Apple released a fourth beta update to iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey developers this week that bring changes big and small. These developer beta updates rolled out yesterday (July 27), and if everything goes smoothly Apple will release the new versions to public beta testers within the next week.
Even if you're not running any of these developer betas, the changes Apple is making may help you get a better picture of what to expect from the public beta versions, as well as the final versions of each software update Apple is expected to release this fall.
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Safari seems to be big focus of these beta updates, with Apple's browser getting an overhaul to make navigation and sharing a bit easier. The Live Text feature of macOS Monterey is also being expanded in a way that makes it accessible to all Macs, not just those packing Apple's powerful M1 chip.
Read on for a full rundown of what's new in the fourth beta of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey.
iOS 15 beta 4 update: Safari gets an overhaul
Safari overhaul: The revamped version of Safari currently available in iOS 15 has been updated to make the mobile browser a bit more functional. For starters, the Share button is now in the tab bar that sits at the bottom of the window. Additionally, the Reload button is finally back in the tab bar, and it's also in the Share menu.
That tab bar also gets a Reader button, for easy access to Reader mode (when websites support it), which can also be opened in the Share menu. Additionally, when you long press the URL in the tab bar, you'll also see a new Show Bookmarks option to more quickly access your favorites.
Shareable Memories: The Photos app has been updated with a new interface for sharing Memories (those photo packages it generates for you under the "For You" section), and you can even add a "Shareable Soundtrack" of copyright-free music that plays while someone watches.
Visual tweaks: The fourth iOS 15 developer beta includes a variety of small interface tweaks, including a redesigned Notifications icon and menu in the Settings app, a new layout for your Account page in said Settings app, and a slightly different camera icon on the lock screen.
The new Notifications menu also now includes an option for turning off notifications while you're sharing or mirroring your screen, which is a nice touch for privacy.
MagSafe compatibility: The fourth beta of iOS 15 also includes improved support for the new Apple MagSafe Battery Pack. This means you'll see its current charge amount in the Settings app and the Batteries widget.
Focus sharing: There's also a new option in the Messages app to toggle sharing your Focus status with a given contact on or off. To access this feature, just tap on the contact's name.
iPadOS 15 beta 4 update: More Safari changes
Safari update: The 4th beta of iPadOS 15 is a bit more subtle than the other Apple device betas, though its biggest change seems to involve how the Safari interface works.
On previous versions of the iPadOS 15 beta, Safari had the Compact tab bar look a lot like the one on the iOS 15 version of Safari. Apple's new adjustments bring iPadOS 15 Safari more in line with the macOS Monterey version of the browser, by making the tab bar bigger and below the URL field, and always on by default.
However, there's an option in the iPad OS 15 beta 4 version of Safari to toggle back and forth between the old Compact Tab Bar layout and the new Separate Tab Bar layout, so you can switch back if you prefer the old ways.
macOS Monterey beta 4: Live Text comes to all Macs
Intel-based Macs get Live Text: The big change in macOS Monterey beta 4 is the addition of Apple's new Live Text feature for all Macs capable of running Monterey — not just Apple Silicon-based Macs.
This is a big deal because Live Text is one of the more exciting features coming to Apple devices, and it's good to see that older Macs aren't getting left behind. Just like on the iPhone, Live Text on macOS lets you select text in any image and do what you please with it, including paste it into another app.
Live Text is supposed to work with any and all images, not just those taken after you installed Monterey. It's a system-wide technology, so it should work across a ton of apps, including Photos, Preview, and Safari apps, as well as the Quick View window in Finder. If text isn't clear or the image is dark, Live Text may not work as well.
How to get the iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and Monterey betas
As outlined above, if you've already installed the developer betas of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, or macOS Monterey on your devices, you should receive the 4th beta updates over the air.
If you're (wisely) only running the public betas, you should expect to see these updates rolling out to your devices anytime from a few days to a week or so from now, as Apple typically waits a bit to ensure dev betas are stable before sending them on to the public.
If you haven't installed these betas and feel like living dangerously, take advantage of our guides below to help you install them on your device with a minimum of fuss: