Apple Rolls Out iOS 17 Beta 4: A Detailed Look into The New Features and Fixes

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Tech giant, Apple Inc. recently released the fourth developer beta for iOS 17, an update featuring several innovative changes. In this article, we delve into the new features and bug fixes that the latest update brings to users.

The update is now available for all supported devices, spanning from iPhone 10s to the newer iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. Accompanying iOS 17 Beta 4, Apple has also released updates for iPad OS, WatchOS, MacOS, TVOS, HomePod OS, Vision OS, and Studio Display.

apple rolls out ios 17 beta 4

Size and Performance

The size of the update is fairly reasonable, with a weight of approximately 1.34 gigabytes on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and about a gigabyte on other devices. As for the build number, it is listed as 21A 5291h. As the final release nears, this letter typically moves closer to the letter ‘A’, following which a release candidate and the final version is launched.

Improved Connectivity

The iOS 17 Beta 4 includes a new modem update which should aid in overall connectivity. Previous versions of iOS 17 have offered satisfactory performance in this area, but the new update is expected to resolve existing concerns.

Features and Changes

One of the main highlights of this update is a new feature added to Airdrop. Under Airdrop settings, there is a new option that allows users to disable the feature that activates Airdrop when devices are brought close together. This feature, called ‘name drop’, allows the effortless swapping of numbers, sharing of photos, and more by simply holding the top of one’s iPhone close to another. However, users now have the freedom to disable this if they prefer.

In addition to this, the ‘Show preview on tap only’ setting under the standby option is another significant introduction. This feature conceals notification previews until tapped on, thereby enhancing privacy.

The iOS 17 Beta 4 also sports a refreshed icon for the home screen and app library. Compared to the previous Beta 3 version, Beta 4 offers a more vibrant and colorful grid pattern.

Changes are also visible within the Messages app. The app icon to the left has been updated to make it more consistent with other iOS features. Every app now has a small, round icon and the spacing has been updated.

Additionally, the ‘clear’ option within Safari’s bookmarks no longer takes up the entire page. This minor update is part of Apple’s continued effort to enhance user experience.

In terms of accessibility, there is a new option under ‘Display and Text Size’ that enables users to prefer horizontal text in languages that support vertical text. This feature is expected to aid users who prefer reading in a specific orientation.

Bug Fixes

The iOS 17 Beta 4 release has addressed some prominent issues from the previous betas. For instance, the notorious keyboard bug, which was a significant concern in earlier versions of iOS 17, seems to have been rectified. Similarly, the new contacts widget is now functioning properly.

However, not all bugs have been eradicated. Users may still encounter the ‘jumpy’ notification bug which causes notifications to leap around unexpectedly. The tech giant is expected to address this bug in upcoming releases.

Performance and Battery Life

Despite the initial Geekbench scores indicating a slight dip, the overall performance seems to be relatively smooth and fast. Even though the device does engage in heavy processing during the initial period post the update, it manages to remain cool to the touch, marking a significant improvement from previous versions.

Battery life, on the other hand, will require further evaluation over the coming days. Although some users have reported experiencing less than optimal battery life, the new update hopes to address this issue.

The Verdict

For those who are already using iOS 17 betas, updating to Beta 4 could be a good decision. Typically, by the fourth beta, the operating system tends to be more stable. However, for an in-depth understanding of storage, performance, and other features, it would be best to wait for a few more days.

The next update, iOS 17 Beta 5, is likely to be launched in two weeks, based on Apple’s usual release schedule. Furthermore, Apple may also introduce iOS 16.7 Beta 1 soon, serving as the final iOS 16 release before iOS 17 hits the market in mid-September.

In conclusion, the iOS 17 Beta 4 brings a host of changes, and most of them seem to be steps in the right direction. It will be interesting to see what other tweaks and improvements Apple will bring in future updates.

Jeff Cochin
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About author
Jeff Cochin has been immersed in the Apple ecosystem for most of his professional career. Now, he’s covering the latest Mac news and writing in-depth guides and reviews for the readers of