iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 are finally available to all in public beta form (with watchOS 7 and macOS Big Sur on the way). Here’s how you can sign up to get your hands on them today.
Apple’s public beta releases are typically a little more stable than developer versions — that’s why we’ve had to wait a little longer for them. They’re still not entirely free from bugs, and therefore shouldn’t really be installed on your daily drivers, but if you just can’t wait, they are an option.
Public betas are identical to developer releases in terms of their feature sets, so everything you saw during the WWDC 2020 keynote and since is included. Interested?
How to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program
Signing up for early access to Apple’s upcoming releases is as simple as joining the Beta Software Program. Visit the official website, click the Sign up button, and log in with your Apple ID. You will also need to click Accept on the Beta Software Program Agreement to continue.
You can then choose which version of Apple’s software you want early access to and enroll your device. You’ll get a notification when a beta update is available, and you’ll be able to download and install it from Software Update on your iPhone or iPad.
Remember, the public betas for watchOS 7 and macOS Big Sur aren’t out yet. So, if you’re enrolling an Apple Watch or Mac, ensure that you don’t accidentally end up with beta versions of iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. It’s probably best to just wait before enrolling these devices.
What you need to know
The purpose of public betas is to put upcoming software updates into the hands of as many people as possible so Apple can identify and fix any bugs ahead of a wider release. So, when you get them, we encourage you to use the Feedback app to submit bug reports when necessary.
Apple notes on its website that access to the Beta Software Program is voluntary and testers will not be compensated for their efforts. It also assures users that installing public betas will not void their warranties, and that it is possible to downgrade if you decide you wish to go back.
Be sure to back up your devices before installing any beta release. This ensures that in the unlikely event something goes wrong, you have a recent copy of your data and nothing is lost.
Finally, it’s worth noting that access to Apple’s public betas is not guaranteed. We don’t know of anyone who has been denied access in the past, but that doesn’t mean Apple won’t cut down on the number of testers in the future. Just bear that in mind before getting too excited.
Note: This how-to was originally published on June 23.