Now anyone can try Apple’s new iOS and Mac beta software


iPhone 7
Grab iOS 10.3 beta 1 while it's hot.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Starting today, all public testers can get in on the new iOS 10.3 and macOS 10.12.4 betas released to developers earlier this week.

If you’re already a member of the Apple Beta Software Program, you can grab iOS 10.3 beta 1 and macOS 10.12.4 beta 1 immediately. If not, just sign up if you want to get early access to upcoming iOS features like Find My AirPods and the new Night Shift mode for Macs.

Here’s the link to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program. One note of caution: Beta software is by definition unfinished. Loading Apple’s betas, especially the very first versions like these, means you’ll be seeing all the rough edges that Cupertino is trying to buff off its upcoming platforms.

Running beta software can cause unforeseen problems, so it’s best to only test it on devices you don’t absolutely need for your day-to-day work and activities.

That said, public testers can download the new software updates directly to their Macs or via an over-the-air update for iOS 10.3 once they have the proper installation profile installed.

What’s new in iOS 10.3

While Apple’s last update for iOS focused mostly on bug fixes, iOS 10.3 brings a number of new additions to iPhones and iPads. A new Apple ID profile page can be found in the Settings app. There’s an option to play an alert on your AirPods in the Find My iPhone app.

Apple added weather forecast data to the Maps app, and a new one-handed keyboard for iPad is also hidden among the new features. For a full rundown of all the goodies, read our roundup: “Everything new in iOS 10.3: Hidden keyboard, AirPods finder and more.”

macOS 10.12.4 beta 1 doesn’t contain quite as many changes but it does finally bring Night Shift mode to the Mac, making the bright screen easier on the eyes at night. Other additions include support for cricket scores in Siri and dictation support for Shanghainese.