Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of iOS 11.2.5 to Developers and Public Beta Testers
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2.5 update to developers and public beta testers, a few days after seeding the fourth beta and releasing iOS 11.2.2, an update designed to mitigate a serious hardware-based vulnerability called "Spectre."
Registered developers can download the iOS 11.2.5 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. Public beta testers can get the beta over-the-air.
iOS 11.2.5 introduces a new feature that allows Siri to play daily news podcasts when queried about the current news. Siri will offer up news from The Washington Post by default, but you can also choose to switch to Fox News, CNN, or NPR.
The new audio news feature, which appears to have been developed for use with Apple's upcoming HomePod speaker, is invoked when using Hey Siri or asking Siri about the news when using CarPlay or with headphones connected - essentially any situation where you're not looking at the display of an iOS device. If you activate Siri using the side button or Home button of a device, standard Apple news headlines are provided instead of the audio-based news highlights.
It's not clear what other new features, if any, will be included in the iOS 11.2.5 beta. We didn't discover other noticeable outward-facing changes in the first four iOS 11.2.5 betas, so it's possible this update focuses mainly on bug fixes and security improvements aside from the Siri news update.
If that's the case, we may not know the extent of what's in the update until it sees a public release.
Apple is supposed to be releasing an iCloud Messages feature that was pulled from the iOS 11 release, but there has been no indication of when we can expect iCloud Messages to be reintroduced. Should new features be discovered in the fifth beta of iOS 11.2.5, we'll update this post.