Apple Unveils Public Version of iOS 10.1 Beta Release

The public beta version follows the developer beta version, which Apple also just released. The full iOS 10 release debuted Sept. 13.  

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Apple has released the public beta version 10.1 of its iOS 10 mobile operating system, just nine days after the company made the full version of the latest iOS 10 system available to users on Sept. 13.

The public beta of iOS 10.1 allows registered users to download and test out the code, though Apple recommends that beta versions only be loaded onto spare devices and not onto primary use machines. The beta program allows users to test-drive new releases as they are built and to provide feedback and other insights.

The iOS 10.1 public beta was posted by Apple on Sept. 22, according to a report by Macrumors.

One new feature of the iOS 1.1 beta is a "portrait mode" for the camera in the iPhone 7 that changes the depth of field in images to better simulate images taken with high-end, dedicated digital SLR cameras, the article said. Also included in iOS 10 10.1 beta are a redesigned Lock screen, a Siri SDK for third-party app integration with Siri, a redesigned Messages app and more.

The full iOS 10 operating system came out Sept. 13 for iPhone, iPad and iPod users brought a wide array of new features and app improvements that give users added functions and capabilities with their devices, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The full version of iOS 10 was released for download by users just three days before Apple began selling its latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus smartphones.

iOS 10 got a major update for iOS Messaging, which now gives users more expressive and animated ways to message friends and family, and wider capabilities for Siri to work and interact with various apps. Also included are new capabilities to use 3D Touch as well as many redesigned and improved apps, such as Maps, Photos, Apple Music and News apps. In addition, the latest iOS 10 version provides new capabilities for developers who want to expand their work with apps such as Siri, Maps, Phone and Messages through their updated APIs, according to Apple.

The updated Messaging app now lets users send messages in their own handwriting, which will appear for recipients in an animated form on their iPhones, like it is being written on paper. Plus, users will be able to send messages that include animated on-screen banners, such as "Happy Birthday!" or "Congratulations!" Also featured in Messaging is a new invisible ink feature that lets users send a message invisibly to a recipient who will be able to reveal the message. In addition, other features, including quick reply "tap-backs" and the ability to send graphics, such as fireballs, heartbeats, sketches and more, are available to users, who will also be able to draw on videos, attach "stickers" and jazz up their messages in other ways.

The iOS 10 software is compatible with the latest iPhone 7 devices through the iPhone 5, as well as iPad models, including the 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad Pros, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 4th generation, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 2. Also compatible is the iPod touch 6th generation.

Apple unveiled iOS 10 and macOS Sierra operating systems at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The beta version of iOS 10 came out in July.

The initial rollout of the iOS 10 software disabled some devices, causing them to be "bricked" and nonfunctional, a problem Apple quickly fixed. The iOS 10 bricking issue began surfacing just after users could begin installing the new operating system on their devices. The devices became disabled when some users tried to perform over-the-air updates on their hardware, rather than plugging the devices into a computer and downloading the updates.

This was at least the third time in 2016 that Apple devices have been disabled due to iOS update problems, with the previous two incidents involving iOS 9 in February and in May.