Hot on the heels of iOS 11.4, which was released to the public just yesterday, Apple has today released the first developer beta of iOS 11.4.1, a release which itself comes just days ahead of what is expected to be the first outing of iOS 12 in beta form.
That outing will likely come during the opening keynote of WWDC 2018 on June 4th, making this latest iOS beta old news pretty fast indeed.
That doesn’t meant that it isn’t an important update, though. Interestingly and unusually, Apple has not shared any specific release notes for this 11.4.1 update – neither with developers nor with anyone else – and they usually do that with most beta releases however the release notes file which accompany iOS 11.4.1 beta 1 is strangely empty.
What this likely means is that iOS 11.4.1 is mainly a bug fix release with security patches and hidden support for any potential new hardware – like iPad Pro or iPhone SE 2 – that might get announced at WWDC. The changes being made are very likely to be under-the-hood rather than anything user facing, which in turn means we may never know what has been actually altered in this release.
It’s also not particularly unusual for Apple to run multiple beta releases simultaneously, so it’s very possible that we will see iOS 11.4.1 continue in beta format for a while even if iOS 12’s initial beta release arrives following that opening WWDC keynote.
The release of iOS 11.4 saw a lot of new features arrive that should perhaps have been here long ago, many of which were announced almost a year ago now. With AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud now shipped though, there is a school of thought that iOS 11.4 finally puts the iOS 11 progression to bed, just in time for iOS 12 to be announced next week. Quite what that iOS 12 update will look like we do not yet know, but we wouldn’t expect any huge feature changes this time around, especially if recent rumors of a more maintenance-like release are accurate.
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