Apple releases beta 6 for macOS 11.3, tvOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4

Apple has released the sixth betas of macOS Big Sur 11.3, tvOS 14.5, and watchOS 7.4 to developers, with macOS 11.3 update also available to public beta testers. These updates come a week after the fifth betas were released, and also coincide with the release of iOS 14.5 beta 6.

iOS iPadOS watchOS macOS tvOS

macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 6

macOS 11.3 is a huge update and features a number of changes which include new Safari customization options, optimizations for iPhone and iPad apps on M1 Macs, game controller emulation, and support for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S controllers. The Reminders and Apple News apps has also received some updates, and Apple Music now supports autoplay, similar to iOS 14. There is also an improved Optimized Battery Charging feature available in this update. HomePod users can also set their stereo pairs as default audio output devices from their Macs.

tvOS 14.5 beta 6

tvOS 14.5 does not have many new noticeable changes, however, a few new features have been discovered under the hood. Apple has renamed Siri Remote to Apple TV Remote in all locations now, which hints towards a rebranding or perhaps a new Remote model is coming out soon. References to FaceTime and iMessage framework have also been found in tvOS 14.5 code, which might hint towards Apple’s upcoming smart speakers with a camera and display.

watchOS 7.4 beta 6

The biggest update to watchOS 7.4 is support for unlocking iPhone with Face ID, while wearing a mask. Apple has added detection for masks so that an unlocked Apple Watch can unlock the paired iPhone. However, this only works for unlocking an iPhone, but not for payments and other functions via Face ID. For those, users need to either reveal their face or use a passcode for authentication.

watchOS 7.4 also supports AirPlay 2 for Apple Fitness+ which means that users can stream workouts to an Apple TV or another AirPlay 2 compatible TV.

All these updates are currently being beta tested and are expected to release to all users in Spring.

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