iOS and iPadOS 13.3.1: The third beta has been released to public beta testers

Another week, another iOS beta bugfix release. The staggered and piecemeal release of iOS 13 has been anything but smooth. When iOS 13.3 was released, we thought Apple might be done fixing bugs and adding features for awhile (at least until the new year). But lo and behold, the beta releases of iOS and iPadOS 13.3.1 have begun.

Update 01/23/20: Apple has released the third beta of iOS 13.3.1 and iPadOS 13.3.1 to developers and public beta testers.

What’s new in iOS 13.3.1

Networking & Wireless location

After some concerns that the new Ultra-wideband wireless chip allowed for tracking users’ location, Apple has added a switch to disable location tracking for networking and wireless functions. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services to find it.

Screen Time communication limits fix

A new feature in iOS 13.3, communication limits, allowed parents to control to whom their children can talk, and when. A workaround allowed people to text an unknown number to a child’s phone, which they could add to Contacts, and then communicate with more freely. We don’t yet have confirmation, but we expect iOS 13.3.1 will close this loophole.

Bug fixes

Users have encountered quite a few bugs in iOS 13.3. Some have encountered an issue with re-connecting to cellular networks when Wi-Fi doesn’t work, speakerphone and FaceTime echo, problems with the Mail app, and more. We expect many of these to be fixed in iOS 13.3.1.

How to get the iOS 13.3.1 beta

Using the iPhone or iPad you want to install the iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 beta on, head to beta.apple.com. At the top of the page, select Enroll Your Device. Select iOS or iPad OS. Download the profile—you’ll get a pop-up warning that the website is trying to download a configuration profile. 

Once the profile is downloaded, go to Settings > General > Profile to see that it’s there. Tap on it and follow the on-screen instructions to make sure the profile is verified and active.

Then, update your iPhone as you usually would: head to Settings > General > Software Update.