Apple's iOS 14.5 may have only just arrived but the third beta version of iOS 14.6 is already available to developers and promises a suite of powerful features.
9to5Mac (opens in new tab) has dug into the beta noting that while some of the alterations are only cosmetic they point to other notable changes coming in the final version of what will likely be the last major iPhone and iPad update before iOS 15.
- iOS 14.5 guide — meet the biggest new features for your iPhone
- Find out what's been rumored so far for iOS 15
- Plus: iPhone 13 leak reveals design details — and it’s bad news
The most interesting change can be found in the Find My app. Lost Mode now supports the use of a contact email address instead of your phone number to help reunite you with your misplaced possessions.
You can set the email as your Apple ID or change it to another address, but either way, it's a much more convenient method of leaving a message to say you've found someone's stuff.
The feature isn't quite finished yet though, since after 9to5Mac put an AirTag tracker into lost mode, the user message didn't display the email address its writer entered. Once it is complete, this feature likely to get a lot of use in tandem with the recently released AirTags.
A new App Store splash screens covering Apple's new App Tracking Transparency feature. This was introduced in iOS 14.5, and allows users to block apps from accessing their data for advertising purposes. While it's not been out that long, it already seems to be very popular with users, and rather unpopular with app developers who rely on ads to fund their development.
The Apple Podcasts splash screen also introduces the new premium podcast subscriptions and recommendation channels features that were discussed at Apple's Spring Loaded event. There isn't any sign of these features being in the app yet, but perhaps that will appear in later betas once the feature goes live this month.
If you missed them, there have been a few changes from previous betas of iOS 14.6. If you're testing a beta, you now have a choice in whether you update to the latest version or keep trying out an older one. A new Hi-Res Audio option for Apple Music was also spotted (via Macworld).
These changes aren't quite as big as those introduced in iOS 14.5, but that's likely because iOS 15 is not too far away. Apple debuts its new operating systems each year at WWDC, and WWDC 2021 has been announced for June 7 - 11. Rumors of new features in iOS 15 are limited right now, but there have been claims of a refreshed design and of changes to system notifications, widgets and privacy.