After a three week wait, Apple has finally updated its pre-release stable of upcoming OS versions, bringing iOS 10, macOS 10.12 Sierra, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10 to the Beta 2 milestone. These releases are still only available to Apple developers, but public betas are on the way.
I’m mostly interested in iOS 10, of course. This system was announced alongside the others at Apple’s annual developer conference about three weeks ago. At the time, I installed it on my iPad mini, and I added the iPhone 6S Plus to the mix a few days later.
The past three weeks have been mostly uneventful, iOS-wise, with no major issues. In fact, nothing major at all. I’ve been spending a lot of time with Swift Playgrounds, which is indeed amazing. And I see the new Control Center and lock screen UIs quite frequently. But beyond that, I’ve not noticed any big changes over iOS 9.x.
Beta 2 doesn’t change that, though there are some interesting if subtle changes.
My favorite feature, in a way, is one that actually debuted in Beta 1, though I only just noticed it: The Flashlight shortcut in Control Center now supports three brightness levels—bright, medium, and low—so no more “light of 3000 suns” every time I need to read a menu in a dark restaurant. I cannot tell you how much that bothered me. Not a reason to buy an iPhone per se. But almost.
Other reports I’ve seen note that Apple’s iMessage-based sticker collections are now available—big news, I know—and there’s a new organ donor sign-up form in settings, a nice reminder that Apple’s users are as temporary as its products.
I’ll take a look at Mac OS X 10.2 “Sierra” this week if possible. But the big news here is that Auto Unlock is available now and works with Apple Watch. This means that you can unlock your Mac just by being near it while wearing an Apple Watch. And you thought Apple Watch only opened up a world of fashion.
Apple’s watchOS 3 and tvOS 10 are of significantly less interest to me at the moment. I’ll look at these releases when they’re more mature, probably in August or September.
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