How to install the iOS 16 developer beta | Cult of Mac

How to install the iOS 16 developer beta

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Get access to the new features and APIs in iOS 16 with the Developer Beta today.
Get access to the new features and APIs in iOS 16 with the Developer Beta today. Featuring my dog, Indy Anna Jones.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

iOS 16 was announced with some awesome, radical new features: a completely redesigned Lock Screen, a shared Photo Library for families, editing and un-sending iMessages, advanced new features in Maps and more. It’s especially hard this year to wait until September to get your hands on it.

Developers have a busy summer ahead of them, too. I spoke with some developers while at WWDC (no, I’m not done flexing that yet) and afterwards on Twitter. Developers are especially excited about creating Lock Screen widgets for their apps, using the new advanced features of SwiftUI and experimenting with the Live Text API.

But you don’t have to wait to get your hands on the beta. Registered developers can install the iOS 16 developer beta today. According to Apple, the Public Beta will be coming sometime in July. If you pay $99 for a developer account, installing the beta on your device is fast and easy. Here’s how.

How to install the iOS developer beta

First, you need to pick a device. I strongly advise you not to install the developer beta on your daily iPhone.* You can expect apps to crash more often. Your battery life will vary from worse to much worse. Especially in a year with big changes to the Photo Library, you don’t want to risk losing precious data, so don’t enable the Family Sharing Photo Library yet.

Make sure you have a current iCloud backup before proceeding by going to Settings > (Your Name) > iCloud > iCloud Backup.

Download the beta profile

Download the profile to get access to the update.
Download the profile to get access to the update.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

On your iPhone, click this link or type in developer.apple.com/ios. Tap Download.

Enter in your Apple ID and password.

Next, scroll down and tap Install Profile, tap Agree and tap Close.

Install the profile and restart your phone.
Install the profile and restart your phone.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Open Settings and tap on the message on the top of the list that says Profile Downloaded.

Tap Install. Enter your iPhone passcode. Tap Install at the top of the Consent Agreement and tap Install again at the bottom.

Tap Restart to reboot your iPhone.

Install iOS 16

iOS 16 will appear as a regular software update.
iOS 16 will appear as a regular software update.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

When your iPhone reboots (and you enter your passcode), open Settings > General > Software Update. You should then see the iOS 16 Developer Beta available.

Tap Download and Install to start the process.

Installing iOS 16 takes about ten minutes on a newer iPhone.
Installing iOS 16 takes about ten minutes on a newer iPhone.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

When it has downloaded and prepared the update, tap Install Now. Installation took me a little over ten minutes on my iPhone 12 Pro; it may take longer on older models.

* It is especially advised not to install the beta while you are in an airport before boarding a plane. This is one of the worst times you could possibly lose access to your phone should something go awry. That crossed my mind, but it did not stop me. Please exercise at least a modicum of discipline with beta software.