You won’t need iTunes to install the iOS 13, iPadOS public betas


Awesome news for public testers.
Photo: Apple

You won’t need iTunes to install the iOS 13 and iPadOS betas when they go public, Apple’s Craig Federighi has confirmed.

Registered developers who want to get their hands on the software now must download the update package and restore their device through iTunes. They must also have the new Xcode 11 beta installed.

That won’t be the case when Apple expands the reach of its betas next month.

There is a workaround that lets you install iOS 13 or iPadOS without the Xcode 11 beta. But you still need to download the Xcode 11 package and install part of it, and you still need to restore your device in iTunes.

It’s a lengthy and cumbersome process — even for development devices that are used strictly for testing purposes. But it won’t be so tricky when the iOS 13 and iPadOS betas go public.

Public betas will be available over the air

Federighi confirmed in an email to developer Domenico Panacea that “when the Public Beta is ready for testing it will be released OTA.”

“OTA” means over the air. In other words, you’ll be able to download and install the software directly on your iPhone or iPad — just like you would with any other update.

“For now, the first Developer Beta is intended for a much smaller audience,” Federighi added. That means Apple didn’t need to go out of its way to make the installation process simple.

iOS 13 and iPadOS aren’t ready for the public yet

The complicated installation process used right now also makes iOS 13 and iPadOS less appealing to the average iPhone and iPad user. And that’s exactly what Apple wants.

These updates are still in the very early stages of testing, and they’re certainly not intended for use on primary devices. When they go public in July, many of the early bugs and issues will have been ironed out.

Are you planning to upgrade to the iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas next month?


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.