The iOS 8 release date inches closer as rumors suggest Apple is ready to deliver the iOS 8 beta 4 update on Monday July 21st, providing developers with new fixes and possibly small features for the new version of iPhone and iPad software.
Announced in June, the iOS 8 beta arrived for registered iPhone and iPad developers and as an option for users that want to try iOS 8 without waiting. For as little as $8 any iPhone or iPad user can register their device to take part in the iOS 8 beta.
Apple released the iOS 8 beta 3 on July 7th, a continuation of the every other week update that Apple followed for the first several iOS 8 betas.
As the summer pushes on and an iPhone 6 release date nears Apple presses on with the necessary updates to iOS 8 that ready it for a public release on the iPhone 6 and on older iPhones and iPads.
According to BGR, Apple plans an iOS 8 beta 4 release date for July 21st. This will likely take place around 1PM Eastern / 10 AM pacific as an over the air update for registered devices. The leak, from an Apple source, lines up with earlier update timing, so it is quite likely that this is when we will see a new version of iOS 8.
In the run up to the official iOS 8 release Apple will likely progress through five to eight betas, including a final beta that barring any major bugs is the same as the public iOS 8 release. Apple spent over 120 days and went through eight iOS 5 betas. The iOS 6 beta lasted five beta releases over a 90+ day period. In 2013 when Apple delivered a new look for iOS 7 the beta lasted over 1200 days for seven releases.
Read: 51 Cool iOS 8 Features
We are 45 days into the iOS 8 beta, which means the iOS 8 beta 4 release could easily mark a halfway point to the public iOS 8 release date. This assumes Apple keeps up the progress and mirrors past iOS beta timing. Combined with the iPhone 6 release date rumors pointing at late September it is possible we could see the iOS 8 release date in as little as 63 days, for a total iOS 8 beta period of 107 days.
This is based on reports that the iPhone 6 release date could take place on September 19th, which would point to an iOS 8 release date on September 17th, in line with previous iOS releases.
The Apple source does not reveal what Apple will fix or add to the iOS 8 beta 4 release. The last iOS 8 beta update provided increased stability and better performance on the iPhone 5s. It also added many small iOS 8 features that could stick into the public iOS 8 release this fall including;
- iCloud Drive Options
- Health Data from the iPhone 5s M7 processor
- More detailed weather info in the stock app
- Access to Recently deleted photos
- WiFi Calling on T-Mobile
- QuickType toggle to turn off the new iPhone keyboard feature
- and other small changes.
In addition to the fixes and updates that Apple adds to make iOS 8 work better, we often see the company try out some new features on a developer devices, but this does not mean every iOS 8 beta feature will make it to the final iOS 8 release this fall.
Apple does not intend for anyone other than developers to use the new software before the iOS 8 release this fall, but there are many users already trying the software on personal devices. If iOS 8 beta 4 is indeed a halfway point it may attract more casual users that want to try the new iPhone keyboard, Health tracking and other updates before the official iOS 8 release.
Apple did not announce an iOS 8 release, other than to let iPhone and iPad users know the update is coming this fall.