Apple has released beta 4 of iOS 7 for the iPhone, iPad and iPhone touch, which introduces numerous interface enhancements, features, and confirms the presence of a fingerprint sensor in the next iPhone.
Apple has released iOS 7 beta 4 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to registered developers, three weeks after the previous beta was made available. Beta 4 brings numerous tweaks to the interface of various apps and parts of the OS, but the most interesting thing uncovered in the beta files is a folder called “BiometricKitUI,” pretty much confirming that the next iPhone will include a fingerprint sensor.
A few strings in an XML file point at a user being able to swipe the sensor on the iPhone’s home button. According to a source familiar with the development of the new iPhone, the user-interface for the fingerprint scanning system has been complete, meaning Apple will put a fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S in all likelihood, beating Samsung to the punch.
However, for the first iteration, Apple is apparently only focusing the fingerprint tech around unlocking the phone, so it remains to be seen if, and when, the company develops other uses for the sensor. Rumors have hinted at a payment system being built around it, but no mention of such features has been found in beta 4, not yet anyway.
As for the changes in the latest beta, Apple has added numerous tweaks to various parts of the interface, including tweaks to the call button in the dialer, keyboard, Safari graphics, camera UI, animations and transparency in folders, the back and home buttons in the setup screen, new AirPlay icons, and plenty more. The revamped interface is the biggest change in the latest version of the OS, and it’s clear enhancements are going to keep flowing in until the official release.
A few features have been added as well, such as new filters in camera, option to shuffle all songs (this is a returning functionality), Q/A in Siri, search option in Reminders app, notification for completed uploads, ability to swipe between panels in Notification Center, among other things. Oh, and the lockscreen has been made less confusing and simpler, too.
The latest iOS 7 beta is available via the over-the-air Software Update function in the iOS Settings app, and it is expected that Apple will only release two more betas before moving on to the more stable Gold Master candidates in September. If you’re a registered developer, well, go ahead and download beta 4 and knock yourselves out with all the new stuff.