexes.

From release notes:

Scroll views with a lot of content now have a behavior that allows users to scroll through them much more quickly. Several large swipes of the Siri remote will automatically switch into this mode. Additionally, users can swipe on the far right side of the remote to navigate specific indexes. If you see any unexpected behavior in your applications from this feature, please file a bug report.

tvOS 10.2 also includes support for Apple’s Device Enrollment Program, Expanded Mobile Device Management, the VideoToolbox framework and the new Apple File System (also found in betas of iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2 and macOS Sierra 10.12.4).

iOS and macOS are available for public testing via Apple’s Beta Software Program.

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