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Apple releases iOS 16.6 beta 5 to developers

Published Jul 10th, 2023 1:09PM EDT
iOS 16.4 beta
Image: Apple Inc.

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A couple of weeks after seeding the latest beta of iOS 16, beta 5 is now available to developers. This new testing version comes a week after Apple seeded iOS 17 beta 3, and it follows the testing cycle of the upcoming operating system for iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and newer.

At the moment, there are no visible changes on iOS 16.6 beta. After a small iOS 16.5 update, Apple is still sharpening its software as the company prepares iOS 17, iPadOS 17, tvOS 17, watchOS 10, and macOS Sonoma for a fall release.

An early iOS 16.6 beta build added references for Contact Key Verification, according to iOS developer Steve Moser.

Message Contact Key Verification is a feature announced by the company at the end of 2022. While Apple has already rolled out Security Keys for Apple ID and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud during the iOS 16 cycle, the firm still had to release that other function.

For those unaware, iMessage Contact Key Verification lets users verify if they are communicating only with whom they intend. This is especially helpful for journalists, human rights activists, and government members.

Apple says that “conversations between users who have enabled iMessage Contact Key Verification receive automatic alerts if an exceptionally advanced adversary, such as a state-sponsored attacker, were ever to succeed breaching cloud servers and inserting their own device to eavesdrop on these encrypted communications. And for even higher security, iMessage Contact Key Verification users can compare a Contact Verification Code in person, on FaceTime, or through another secure call.”

As of now, it’s unclear if iOS 16.6 will bring this feature, but Apple has already started testing it. In addition, Steve Moser says Apple continues to work on Sports related features in the TV app, although he couldn’t disclose what’s new.

Besides iOS 16.6, Apple is also beta testing iPadOS 16.6, watchOS 9.6, macOS 13.5, and tvOS 16.6. BGR will let you know throughout this beta cycle what’s new.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.