Apple surprises everyone with first iOS 13.1 beta [Updated]

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iOS 13.1 Developer beta 1
iOS 13 isn’t expected for weeks and Apple is already testing iOS 13.1 Developer beta 1.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The slow slog toward the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 took an unexpected twist today: Apple just introduced the first betas of the followup versions.

The debut of prerelease versions of iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1 would seem to indicate that Apple has already finished development of the versions that’ll debut next month.

Already?

Well-known developer Steve Troughton-Smith spoke for many when he expressed surprise that Apple has already ended work on iOS 13:

The Cult of Mac staff has been testing last week’s iOS and iPadOS betas, and neither seem like they are ready for release. Especially as no one expects to see iOS 13 released to the public until late September.

Apple introduced eight betas of iOS 13, but that’s fewer than many of its predecessors. There were a dozen pre-release versions of iOS 12, for example.

On to iOS 13.1

The betas for iPhone and iPad introduced today reportedly include features pulled from iOS 13, including Shortcuts automations.

Currently iOS 13.1 Developer beta and iPadOS 13.1 Developer beta are just that: betas for developers. They can only be installed by those who have paid a $100 annual fee to join the Apple Developer Program.

It’s not known when the public beta will be introduced. Previously, Apple was giving iOS 13 betas to the public just a few hours after the ones for devs, but the move to iOS 13.1 might change that.

Update: The wait for the initial public beta was just 24 hours — it’s available now.