More than a month after we received iOS 11.3, Apple seems almost ready to release the following version. The third beta for iOS 11.4 was released recently and this can only mean that we will soon receive iOS 11.4 on our phones.
At the moment Apple is still testing this iOS version and they are analyzing the feedback from these builds. The testers have already analyzed iOS 11.4 beta 3 and this article will analyze all the new features and additions we have received.
The previous versions
The last two beta versions were launched in about two weeks and both came with some important additions. First of all, the first beta version for iOS 11.4 came with AirPlay 2, which returned when using it with tvOS 11.4.
Another thing that Beta 1 brought was HomePod stereo support. Nonetheless, while this returned in beta, it does require HomePod beta firmware that was not released yet. Without that, it can not work at all. Finally, Beta 1 brought back messages in iCloud. They returned for testing after they were also included in iOS 11.3 beta, but not in the final release of this version.
Beta 2 removed one of the things Beta 1 brought: the HomePod stereo pairing. This might be because it did not work without HomePod beta either way. Additionally, this beta brought (PRODUCT) RED iPhone wallpaper for iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8.
The first thing we notice when it comes to the third beta is a bug fix that was related to 3D touch. Before this fix, many users complained about having problems when they wanted to use 3D Touch on the Home screen sight after they unlocked their device. Nonetheless, this issue was fixed.
This beta also fixes the error that occurred with the volume slider inside the Control Center. At times, the slider desynchronized from the actual volume of the device. Right now the icon matches the current volume and you will be able to change it normally.
If we compare the third beta and the second beta in terms of performance, we can see that there isn’t a big difference. In fact, according to a benchmark test, the latest release was a bit slower compared to the other one.
AirPlay 2 is one of the most important additions to iOS 11.4. This means that we will receive an updated version of AirPlay. The update appeared at first in the iOS 11.3 betas, but it was then removed when iOS 11.3 was released to the public.
This time it appears that we will receive AirPlay 2 for good. This new version comes with multi-room and stereo pairing to the HomePod. This is something that the HomePod was missing at launch. The new software updates should make this become a reality.
Another thing that iOS 11.4 will bring is a way of storing the messages in iCloud. This is something that users needed and that is because messages do not sync properly between different devices. Since messages are stored locally, the syncing becomes very inconsistent. You probably experienced this before if you tried to switch between iPhone and iPad for messaging.
Two iOS 11.4 beta 3 build numbers
Beta 3 was something special and that is because there are two build numbers for it 15F4061d and 15F4061e. At this moment we are not sure why there are two of them, or whether there are any major differences between these two. It might be that they apply to different devices.
However, we noticed that the previous beta build had the number 15F5037c, while the latest tvOS 11.4 beta had the build number 15L5560b. Finally, the previous second beta had the build number 15L5546a.
Testing out beta 3
You might think that only developers get to test the latest iOS 11.3 build. However, that is not true. If you want to try this beta you are able to do that using the company’s official Beta Software Program. Here is how you can download it.
First of all, you will need to go to beta.apple from your iOS device. There you should sign up and you can download a profile onto your device for the moment the latest beta will become available for you. These builds can be downloaded over the air, and if you want to check is a new beta is available you just have to head to Settings > General > Software Update.
The way this update works you won’t have to be scared that you will lose any of your files or settings when the installation is complete. Nonetheless, it remains safer to backup everything you have on your phone via iCloud or iTunes.
Downgrading to iOS 11.3.1
If you are an iOS 11.4 Beta 3 tester you might discover that there are multiple bugs and it becomes hard to use the device. In such a situation you will be able to downgrade to the current public release. In this case, it is iOS 11.3.1.
Downgrading is a radical measure and you should only take it if you are sure. We should warn you that if you choose to downgrade your device you will lose all your files and data. Therefore, if you want to go back to iOS 11.3.1 you must be sure that you have everything backed up.