How to get the iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 public betas today

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2020 Apple public betas
Don't wait for the updates to roll out to everyone.
Photo: Apple

iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 are now available to public beta testers ahead of a wider release. They bring a whole bunch of notable changes and improvements to iPhone and iPad, including some great new emoji. Want to try them out for yourself? We’ll show you how.

In addition to 217 new emoji, iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 let you share lyrics from Apple Music, set third-party apps as your default music client, unlock your iPhone with Apple Watch, and more. It’s a fairly significant update, and you can get your hands on it right now.

Apple’s public beta releases are typically a little more stable than developer versions, but they’re still not entirely free from bugs. With that being the case, these releases shouldn’t really be installed on your daily drivers. If you just can’t wait, however, they are an option.

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.  On the same page, find the beta profile required for your device, then tap the Download profile button. Allow it to be downloaded and installed, then follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap Profile Downloaded at the top of the screen.
  3. Tap Install.
  4. Restart your iPhone or iPad when prompted.

After your device has booted up again, you can head into Settings, tap General, and then tap Software Update to download and install the newest iOS 14.5 or iPadOS 14.5 release.

Note: If you already followed this guide to update to iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 last year, and you never left the public beta program, you should find that the new betas already available to you via Software Update. However, you can repeat this process if you do not see them.

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.