Today Apple released the second betas of its latest operating systems to registered developers. iOS 16 received the most love with a slew of updates.

New features

Beta 2 of iOS 16 includes a number of notable new features. The first is the ability to create iCloud backups while connected to 4G LTE or 5G. This marks a huge change for Apple as backups have historically only been possible over WiFi.

Another notable and welcome change is the introduction of verified brand logos in the built-in mail app. This should make it much easier for users to discern genuine emails from phishing scams.

Apple has also expanded its Junk reporting feature in the Messages app. When long pressing on the unrecognised senders’ name, you’ll be presented with the option to ‘Delete and Report Junk’. This was only possible for messages sent as an iMessage. However, the feature has now expanded to SMS and MMS messages.

The new lock screen introduced in beta 1 has seen a handful of refinements. There are new filters, a location dot on the dynamic astronomy wallpaper, the dynamic astronomy wallpaper comes to iPhone XS and XR, and the system-level video player supports haptic touch for scrubbing through videos.

macOS Ventura Beta 2, watchOS 9 beta 2, iPadOS 16 beta 2

Apple’s other new operating systems also received beta 2 releases today. Though reporting on new features has been limited at present. The iPad will of course benefit from many of the updates to iOS 16 mentioned above. Though for the Mac and Apple Watch, it’s unclear if these new builds contain any major new features. If anything, the new builds should improve stability and performance over beta 1 though these are still very early betas. It isn’t recommended that you install these on mission-critical devices.

Tim Cook teases AR Headset

In an interview with China Daily, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed the future of AR. It’s no secret that Apple has an ‘intense interest’ in Augmented Reality. The company has invested heavily in its ARkit framework for iOS and even created a new open-source file format (USDZ) for 3D AR models. But at present no hardware products have materialised.

We have 14,000 AR kit apps on the App Store which provides an AR experience for millions of consumers worldwide. I could not be more excited about the opportunities in the space. Sort of stay tuned and you will see what we have to offer

Tim Cook via China Daily

The AppleTLDR take

Tim’s comments are notable against the backdrop of Metaverse-related news today. As reported by Reuters, a number of tech giants have announced today that they are collaborating on new, open standards to ensure interoperability in the Metaverse. Huge companies like Meta, Microsoft, Epic Games, Adobe, Sony, Qualcomm, Autodesk and several more are coming together to work on the project. Apple is a notable absentee.

Apple likes to own the primary technology but is open to creating industry open-source standards when it makes sense. Thunderbolt for example was created by Apple and Intel and is now widely used by the entire industry. But it may be that Apple’s ambitions in the AR space are simply incompatible with the ideas floated around by the open standards group.

Of course, Apple isn’t the only big name missing from the list. The other one is Google…

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