Apple showed off iOS 12 at its WWDC keynote today. The next version of the OS powering the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch has a slew of new features including group FaceTime, Memoji, Screen Time health features, Siri Shortcuts, improvements to Notification, Photos, and completely redesigned native apps including News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Books (formerly iBooks).
Indeed iOS 12 is looking to be the greatest iOS update yet. The bad news is that it doesn’t ship for everyone until the autumn. However, there are a few ways you can get access to iOS 12 early. We’ve explained how below.
Become A Registered Developer
All registered developers got access to the first beta of iOS 12 the day it was announced. And you can too—provide, again, that you are a registered developer. Being a registered developer means you can create iOS apps and distribute them on the App Store. It also means you get access to pre-release betas before everyone else so you can test your apps on new versions of the operating system.
To become a registered developer you need to enroll in the Apple Developer Program. To register you’ll need an Apple ID and also pay a £79 fee that renews annually. Once you are registered you’ll be able to download the latest betas of iOS and install them on your devices.
Become An Official Public Beta Tester
In years past Apple got wise to the fact that many illicit developers were selling beta slots of the new iOS to users who couldn’t wait to test it out. So a few years ago Apple decided to throw a spanner in those works by releasing a public beta of iOS 9. And they’ve continued that public beta since, announcing the public beta of iOS 12 will ship in late June.
How is the public beta of iOS 12 different than the developer beta? It’s mostly the same, but it’s usually more stable. That’s because developers get access to the latest beta a few weeks ahead of time and they can pinpoint the major bugs (like battery drain or crashes) that a developer will tolerate, but a public beta tester might not. Apple then takes these bug reports and improves the stability of the developer beta and releases it as a public beta.
In order to get access to the public iOS 12 beta you’ll need to register as an Apple Beta Tester. Registration is free. Once you’re given access, you’ll be able to download all the public betas of iOS 12.
A Word of Warning: Beta is Beta
Though Apple is making the iOS 12 beta available in a number of ways this year, keep in mind that iOS 12 will not be a stable release until it ships to the public in the fall. Running betas could severely affect your devices and your files—in other words, the software is a “beta” for a reason.
Betas are naturally full of bugs. That’s WHY they’re betas. The point of beta testing is to find the bugs and squash them. And betas can have some nasty bugs that can potentially cripple your iPhone. And Apple’s warranties generally do not cover beta software–even if you’re a legitimate developer.
That means if a beta bricks your iPhone, you could be out of luck. Time to buy a new one. So proceed down this road with extreme caution and only travel it if you are completely fine with something going disastrously wrong with your phone.
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