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Apple Ships More Developer Betas for Xcode 8.3, iOS 10.3

Apple yesterday made available to its developer community a bunch of new beta versions of its software products, including third betas of its upcoming Xcode 8.3 IDE and iOS 10.3 mobile operating system.

The third beta of iOS 10.3 comes only two weeks after the second beta was released, as Apple ramps up for the upccoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, Calif., in June. This third beta includes mostly bug fixes, though reviewers have identified a new "App Compatibility" section under Settings. There, uses can find apps that won't be compatible with future versions of the OS, which is moving completely to a 64-bit architecture. Once it identifies such apps, the new tool checks the App Store for any updates. If none are available, it warns users that they need to contact the developers of the problematic apps.

The upcoming iOS 10.3 version will introduce several new features, including a new Apple File System and -- causing the most buzz among users -- a "Find My AirPods" tool that provides a map showing the phone's last known location when the ear phones were plugged in. Of special interest to developers are new rules for managing App Store ratings and reviews, including the ability -- long available on other platforms -- to respond publicly to reviews of their apps.

The release notes for the third beta version of Xcode 8.3, meanwhile, highlight the deprecation of the Swift 2.3 programming language, warning developers to migrate their projects that contain v2.3 code to Swift 3 syntax. New features in the third beta of Xcode 8.3 include enhancements to the Interface Builder, Core Data and the build system. It also lists resolved issues concerning Swift and Apple LLVM compilers and details a couple known issues concerning the Swift compiler.

Besides the Xcode and iOS beta, others made available yesterday include macOS 10.12.4 beta 3, watchOS 3.2 beta 3 and tvOS 10.2 beta 3.

The new betas, following standard Apple procedure, were yesterday first released to members of the Apple Developer Program ($99 per year). Such betas are typically then soon thereafter released to members of the company's Beta Software Program, which is free but requires registration via an Apple ID.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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