The fourth developer beta of iOS 16 marks new changes for recalling messages — both in Messages and Mail — and allows devs to test Live Activities.
The fourth developer beta of iOS 16 rolled out with more minor refinements ahead of the upcoming September launch, highlighted by changes to recalled messages on both iMessage and Mail. iOS 16 is the next full version release of Apple’s mobile operating system and is currently undergoing beta testing periods before a broader rollout in the fall. The iOS 16 developer beta 4 was released alongside the second public beta, but the two software releases have significant differences. Developer betas are meant for development only by authorized Apple ID accounts, so these pre-release software versions get the newest features first. Eventually, these features make their way to the public beta software and the final release.
As the developer beta approaches two months since it was first released and receives its fourth revision, the iOS 16 that will be released to the public is beginning to take shape. Apple unveiled the software at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, an event centered around developers and their creations. But in the weeks after the keynote event, iOS 16 has seen a lot of changes. For example, two of the software version’s flagship features were refined — the redesigned Lock Screen and the iMessage recall. Similarly, new features have made their way to iOS 16 through the developer betas that weren’t even announced at WWDC this year.
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One of the most prominent features announced as part of the upcoming iOS 16 release was the ability to edit and recall iMessages after they’ve been sent. After the first developer beta was released, it became apparent that there was a catch — every device connected to iMessage through iCloud must be updated to the latest software versions for the messages to disappear or change. Now, with the release of iOS 16 beta 4, there are even more restrictions on the new feature. iMessages can only be edited a maximum of five times and only within 15 minutes of sending the message. The edit history is visible to the user by tapping the ‘Edited’ badge underneath the message. Furthermore, users can delete iMessages up to two minutes after they are sent. Mail also gets a new recall trick — users can now unsend a message up to 30 seconds after sending if the setting is enabled.
Lock Screen Changes & Live Activities
Apple has consistently made changes to the Lock Screen user interface through the three prior developer betas, and the fourth is no different. When the Lock Screen creation user interface is opened, there are new options for customization to make the choices easier to understand. New options exist at the bottom of the display to make the Lock Screen a solid color, gradient, filtered, or photo. Each widget field now has a prompt that reads ‘Add Widgets,’ identifying the fields more clearly to the end user. More importantly, Apple released the beta of ActivityKit, the API that will be used to create Live Activities widgets. These will appear at the bottom of the Lock Screen automatically and represent urgent and timely actions, like tracking an Uber ride or a delivery order. Live Activities won’t be ready for the fall release, but it’ll come in the subsequent releases of iOS 16.
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Other slight revisions to the iOS 16 developer beta include a bolder music player on the Lock Screen and a volume slider that grows in size when it is increased. There are also new wallpapers for scenes and rooms in the Home app featuring architectural and floral pictures and CarPlay wallpapers that compliment iOS 16. In addition, numerous bug fixes highlight the fourth developer beta, per the release notes, indicating that the software is getting closer to the final product that will be shipped in the fall.