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iOS 7 Beta 2 released, adds Voice Memos, Siri upgrades and more

Apple kicked off this week with the release of iOS 7 beta 2 to developers. The big headline feature of beta 2 is iPad support, but iPhone users will also see some cool changes in the latest release, like improvements to Siri and the return of the Voice Memos app.

The new changes begin right from the welcome screen, which’ll prompt you for an iCloud password to set up iMessages and your device passcode. Siri has also been upgraded, with faster load times and even the ability to change between male and female Siri voices (something previously only possible by changing to a different region).

Of course, there are numerous other small changes all around that make the iOS 7 beta 2 a little but more unified and stable than its predecessor. The beta is also our first chance to see iOS 7 on the iPad, which heretofore has been just glimpsed in simulator screenshots.

See also: iOS 7 explored with screenshots galore

There are also some less obvious new features in the release. For example, Apple’s added APIs for developers to detect facial features, like blinking or smiles. That could portend the inclusion of such features in the main iOS 7 camera app, which might be revealed with the iPhone 5S later this year – after all, the 5S has been rumoured to sport a number of other camera improvements, including a dual-colour LED flash.

If you’d like to try out the iOS 7 beta for yourself, then you can do so if you’re on the iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad Mini or any subsequent models. Some features – like panoramas in the camera – aren’t available on all models, though. You don’t necessarily have to be a developer either, as Apple’s authentication servers appear to have been taken down. There are instructions on how to do so here.

Will iOS 7 become an essential iPhone and iPad accessory upon its release?