iOS and iPadOS 13.4: Apple releases the first public beta

Apple still has plenty left in store for iOS 13 before moving on to iOS 14 (which we will likely hear about this summer at WWDC). A week after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.3.1, it began beta-testing iOS 13.4. This point release brings several welcome new features.

Update 02/10/20: Apple has released the first public beta version of iOS 13.4. See instructions below for how to register your device to participate in the public beta.

What’s new in iOS and iPadOS 13.4

We don’t know every little change in the new iOS 13.4 beta—there are no official release notes yet—but here are a few of the things discovered by the Apple community so far.

iCloud folder sharing

Finally, one of the most anticipated features of iOS 13, first promoted at WWDC last summer, is about to be released. With the iOS 13.4, iPadOS 13.4, and macOS 10.15.4 release, users can finally share iCloud folders.

Combined iOS and Mac purchases

Another long-sought-after feature, Apple will finally make it possible for developers to sell iPad and iPhone apps bundled together. The new Xcode 11.4 beta automatically enables “unified purchases” for new Catalyst-based apps, but existing apps can enable the feature, too. 

The change applies to more than just initial purchases, too. In-app purchases can be shared across Mac and iOS versions of an app, if the developer enables unified purchasing.

This change means that Apple is aligning Mac and iOS App Store categories. 

CarPlay features and CarKey

There is evidence that iOS 13.4 and watchOS 6.2 will include a new “CarKey” API that lets car makers build apps that integrate with Wallet, and then let you use your iPhone or Apple Watch as your key to lock, unlock, or start your car (provided your car has NFC key capabilities).