Updated 11/13/17: The third iOS 11.2 beta is available for developers. The public beta version should follow in a couple days.
iOS 11 is the biggest change to Apple’s mobile operating system in years. It’s so ambitious in scope that many of it’s promised features still haven’t shipped yet. iOS 11.1 mostly fixed bugs and brought us a bunch of new emoji, but iOS 11.2 is more substantial, with the addition of Apple Pay Cash. Hopefully, it will also introduce iMessage in iCloud.
Here’s what we know about 11.2 so far. What’s in it, when it’s coming, and how you can grab the beta right now.
What’s in iOS 11.2?
So far we’re only up to the third beta release, and the changes appear to be mostly small bug fixes and a little extra polish, with one major new addition: Apple Pay Cash.
Notably, Apple fixed that bug in the Calculator app where your input was waiting for long animations to play out (if you hit 1+2+3 you’d get 24, because it didn’t register the second plus sign).
There are a number of small visual changes. Album art in the Command Center is in a square icon, a few emojis have new art, there’s a new waiting animation for the Live Photo effects (loop, bounce, and long exposure), and you can now access the same wallpapers that came with the iPhone 8 and X on other iPhone models.
In terms of new features, the most prominent one is the ability to control AirPlay 2 devices in Control Center. You can quickly switch between controlling multiple different playback destinations independently. This is important groundwork for the coming HomePod release, but it works with Apple TV (4th generation or 4K) right now if you update that device to the tvOS 11.2 beta as well.
11.2 beta 2: The biggest change to 11.2 is the addition of Apple Pay Cash. According to Apple’s support site, you’ll need a device with iOS 11.2 (beta 2 or later), you’ll need to be at least 18 and live in the U.S., and you’ll need two-factor authentication and have an eligible card set up in your Wallet.
This update adds three new live wallpapers for the iPhone X. It also brings a change for developers who offer recurring subscriptions—they’ll be able to charge introductory rates. For example, a service that costs $10 a month could be free for the first two weeks, or $5 for the first month. This change should affect tvOS 11.2 as well, so all those subscription streaming services might get introductory deals.
iOS 11.2 beta 2 also fixes that weird captial-I bug.
11.2 beta 3: Beta 3 was released to developers on November 13, one week after the second beta. The public beta version will probably be released in a day or two. One important change spotted in this beta: The new Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggle behavior in Control Center is explained in a pop-up window.
When will 11.2 arrive?
We don’t have an official release date for iOS 11.2, but the release of another Apple product can help us narrow it down a little.
iOS 11.2 appears to lay some important groundwork for HomePod, including controlling multiple AirPlay 2 devices in control center and the Music app. HomePod ships first in the U.S., UK, and Australia in December, so iOS 11.2 is going to have to be released before then.
How can I grab the 11.2 public beta?
If you want to try out the changes for yourself, you can help Apple test the latest iOS update. The first iOS 11.2 beta for developers was released on October 30, and the first public beta release on November 1. The second 11.2 developer beta was released on November 3 for the iPhone X, and on November 5 for other iPhones. The public beta for 11.2 rolled out on November 7. The third developer beta dropped on November 13.
Once you log in to the Beta Software Program page, you’ll see a link to Enroll your iOS device. Apple will remind you to make a backup (you should definitely back up to iTunes, and Apple recommends you “archive” the backup to make sure it’s saved), and then you’re instructed to go to beta.apple.com/profile on the iOS device that you want to put the beta on, in order to download and install a configuration profile. That will make the beta available as an over-the-air software update in the Settings app.