How to prepare your iPad or iPhone for the iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas

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iOS 13 could render your iPhone useless.
iOS 13 could render your iPhone useless.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas are here. And if you plan to test them, you need to take a few steps to get ready. And remember, you will be testing them. Or, more likely, you’ll be testing your own patience.

The early betas are almost always buggy, screwy and crashy. You may lose work. Weird things may happen to your iCloud data. Your favorite (and essential) apps may flat-out fail to launch.

But still, these public betas are already more stable than the very raw early developer versions. If you’re planning on trying them out, here’s how to do it.

iOS 12.3 beta 2 enhances Apple TV app

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The Apple TV app gets a raft of new features in iOS 12.3.
The Apple TV app gets a raft of new features in iOS 12.3.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Both the general public and developers can now download the second beta of iOS 12.3. When the final version is available, it will bring significant improvements to the Apple TV app. The latest beta continues to add features.

A second public beta of macOS Mojave 10.14.5 also just debuted. This is a bug-fix release.

What to do when your iOS backup is newer than your iPhone’s OS

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The wait for iOS 12.1 public beta 5 was so short you could have napped through it.
Running an iOS beta can cause problems when you get a new device.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Everyone in Apple’s beta program is running a pre-release version of the next iOS version. Which is great, until you get a new iPhone or iPad. Then you can’t restore the new device from the backup made on your previous one because the old device is running a newer OS.

Don’t panic, there is a solution. And we’ll walk you through it.

How to quit the iOS 12 beta program

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Now that iOS 12.1 has officially added bagel emoji, it’s time to exit the beta program.
Now that iOS 12.1 has officially added bagel emoji, it’s time to exit the beta program.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Not everyone who signs up for the iOS beta program is a developer. There are journalists testing new features, and regular folks who just want to try the latest additions (despite the bugs). But what happens when the final version ships? You’re left running the beta, while everyone else is on the regular version.

Today we’ll see how to exit the iOS beta program and switch back to regular updates.

Everyone can already get today’s iOS 12.1 developer beta

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iOS 12 features
The major change in iOS 12.1 is a feature that should have been in iOS 12: Group FaceTime.
Photo: Apple

Apple seeded the third beta of iOS 12.1 to developers this afternoon. In what’s possibly a new speed record, that version is already available to the general public. 

The major change coming in the final version is support for Group FaceTime, but there’re other enhancements too. 

Apple drops second round of iOS 12 betas this week

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iOS 12 features
We don't know why Apple quickly introduced new iOS 12 beta versions, but they're ready for download.
Photo: Apple

Apple is really moving on iOS 12. It has introduced new pre-release versions for both developers and the general public just a few days after the last ones.

For developers, this is the tenth beta available. For everyone else, it’s the eighth.

iOS 12 beta 5 isn’t just for developers anymore

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Erfon emoji_WWDC18
Memoji are one of the fun new features already available in iOS 12 beta 5.
Photo: Apple

Developers got access to the fifth iOS 12 beta last week, and now anyone who’s interested can install this pre-release version on their iPhone and iPad.

While work is still progressing on iOS 12, and the full version isn’t anticipated until September, the betas have proved surprisingly stable.

Grab Apple’s most stable iOS 12 public beta now

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iOS 12
iOS 12 public beta 4 lets you try out all the new iPhone and iPad features months before the full release, expected this fall.
Photo: Apple

You don’t have to wait to get the new features of iOS 12. You could install a pre-release version and start tinkering with Siri Shortcuts or Memoji now.

Apple just introduced iOS 12 public beta 4, hopefully the most stable version yet. There are both iPhone and iPad iterations.

iOS 11.4.1 and macOS 10.13.6 are nearly ready for release

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iOS 11
There are fresh beta versions of iOS and macOS. But they probably aren't the ones you're waiting for.
Photo: Apple

The wait is nearing the end for the next iPhone and Mac operating systems. However, these aren’t the big upgrades announced last month. Instead, iOS 11.4.1 and macOS 10.13.6 will fix bugs in the current versions.

Apple just released the fifth beta version of each of these. The full release can’t be far behind.