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iOS beta 6 comes out soon after the release of beta 5

Three days ago Apple rolled out the 5th beta of iOS 11.4, and then on this Thursday it seeds the beta 6 to developers. Two betas in one week? One guess is that the official version of iOS 11.4 will be coming soon. And possibly it might be the last version for iOS 11. After all, the WWDC 2018 event will take place during June 4-8 in San Jose, California, in which we will see the announcement of iOS 12 (and also macOS 11.14).

Another possible reason for this quick release could be that there exist bugs/issues in the previous beta that need to/can be corrected as soon as possible. Earlier this week, a vulnerability dubbed EFAIL was revealed by security researchers, and the HTML rendering flaws discovered in Apple Mail for iOS and macOS allow attackers to reveal the plaintext of someone’s encrypted emails without the encryption keys.

Anyhow, let’s review what new features and improvements iOS 11.4 introduces. First of all, iOS 11.4 adds the Classkit framework.

This feature was spotted in the beta of iOS 11/3 and then launched as part of iOS 11.4. Developers can integrate this framework with their education apps to add more features, while teachers can assign tasks through Schoolwork and keep track of student progress in those 3rd party apps.

Apart from the new Classkit, iOS 11.4 pulls back some features, which was introduced in the betas of iOS 11.3 but disappeared in the official version of iOS 11.3. For instance, the support for Messages on iCloud. Previously, you are not able to check the old messages in new devices or sync the deletion of one device to other connected ones. Now the Messages in iCloud feature allows users to download all iMessages on new devices and the deletion will sync on all connected devices. Storing all messages and attachments in iCloud can save the device’s valuable storage space.

There is also a long-awaited features: AirPlay 2. It allows one single source to send audio to multiple speakers that support AirPlay 2, including Apple TV and HomePod. With AirPlay 2, you can ask Siri on your iPhone to control the audio content playing on separate devices in multiple rooms. As for the HomePod stereo support, it was added in the first beta of iOS 11.4 but removed in the second beta for somehow.

Besides, iOS 11.4 also contains a new security feature called USB Restricted mode. This feature is probably designed to prevent authorized third parties (like the GrayKey box) from physical accessing to data stored in iPhone via USB cable.

Related posts:

EFAIL Vulnerability may Reveal Your Encrypted Emails

GrayKey iPhone unlocker poses serious security concerns