Apple just released iOS 8 Beta 4 (labeled build number 12A4331d) for developers. The new update brings further design enhancements and bug fixes.
In 2012, iOS 6 Beta 4 was released 21 days after the release of iOS 6 Beta 3. Last year, iOS 7 Beta 4 was also released 21 days after iOS 7 beta 3. iOS 8 Beta 3 was released on July 7, 2014. And just 14 days later, but iOS 8 Beta 4 has been released. However, by many accounts Beta 4 is much more stable and refined than previous one (Beta 3).
One of the most visible new features is a first-party app called “Tips” that was first mentioned at WWDC, but hadn’t been included in any of the three previous Betas. Tips’ tagline is “Do more with iPad. Get new tips from Apple every week.” After clicking on “Start Learning” Tips takes users through a tutorial about new iOS 8 features. In its first incarnation, there are six tips included with the app:
- Quickly respond to a notification – How to reply directly inside a notification
- Notify me when there’s a reply – About Mail’s new notification feature for important emails
- Hey, Siri – About Siri’s new, hands-free, voice activation feature
- Send a spoken message – Messages’ new audio messaging feature
- Quickly manage your mail – New swipe gestures to flag, mark read, and delete messages in Mail.app
- Be in the shot – Camera’s new shutter timer
The Tips app is installed in iOS 8 Beta 4 by default and can’t be uninstalled. Each tip can be shared as a Message, Mail, Twitter, and Facebook and you can even “like” a Tip; but this appears to be the equivalent of a Photo Stream Like (as opposed to a Facebook Like). In addition to the new Tips app, Control Center was given a substantial re-design that is more flat, consistent with the rest of iOS 8. The revised Control Center sheds the black borders previously found around the icons and turns them white when activated.
The next iOS 8 Beta (which is beta 5) may release on July 28 (date might be moved forward by one week). Apple is expected to release iOS 8 publicly in the fall and many expect it to arrive alongside a larger iPhone 6 in the late summer/early fall time frame.