iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are now available to public beta testers ahead of a wider release. Each of these brings a whole bunch of notable changes and improvements. iPhone gets FaceTime enhancements, new controls over notifications, upgrades for Apple Maps, and many more changes. And iPad gets a revamped version of Safari, improvements to Home screen widgets, easier side-by-side multitasking, and more.
Want to try them out for yourself? We’ll show you how.
But first, a warning. These are pre-release betas for testing. They have bugs. Apple’s public beta releases are typically a little more stable than developer versions, but they’re still not bug free. With that being the case, these really shouldn’t be installed on your daily drivers. The full release of both iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are expected in September. If you just can’t wait, however, they are an option.
And we’re actually getting them early. When these upgrades were unveiled at WWDC 2021, Tim Cook and Co. promised public beta testing would begin in July. Apparently, someone just couldn’t wait.
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:
- Open the Settings app on your device.
- Tap Profile Downloaded at the top of the screen.
- Tap Install.
- 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 15 or iPadOS 15 release.
Note: Even if you already followed this guide to update to iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 back in 2020, don’t be surprised if you have to go through this process again for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.
What you need to know about the iOS 15 public beta
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, 2020 and has been updated periodically.