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Apple publishes iOS 7 Beta 4

Apple published their latest beta of the iOS 7 for registered developers. We take a quick peak at it and learn what we may expect from future Apple devices.

The iOS 7 Beta 4 was expected to be distributed last week. However, the attack on Apple's developer website has played havoc with their schedule for pretty much everything, including said beta. Now the registered Apple developers finally have the latest version of the future operating system and the feedback so far has been very positive.

On the one hand we have the layout, which looks more modern and trimmed down than previous versions. New icons have found their way into this beta, the font has been re-designed and all the animations are smoother and faster. Speaking of it, there are also new animations for various tasks like downloading apps. But not only the looks have improved: Siri now talks much more fluently than ever before and its (her? his?) help screen now includes recommendations for question and answer queries. Most importantly however, the newest beta is noticeably faster and feels optimized.

However, the most talked about new feature is one that cannot even be used by current Apple devices and was found buried deep in the system. A developer found a folder called BiometricKitUI.axbundle - a name that raised hopes about a fingerprint sensor. That hope was confirmed after finding a text file inside that folder mentioning the use of a fingerprint sensor on an iPhone. So will the iPhone 5s indeed come with the option of unlocking the phone by putting your thumb on the home button? Will you be able to use your fingerprint instead of passwords and PIN codes?

The final release of the iOS 7 is still weeks away and we will surely see several more betas on the way - but from what we have witnessed so far, the new operating system looks good. Very good indeed.


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Kurt Jonke, 2013-07-30 (Update: 2013-07-31)