Apple's iOS 12 public beta is available now and ready for testing, find out how to download it.
Apple’s iOS 12 public beta is available now and ready for testing, find out how to download it.

Image: Getty Images/justin sullivan

Apple’s iOS 12 update is ready for testing.

Although it won’t be ready for its official release for a few more months, Apple has just dropped the first public beta for the upcoming iOS 12 update (read our hands-on impressions of the software here). Unlike the developer betas, which can have major bugs that interfere with core features, Apple’s public betas are generally more stable (but not completely bug-free).

iOS 12 adds new features, like group FaceTime calls, customizable emoji that look like people called Memoji, and Siri Shortcuts, in addition to the usual performance and stability improvements.

If you’re interested in test-driving these features before they’re officially launched in September, you can do so by opting in to Apple’s public beta on its website. If you haven’t been an Apple beta tester before, you’ll need to sign up.



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The iOS 12 public beta is compatible with the following devices: 

  • iPhone X

  • iPhone 8

  • iPhone 8 Plus

  • iPhone 7

  • iPhone 7 Plus

  • iPhone 6S

  • iPhone 6S Plus

  • iPhone 6

  • iPhone 6 Plus

  • iPhone SE

  • iPhone 5S

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (second generation)

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (first generation)

  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro

  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro

  • iPad (sixth generation)

  • iPad (fifth generation)

  • iPad Air 2

  • iPad Air

  • iPad mini 4

  • iPad mini 3

  • iPad mini 2

  • iPod touch (sixth generation)

Once you’ve opted in, the public beta will be available to download in your iOS device’s Settings app, just as any other software update would (it might take a little time for the update to show up after signing up, so if it doesn’t appear right away, keep checking). 

Even though the release of the public beta suggests Apple is getting closer to release, it’s important to keep in mind that the “beta” label means there are bound to be at least a few bugs — some of which can mess with core features of your phone. Because of this, it’s generally not a good idea to install beta software on your primary device (and if you do, be sure to back up everything ahead of time, at the very least). 

Once you’ve installed the update, you’ll also get a new “Feedback” app, which you can use to report any bugs you do encounter back to Apple. The company will likely update the beta software a few times between now and the official release, so be sure to keep an eye out for those as well.

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