Apple is on a roll when it comes to releasing new firmware versions for the benefit of its global user base. It’s becoming actually quite difficult to keep up with the multitude of iOS releases that we’ve been seeing over the last few weeks, with the latest release out of Cupertino being the immediate availability of iOS 11.2 beta 2 for those individuals registered with the Apple Beta Software Program.
This particular release means that anyone who is involved in the Apple Beta Software Program no longer needs to feel left out from a testing and availability perspective.
Apple originally issued beta 2 in the first instance to developers with a brand new iPhone X late last week before following that up with a second release earlier this week to support all other compatible 64-bit devices. Of course, those devices had to be owned by someone with developer account privileges to be eligible to install iOS 11.2 beta 2. Apple has now officially widened that pool of testers with the inclusion of public testers.
Those who actually are enrolled in the public testing program, and who have a compatible 64-bit iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and who have the beta configuration profile installed as well on the device, are able to grab the iOS 11.2 public beta 2 update as an over-the-air update with immediate availability.
From a feature and improvement perspective, iOS 11.2 is much more than a simple point update.
One of the biggest inclusions in this release is the availability of Apple Pay Cash beta on compatible iPhone and iPad devices. This is available for users in the U.S. for now, and more specifically those users who have two-factor authentication set up on their iOS device. You will of course need a compatible credit card or debit card too to be able to use this new service.
Since Apple Pay Cash beta is live in public beta 2, and the fact that public beta 2 build is exactly same as developer beta 2 released yesterday, this feature is also available to those developers who installed the developer beta 2 seed. Moreover, Apple Watch users get to join the Apple Pay Cash party too with watchOS 4.2 beta 2.
In addition to Apple Pay Cash feature, it also seems that Apple will be using iOS 11.2 to change how Auto-Renewable Subscriptions will work by introducing the capability to offer discounted introductory prices for apps being downloaded by users.
Apple has been continually looking at and revisiting app monetization and revenue splits over the last 12-18 months and it appears that the availability of the new SKProductDiscount and SKProductSubscriptionPeriod classes in the iOS SDK are the next step in that progression. Of course, the platform also contains a number of additional improvements, bug fixes, and security enhancements which make it worthy of that iOS 11.2 title.
As mentioned earlier, members of the Apple Beta Software Program can download iOS 11.2 public beta 2 right now from Settings > General > Software Update, or beta.apple.com.
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