Now that the nearly simultaneously releases of iOS 13.0 and 13.1 are fully in the rearview mirror, and the final version of iOS 13.2 has been making its way onto eligible devices, Apple is today releasing the first developer beta of iOS 13.3, alongside related betas for iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS 6.1. The point releases are expected to fix bugs while adding features that were announced at WWDC back in June, but left out of the prior version 13 releases.
One addition to iOS 13.3 and iPadOS 13.3 is an enhancement to the popular Screen Time parental controls option, called Communication Limits. In prior versions of iOS and iPadOS, Screen Time included full-device downtime, app-specific time limits, content restrictions, privacy safeguards, and a whitelist of always permitted apps. At WWDC, Apple announced an additional feature that would let parents blacklist and whitelist specific contacts for communication purposes, but the feature didn’t make it into the public iOS or iPadOS 13 releases.
As demonstrated, the feature lets a parent permit “everyone” or only specific contacts to communicate with the device’s user while Screen Time is turned on. With “contacts only” turned on, Communication Limits prevents unknown callers from ringing on the device. It also lets parents decide whether or not their kids can edit contacts — perhaps to change or hide contacts’ true identities — and automatically add a parent to group communications for monitoring of discussions.
Another expected iOS and iPadOS 13 feature, iCloud folder sharing, was recently delayed from “later this fall” to “spring,” suggesting that it won’t be included in the 13.3 updates — but Apple hasn’t fully disclosed all of the new beta’s features yet. Similarly, it’s unclear at this point what today’s tvOS 13.3 and watchOS 6.1.1 betas include, but they’re likely to contain under-the-hood improvements related to the ones introduced in iOS and iPadOS.
The first developer releases of iOS 13.3, iPadOS 13.3, tvOS 13.3, and watchOS 6.1.1 is available now, and can be downloaded by registered developers through the software update features of iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, and Apple Watches, respectively. Public betas for the first three OSes will likely follow shortly.