iOS 11.4 looks set to be Apple's most boring iOS release to date

Unless you're a HomePod user, or you like new wallpapers, there's not much in iOS 11.4 to get the blood pumping.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
​iOS 11.4 Public Beta 5

iOS 11.4 Public Beta 5

Apple has just pushed out iOS 11.4 Public Beta 5, and there's not an awful lot to get excited about in this release.

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This latest public beta feels familiar, and that's because some of the features were present in iOS 11.3 betas, but ended up being dropped from the final release.

Here's what's in the iOS 11.4 beta:

  • iMessage in iCloud: This feature looks to sync iMessage messages across all devices by making iCloud the hub for it. Get a new device, and all your messages will download to it. Delete a message off one device, it's gone off all of them. Nice.
  • AirPlay 2 is back, with fixes for YouTube playback issues as well as adding stereo pairing for HomePod.
  • New Product(RED) wallpaper for iPhone 8/8 Plus devices.

Pretty boring stuff (even if you are one of the handful of HomePod owners out there).

An interesting omission seems to be the USB Restricted Mode feature that's been talked about recently. It's unclear whether this feature will appear in the release version of iOS 11.4 or not.

As for performance, don't expect iOS 11.4 to give your old devices a new lease of life. Testing suggests that devices that are sluggish with iOS 11.3 are just as sluggish with iOS 11.4.

When will iOS 11.4 be released? We don't know, but I'm reasonably certain that this is the final beta, and that it will be released between now and WWDC 2018, which kicks-off June 4.

If you want access to the public beta, you need to sign up, and you can do that here. Before you take the plunge, you might want to look at my list of precautions and caveats related to running beta software on your iPhone. While you can easily roll back from running the beta, it's possible for the beta to cause havoc in the meantime.

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