Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of iOS 11.2.5 to Developers and Public Beta Testers [Updated]
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2.5 update to developers, one week after seeding the fifth beta and a little over a week after 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.
iOS 11.2.5 introduces a new feature that lets Siri 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. This new feature is also available on devices running iOS 11.2.2 as of this week.
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 five 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.
Update: The iOS 11.2.5 beta 6 update appears to fix a bug that allowed a malicious link to freeze the Messages app on iOS devices.