It is always fun to try out things much before they are available for general public use. And Apple’s iOS is not an exception for that. In fact it gives more excitement to use future iOS releases well ahead. Every year Apple will release a major iOS version around the fall season of the year. You can checkout the beta version on your additional device to experience the features in advance. Remember, using beta version of software is definitely not fun to be tried out on your regular device which you need to use daily. So, be clear to install the beta iOS version only on your backup device. After installing the beta version, if you find some apps are not working you can opt out of beta program and revert back to stable iOS version.
Note: Now, Apple supports installing iOS beta and developer versions directly from “Settings > General > Software Update” section. Below explained method through Apple Beta Software Program is still a recommended option for testing your development work. However, if you only want to test or use the features in advance, then check how to install iOS beta / developer version from Settings app.
Using iOS Beta Version
The process of installing iOS beta version is straightforward. We strongly recommend taking a backup of your iPhone as explained before you start the installation.
1. Backup Your Device
First thing you should do is to backup your current iPhone content. There are multiple ways to backup your iPhone. The best option is to use iCloud and take an online backup right from your iPhone. Alternatively, you can use iTunes from your PC or take backup on your Mac if you don’t have space in iCloud account. Remember, Apple discontinued iTunes on Mac and now you can take a backup using Finder app. If you have selected “Encrypt local backup” option, then choose a password to protect your backup file.
2. Manage Your Backup
After completing the latest backup, you can restore anytime by clicking on “Restore Backup…” button. Also, click on “Mange Backup…” button to view all your previous backups. You can right click on any of the item and view the source path in Finder app. If you are using iTunes on PC, then the backup will be available in the folder ‘\Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\’. If required you can safely copy and keep it separately for restoring purposes.
3. Register for Apple Beta Software Program
Apple beta software program allows you to test the pre-release versions of iOS, macOS and tvOS. Go to the official beta software program page on your iPhone and tap on the ‘Sign up’ button. Use your Apple account to login to the account. Allow the access to your Apple id if you have enabled two factor authentication by entering the code.
4. Enroll Your iPhone
Once you have logged into the beta site, tap on iOS tab. Under ‘Getting Started’ section, tap on ‘enroll your iOS device’.
The iPhone will be automatically enrolled on the program.
5. Install Profile
The next step is to download the configuration profile. Tap on the download profile link and then allow the site to open ‘Settings’.
Tap ‘Install’ to install the configuration profile on your iPhone.
You should restart the phone after the profile installation.
6. Download iOS Beta
After installing configuration profile, go to ‘Settings > General > Software Update’. You will see the beta version available for download now. Tap on ‘Download and Install’ link to start downloading iOS beta version.
7. Upgrade to iOS Beta
After downloading the iOS beta version, install the software similar to any other upgrade. This will take time and your iPhone will restart with the new iOS beta version. Start enjoying the latest iOS features on your iPhone before they are available for public use.
8. Enable Automatic iOS Beta Updates
Apple added a new “Beta Updates” option in “Settings > General > Software Update” section from iOS 16. Now, you can enable this option to download and automatically install the latest available beta update on your iPhone.
9. Reverting Back to Stable iOS Version
Don’t worry, if anything goes wrong. You can simply erase the beta version and restore the stable iOS version. Basically connect your iPhone to Mac/iTunes using USB cable. When the device is identified, click on “Restore iPhone…” button showing under “General” section. Follow the instructions to erase all beta content and install the previous stable iOS version. Once your phone ready with stable iOS version, you can restore the backup content from the iCloud or Mac/PC.
Risk in Using Beta Version
iOS beta version is not completely ready for public use. You will get a ‘Feedback Assistant’ app with iOS beta versions. Use the app to provide feedback to Apple when you feel something is not good at user experience.
- Some of the apps will stop working on beta versions.
- Sometimes app will behave strangely.
- Apps will crash unexpectedly.
- You will see a popup message saying that the app is not optimized for latest iOS.
- Avoid doing financial transactions on beta version to be safe and secure.
In summary, don’t try out beta version on your only iPhone that you can’t live without.