The third beta test for Apple's iOS 8.2 has been seeded to developers today, meaning we're one step closer to a retail release for the newest version of the popular mobile operating system next year just in time for the Apple Watch.
iOS 8.2 will bring several bug fixes that were first introduced with iOS 8 when it was released on September 17, 2014. While the majority of vocal iOS users reported a generally bad experience with iOS 8's launch, Apple immediately began working on patches and fixes to alleviate the inevitable issues that happen with a major feature update like this. Apple reports that an estimated 63% of users have upgraded to iOS 8 since September.
Upon its original unveiling in June, Apple called iOS 8 "The biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the App Store," but a subsequent patch, 8.0.1, crippled cell service and disabled TouchID, causing Apple to immediately remove the patch. Further patches since then have mainly worked to clean up that original launch-day mess, but iOS 8.2 is said to be one of the larger patches since 8.0.
The first beta for 8.2 was released last month to fix major bugs, and the second beta was just released last week alongside the WatchKit SDK that allows developers to test out the functionality of the Apple Watch. Thanks to a smooth transition with that second beta, this third beta anticipates a possible final look for developers to get at Apple Watch's API before the patch goes live.
Bug fixes introduced with 8.2 beta 3 include "fixes for keyboards not appearing in Safari, Maps, or other third party apps, security updates, and other bug fixes." A glitch with Messages that allowed for excessive lag between touchscreen taps was also addressed. And finally, your friendly neighborhood voice assistant, Siri, was updated with Singapore English support.
In line with the health-related focus of the Apple Watch, this third beta also brought back blood glucose tracking and added data point descriptions in the Health app.
With Apple Watch being such a focus of the iOS 8.2 update, many believe that the projected "early 2015" launch date window for the smart wearable will happen very soon into the new year.
The Apple Watch allows for fitness tracking and health monitoring while maintaining the stylish appearance of a luxury wristwatch. It was first announced in September of 2014 and will require iOS 8.2.
The Apple Watch will utilize Apple's new touchless payment service, Apple Pay, and will be fully capable of sending and receiving phone calls, SMS texts, and iMessage notes.
The wearable smart watch will be available in a variety of models, ranging from ones with a composite back, Ion-X glass and lightweight aluminum, all the way up to the high-end ceramic-backed sapphire glass display models with hardened 18-karat gold cases and leather bands.
When the Apple Watch releases next year, it will be compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus all running iOS 8.2.