iOS 13 Public Beta 4 Gives Us Dark Mode On Demand

iOS 13 Public Beta 4

Welcome back! As we head deeper into the iOS 13 beta, things are getting a little more stable and we’re seeing more nuanced changes as Apple developers are able to work on “fit and finish” elements.

iOS 13 Public Beta 4 is based on Developer Beta 5 – suffice to say, it’s definitely an improvement, with lots of known issues fixed.

But, as these things often go, when old bugs are fixed, new bugs are introduced. Keep on reading to check out what’s new, what’s fixed, and what’s still busted in iOS 13 Public Beta 4!

What’s New

While Apple doesn’t list all the little polishing bits they do to the UI and the behavior of their official apps in the official developer release notes, that doesn’t mean there aren’t new things to be found.

  • The new volume indicator (which I haven’t talked about yet, but is really cool) now has more gradations in-between full volume and muted.
  • If you’re a fan of the Home app, you’ll love the new wallpapers!
  • Now it’s easier to tell when you’re in Private mode in Safari – the bottom row of icons will be black instead of blue.
  • Speaking of Safari, you can now long-press the icon to launch a new tab without even opening the app.
  • There are a ton of new Move goals in the Activity app…so get moving already!
  • The Share sheet is now grouped into sections, with the most common share options just below the app list. You can also click Edit Actions to add, remove, and rearrange the Share sheet.
  • My favorite new trick is under Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Dark Appearance. Select that and a triple-click of the Home button will activate dark mode!
  • A fun little UI bit – wherever you have a button toggle between two lists (like in the Battery Health section of the Settings app), you can now slide the button over rather than clicking.

What’s Fixed

Last week’s bug list was prodigious. Luckily, a lot of those same bugs are hanging out in this week’s “fixed” list.

  • Manually initiating iCloud backup from Settings > iCloud Account > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now, gives you proper progress bar progress.
  • With Vivint’s latest app update, it now launches as expected.
  • No longer do you have to suffer under the tyranny of unlimited “One more minute” requests.
  • Instagram stories audio is back, baby!
  • Also, WhatsApp is back to behaving nicely. Forwarding messages as expected and eschewing duplicate notifications.
  • Bank with Wells Fargo again without fear of it crashing (well, the app at least).
  • Like sharing images from the Mail app? It’s working again without issue.

What’s Broken

We might be up to Public Beta 4, but it’s still early enough in the development cycle that the bug list will be long. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on weird behavior and try to replicate anything you find. Then use the Feedback app! After all, that’s supposedly what you’re in the Public Beta for to begin with.

  • The new Find My app is a smart melding of the Find My Phone and Find My Friends apps. But it’s still a little buggy. The “Notify when found” feature isn’t working. Apple Pay cards might remain suspended after a device exits Lost Mode. And, while iOS & iPadOS 13 are still in beta, the offline-finding capability is limited. Use this app with care.
  • You might see the message: “Couldn’t connect to iCloud” when creating a new Pages, Numbers, or Keynote documents in a shared folder. Close and reopen the document to fix it.
  • Localization bugs plague development as always – devices set to use certain languages might exhibit clipped or misaligned layout or display unlocalized text.
  • Using Messages in iCloud? You might see prompts to repair your account and your messages might not sync with other devices.
  • If you enable Share Across Devices, Screen Time settings don’t sync with iCloud until your iOS device is restarted. And make sure that you do, because any edits you make to your Screen Time settings on that device before restarting are lost.
  • Shortcuts automations are temporarily unavailable.
  • AirPods might disconnect unexpectedly when Announce Messages with Siri is enabled unless music is playing while receiving a new message.
  • Do Not Disturb settings might not synchronize between your phone and watch until both are updated to iOS 13 beta 4 and watchOS 6 beta 4.
  • Also on the Apple Watch front, after updating to iOS 13 beta, if your watch isn’t running watchOS 6 beta, you might see complications disappear. And if you don’t upgrade to watchOS beta 2 or later? Your iOS 13 beta device won’t connect at all.
  • Chromecast streaming? Still a crap shoot.

And there’s much more in the official release notes. Before you decide to upgrade, read them carefully. If you see anything that gives you pause, don’t upgrade or, better yet, restore your device back to iOS 12.

What’s Next?

We’ve reached that point in the development cycle where Apple is feeling confident enough about builds that they don’t have to do multi-day staggers between releases. The next iOS 13 Developer Beta should be out next week, with iOS 13 Public Beta 5 being released the next day.