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Apple is now on its seventh generation of betas, providing developers with fresh builds of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 to test out.
The newest builds can be downloaded via the Apple Developer Center for those enrolled in the test program, or via an over-the-air update on devices running the beta software. Public betas typically arrive within a few days of the developer versions, via the Apple Beta Software Program website.
Round seven takes over from round six, which arrived on August 17 for iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS 8. Round five was on August 10, August 11 for watchOS, round four was on July 27, and round 3 was on July 14.
As the eventual expected release for the milestone operating systems nears in the fall, it is likely that Apple will accelerate the rate of beta tests ahead of the final release.
iOS 15 adds improvements to Messages and FaceTime, Focus modes, on-device Live Text OCR, a digital ID in Wallet, updated Weather and Maps apps, digital ID support in Wallet, and other changes. The fourth beta included the ability to remove unwanted lens flares from images.
Over on iPadOS 15, Apple updated the multitasking functionality, added home screen widget support, system-wide Quick Note, and imported the Translate app from iOS, among other alterations. Swift Playgrounds had arguably the most important change, as it is now able to be used to develop apps on the iPad, as well as to submit apps to the App Store.
For watchOS 8, Apple includes Tai Chi and Pilates workouts in the Fitness app, respiratory rates in the Sleep app, new mosaic layouts and memories in Photos, and cursor control with the Digital Crown and GIF search to Messages.
AppleInsider, and Apple itself, strongly recommend users don’t install the betas on to “mission-critical” or primary devices, as there is the remote possibility of data loss or other issues. Instead, testers should install betas onto secondary or non-essential devices, and to make sure there are sufficient backups of important data before updating.
Update: Apple has also released public beta versions of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 for testing.