Apple Releases iOS 18 and iPad OS 18 Third Betas to Developers

Apple has rolled out the third beta versions of the upcoming iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 updates for developers to test. This release arrives two weeks after the second beta updates.

How to Access the Betas

Developers registered with Apple can access the betas by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to the Software Update section.
  3. Tap on “Beta Updates”.
  4. Toggle on the ‌‌iOS 18‌/‌iPadOS 18‌‌ Developer Beta setting.

Note: An Apple ID linked to a developer account is required to download and install the beta.

Key Features of iOS 18

Apple Intelligence

Apple Intelligence introduces a suite of AI features deeply integrated into iOS 18. These features include advanced tools for refining writing, generating images and emoji, and enhancing Siri and search functionalities. Siri is set to receive a major upgrade with improved natural language understanding, better contextual awareness, and integration with ChatGPT for answering complex queries. These features will be available later in the beta testing process and are exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro models and iPads with M-series chips.

Home Screen and Control Center Enhancements

  • Users can now rearrange Home screen apps to create open spaces.
  • Dark mode for app icons and new tinting options.
  • The Control Center is customizable, allowing third-party developers to add controls for their apps.
  • The Lock Screen Flashlight and Camera icons can be replaced or removed.

Messages Improvements

  • Rich Communication Services (RCS) support for better messaging with Android users.
  • Option to schedule texts to be sent later.
  • New text effects and messages over satellite when there’s no cellular signal.
  • Ability to use any emoji for Tapback responses.

New Apps and Features

Passwords App

  • A dedicated app for managing logins, passkeys, Wi-Fi passwords, and verification codes.
  • Option to lock and hide apps, requiring secondary Face ID or Touch ID authentication even when the phone is unlocked.

Safari and Photos

  • Safari now has a highlights feature that summarizes articles and surfaces key information on websites.
  • The Photos app interface has been completely overhauled for better usability.

Additional Features

  • Tap to Cash allows for private and secure money transfers using Apple Cash.
  • Equation solving and voice memo transcription in the Notes app.
  • A new game mode for improving game performance.
  • The ability to respond to ‌Siri‌ on AirPods with head gestures.

MacReview’s Take

The release of the third beta for iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 marks a significant milestone in Apple’s software development. The integration of Apple Intelligence brings advanced AI capabilities that enhance user interactions through refined writing tools, image generation, and an upgraded Siri experience. These features, although limited to higher-end devices, highlight Apple’s focus on context-aware functionalities.

The improvements to the Home screen and Control Center offer greater flexibility and personalization, while the updates to Messages, such as RCS support and scheduled texts, are poised to improve user experience, especially in mixed-device environments.

The introduction of a dedicated Passwords app and other security features underscores Apple’s commitment to user privacy and control. Enhancements in Safari and Photos demonstrate Apple’s continuous effort to provide more intuitive and efficient tools for users.

Overall, the third beta of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 delivers a comprehensive set of features that enhance both functionality and user experience. As Apple continues to refine these updates, developers and users can anticipate a more powerful and versatile operating system by the fall.

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