Out now: iOS 8 Beta 2, Yosemite Developer Preview 2, new Xcode and Apple TV software

Two weeks after releasing the first beta of iOS 8, Apple today seeded it developers with the second beta of both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

The Yosemite Developer Preview 2 (Build 14A261i) for Macs and a pre-release version of iOS 8 Beta 2 (build 12A4297e) for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices are available for download through Apple’s Dev Center.
The betas are available standalone or as over-the-air downloads via the Software Update mechanism…
As speculated, iOS 8 Beta 2 can now be downloaded through the Software Update section of the stock Settings app. The second beta of OS X 10.10 Yosemite is available to download from Dev Center, weighing in at 1.16 gigabytes, or as a Mac App Store update.
Likewise, the Apple TV set-top box has received a new beta firmware that brings iCloud Family Sharing to the big screen and allows developers to test new AirPlay features with their apps.
Interestingly, the 2010 Apple TV hardware is not supported. Finally, Xcode 6 Beta 2 (build 6A216f) with the included iOS 8 SDK Beta 2 and OS X 10.10 SDK can be found in Dev Center as well.
iOS 8 Beta 2 highlights:
  • Accessibility: the AssistiveTouch feature has added two new icons for Notification Center and Control Center.
  • App Store: you can now leave reviews and show Family Purchases. Also, Purchased items now sorted by purchase date rather than alphabetically.
  • Camera/Photos: Camera puts photo thumbnails to correct photos. New photos and videos taken with Burst, Slo-Mo and Timelapse modes now go into their separate albums. Photos puts up a splash page offering to enable iCloud Photos, replacing your existing Photo Stream settings. There’re also related new Last Synced and Pause options under Settings > iCloud > Photos.
  • iBooks: iBooks has a new interface to display books as series and automatically groups your purchased books based on series. You can tap the new “All in Series” button to complete your collection.
  • Messages: Camera and Voice buttons in Messages are no longer blue, the ability to mark all messages as read, new Raise to Listen option in Settings > Messages to let you “quickly listen and reply to incoming audio messages by raising the phone to your ear”.
  • Notifications: a new per-app Allow Notifications switch inside Settings > Notifications allows you to disable all notifications for a given app with one switch instead of multiple toggles.
  • Privacy: a new Home Data section in Settings > Privacy for apps that have requested access to home data via Apple’s new HomeKit platform.
  • QuickType keyboard: Apple’s new soft-keyboard with predictive suggestions is now available on iPad, though not on the iPad 2. Note that you must have Auto-Correct turned on to use QuickType.
  • Safari: a new feature called Quick Website Search, now blocks ads from automatically redirecting to the App Store without user content, pinch to tab view on the iPad.
  • Settings: Brightness control under Wallpaper and Brightness now works as expected, the Settings app remembers previous position when swiping back, Battery Usage by App in General > Usage > Battery Usage has a new No Cell Coverage label denoting how much juice your iPhone used when no coverage was available.
  • Various tidbits: Clock app remembers your last used tab; Double-pressing the Home button now shows both Favorites and Recents, not just Favorites; Handoff works between iOS 8 and Yosemite and is more functional though still not fully baked; AirDrop between iOS and Yosemite no longer requires having a Finder window open to receive a file; Apple’s Podcasts app comes preinstalled and can’t be deleted. Pulling down on the Home screen to bring up Spotlight now selects all text from the previous search so you can delete it with a single keystroke. There’s a new slide-to-unlock text in certain languages.
The new iCloud Photos splash page and related options in iCloud settings.
Left: mute all notifications for a given app with a single switch. Right: gray Camera/Voice buttons in Messages (blue previously).
Yosemite Developer Preview 2 highlights:
  • Photo Booth: the app has returned with a Yosemite-style new icon.
  • Screen Sharing: now at version 6.0, Screen Sharing allows you to block others from sharing their screen with you.
  • Time Machine: say good-bye to the stars background because Apple has revamped Time Machine’s interface for translucent appearance.
  • Various tidbits:Handoff works between iOS 8 and Yosemite and is more functional though still not fully baked; AirDrop between iOS and Yosemite no longer requires having a Finder window open to receive a file; a new prompt to enable FileVault storage encryption appears on reboot.
The new Screen Sharing (left) and Photo Booth (right) icons in Yosemite.
We continue to investigate the new betas and will update this article with any additional findings in terms of new features, enhancements and under-the-hood changes.

Note that even though Apple cautions that devices updated to iOS 8 Beta 2 can’t be restored to earlier versions of iOS, our own Joe Rossignol showed you how to downgrade from iOS 8 Beta 1 to iOS 7.1.1.

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