Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS

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Apple has released the fourth batch of developer betas for iOS, tvOS, watchOS and macOS.

The betas are seeding out to developers first via over-the-air updates or through the Apple Developer Center. Generally these beta updates are made publicly available a few days after developers get their hands on them.

iOS 11.4 is adding support for its ClassKit API, Apple’s big push into the education market. ClassKit will allow developers to begin building apps to work with Apple’s education focused software and upcoming Schoolwork app.

Apple is also bringing support for Messages in iCloud. The feature was originally supposed to be part of iOS 11 and was also included in the beta, but never saw full release. The feature synchronizes chat between multiple devices on the same Apple ID.

iOS and tvOS 11.4 are also getting AirPlay 2, an extension of the original AirPlay protocol. It allows content to be sent to multiple receivers, like speakers. AirPlay 2, like Messages in iCloud, was available in iOS 11.3 beta, though Apple removed it before the full release.

For macOS 10.13.5, Messages in iCloud is the most significant new addition. Along with it comes Business Chat, a service that lets users communicate directly with businesses through Messages, though this feature isn’t available in Canada. The update also adjusts how Safari sorts bookmarks and adds clarity on privacy and personal data. Overall, the new update for macOS consists mostly of small performance improvements and bug fixes.

Apple’s watchOS 4.3.1 doesn’t appear to have any major new additions. However, since the first beta release, notifications have been appearing stating that old apps will not be supported in newer versions of watchOS.

Hopefully the bug fixes, especially in the case of iOS 11.4, are effective. iOS 11.3 and 11.3.1 were plagued with minor issues.