Two days after Apple released the final versions of iOS 12.3 and watchOS 5.2.1, the company is ready to give developers their first tastes of iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3. These will likely be Apple’s final point releases for each operating system ahead of June’s WWDC 2019 event in San Jose, California.
While iOS 12.2 was focused largely on updates to the News app, adding support for the News+ subscription option, iOS 12.3 largely improved upon the TV app, including support for subscription Channels, AirPlay 2 streaming to smart TVs, and deeper integration with the iTunes Store for video purchasing. iOS 12.4 is expected to include support for the Apple Card, the company’s first credit card, the physical version of which has reportedly been circulating to internal testers over the last week.
watchOS 5.2.1 was most notably touted as adding ECG app support for a handful of Eastern European countries, but also added analog and digital Pride watch faces — a full-screen 2019 digital option, and full-screen or circular analog options, each with a rainbow face. The predecessor release, watchOS 5.2, similarly focused on expanding ECG support and Hermès watch faces. It’s expected that watchOS 5.3 will include Apple Card support at a minimum, paralleling the beta version of iOS 12.4.
Apple has said that Apple Card will become generally available to consumers this summer, which is notably ahead of the expected public release dates for iOS 13 and watchOS 6. The company typically debuts the first betas of its major new operating systems in June before completed versions are publicly released in September, so iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3 are better positioned to add Apple Card support in time for summer purchasing.
The iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3 betas are now available to registered developers from Apple’s developer site, alongside betas of macOS 10.14.6 and tvOS 12.4. Public betas will likely follow soon thereafter.