iOS 8 beta 4 released to developers, includes new Tips app

iOS 8 beta 4 released to developers, includes new Tips app

Summary: Apple today pushed out the fourth beta of iOS 8 to members of the iOS developer program. Here's what you need to know.

TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad
iOS 8 beta 4 released to developers, includes new Tips app - ZDNet
(Screenshot: ZDNet)

iOS 8 beta 4, labeled build number 12A4331d, was released to Apple developers today via the over-the-air update mechanism built into iOS and via the iOS Dev Center (membership required).

The fourth version of the beta software comes just 14 days after the third dropped on July 7, 2014. By many accounts beta 4 is much more stable and refined than previous developer builds.

One of the most visible new features is a first-party app called "Tips" that was first mentioned at WWDC but hadn't been included in any of the three previous betas. Tips' tagline is "Do more with iPad. Get new tips from Apple every week." After clicking on "Start Learning" Tips takes users through a tutorial about new iOS 8 features. In it's first incarnation there are six tips included with the app: 

  1. Quickly respond to a notification – How to reply directly inside a notification

  2. Notify me when there's a reply – About Mail's new notification feature for important emails

  3. Hey, Siri – About Siri's new, hands-free, voice activation feature

  4. Send a spoken message – Messages' new audio messaging feature

  5. Quickly manage your mail – New swipe gestures to flag, mark read, and delete messages in

  6. Be in the shot – Camera's new shutter timer

The Tips app is installed in iOS 8 beta 4 by default and cannot be uninstalled. Each tip can be shared as a Message, Mail, Twitter, and Facebook and you can even "like" a Tip but this appears to be the equivalent of a Photo Stream Like (as opposed to a Facebook Like).

In addition to the new Tips app, Control Center was given a substantial re-design that is more flat, consistent with the rest of iOS 8. The revised Control Center sheds the black borders previously found around the icons and turns them white when activated.

According to a MacRumors post (and a growing forum thread), iOS 8 beta 4 moved Display & Brightness settings out from under Wallpaper to its own root level setting and added options to adjust screen brightness, text size, and bold text. 

Settings > Messages has a new "Keep Messages" options that allow you to specify how long you wish to keep Messages. Forever is the default and options are included for 1 year and 30 days. Clicking on the latter two options displays a warning dialog that previous messages (including those with attachments) will be deleted.

Clicking the microphone icon on the keyboard (for text-to-speech) in the Messages app now transcribes spoken text on-the-fly (streaming) as opposed to waiting until you're finished dictating to transcribe your words. iOS 8 beta 3 added voice transcription streaming to the Mail app but this is the first time it's been available in Messages.

iOS 8 beta builds are intended for developers to test their iOS apps and shouldn't be installed on production devices.

Apple is expected to release iOS 8 publicly in the fall and many expect it to arrive alongside a larger iPhone 6 in the late summer/early fall time frame. 

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

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  • I'm sure it's no accident that the latest iOS 8 beta

    is released approximately 24 hours before Apple's latest quarterly earnings call.
    • Really

      I guess you're saying the stock market follows Beta builds closely and Apple knows this, so just a little bit of insurance. Especially as Beta 4 is the one that blows the roofs off.


      I would have guessed Wednesday's stock price changes were related to Apple's performance relative to targets of its and analysts' making.

      Learn something new every day.
      • wake up

        The Market is based on speculation more than anything. A good software update release will have an impact. Are you new to this stuff????
    • Wow, that's quite a trick

      Their build system and revision control system are tied to earnings calls?

      You do know this is going out to just developers, right? Don't think too many stock traders are worrying too much about downloads for nerds.
      • Except you're missing the real point ... as usual!!

        As a new iOS comes along another load of iDevices will be locked out.

        Leaving investors to speculate upon whether the iSheep will stick with a 'dead' product, upgrade or move to a better platform.

        Couple this with good quarterlies and what do you think!!!

        So yes it will have an effect upon stock price.