Beta 4 of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, macOS Big Sur 11.3 Released for Testing
Apple has released the fourth beta versions of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, macOS Big Sur 11.3, tvOS 14.5, and watchOS 7.3 to users enrolled in the various beta testing programs for Apple system software.
The series of beta updates are testing a variety of new features, and are available to download now for any user actively participating in the beta programs by using the relevant software update mechanism for that device. Typically the developer beta build rolls out first and is soon followed by the same build for public beta users.
The latest iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 betas include an ability to unlock iPhone using Apple Watch (similar to the Apple Watch unlock feature for Mac), support for PlayStation 5 and Xbox X game controllers, dual SIM card support for 5G networks, new privacy focused features, a variety of other minor changes and improvements, and the inclusion of new Emoji icons including a woman with a beard, dazed face, coughing face, heart on fire, bandaged heart, vaccine syringe, and new skin color options for the various couples emojis.
The macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta includes new optimizations for running iOS and ipadOS apps on the Mac including a touch alternatives preference panel, the return of Reminders lists and ability to print Reminders, support for PS5 and Xbox X game controllers, changers to Apple Music, some new Safari customization options and changes, the inclusion of the new Emoji icons from iOS 14.5, and more.
Beta updates are under constant refinement, so it’s always possible these features will change before a final version is issued to the general public.
Apple usually goes through several beta builds before unveiling a final version of system software, suggesting iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and macOS 11.3 Big Sur may be finalized by the end of the month, or early April, but of course that’s merely speculation.
Technically speaking, any user can enroll to participate in the public beta testing program, but beta software versions are less reliable than final builds, and are therefore generally only appropriate for advanced users and developers.