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How to install the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 public betas

How to install the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 public betas

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Test the next wave of iOS and iPadOS software

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Photo by Chaim Gartenberg

Apple’s iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are launching officially on September 20th, 2021, but you can test them in the public beta right now if you’re willing to risk encountering possible bugs. Here, we walk you through the steps for installing the software. It’s a similar process for the iPhone and iPad, but we’ve made separate sections for each OS.

As expected, Apple announced the release date at its September event, where it also showed off the new iPhone 13, iPad Mini with USB-C charging, and more.

Before we get started, here’s the usual word of warning about installing unfinished beta software: these releases may seem stable for general use, but they could contain some bugs. Your experience may differ from others depending on the apps you use. And finally, if you do decide to install, I suggest backing up your device’s data, in case things go badly.

What are the new features that come with iOS 15?

Some new features coming to iOS 15 include updates to FaceTime, Messages, notifications, privacy controls, and much more. For example, FaceTime will support spatial audio and reflect the speaker’s location on-screen, with a new voice isolation ability that can remove background noise. Other changes for FaceTime include the ability to share music and videos during calls and to invite Android users to a FaceTime call with a shareable link.

SharePlay, which will allow people to enjoy streaming entertainment together at the same time, was one of iOS 15’s most anticipated features, but Apple recently decided that it won’t arrive in the final version of iOS 15 launching on September 20th. Instead, it’ll arrive later in fall 2021.

What devices are supported for iOS 15?

Here’s the list:

  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone X, iPhone XR
  • iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPhone SE (first and second generation)
  • iPod Touch (seventh generation)

How to install the iOS 15 beta

  • Head to Apple’s beta software portal from your phone’s Safari browser and agree to sign in with your Apple ID.
  • Select “Enroll Your Devices” within the drop-down menu at the top right of the webpage, if it automatically doesn’t route you there.
  • Select “iOS,” which is the left-most option on the next page. Doing so will reveal a reminder to make sure that you’ve sent a backup of your phone’s content to your macOS computer, in case you need to revert to a previous state.
  • Scroll down until you find a button that says “Download profile,” then tap on it. This will bring up a warning that says the website is trying to download a configuration profile. Select “Allow.” You will get a pop-up window that says you can set the new profile from the Settings app.
  • Open the Settings app. A new section called “Profile Downloaded” should be added near the top. Select it, and you’ll have access to the beta software download. You may need to restart your phone for the profile to activate.
  • Congrats, you did it!

What are the new features that come with iPadOS 15?

This year’s version of iPadOS makes the home screen more customizable, and it makes split-screen multitasking easier. The App Library feature introduced last year in iOS 14 has made its way to this new iPad software. Additionally, many of the features that Apple is bringing to iOS 15 are also coming to the tablet lineup, including more spatial audio for FaceTime, portrait mode, and SharePlay, which lets you watch TV or listen to music with others who are on the call. Chris Welch wrote all about the new features here, including a section on how iPadOS 15 “punts for another year on ‘pro’ requests,” delivering features that will appeal more generally to people instead of ones for pro-level users.

What devices are supported for iPadOS 15?

Here’s the list:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (first through fifth generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (first through third generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (fifth through eighth generation)
  • iPad Mini (fourth and fifth generation)
  • iPad Air (second through fourth generation)

How to download the iPadOS 15 beta

  • Head to Apple’s beta software portal from your iPad’s Safari browser.
  • Click “Enroll Your Devices” at the top of the webpage (you may need to scroll horizontally to find it).
  • Click “iPadOS,” which is the option that’s second from the left on the next page. Doing so will reveal a reminder to first make a backup on your macOS computer in case you need to revert your OS to a previous state.
  • Scroll down until you find a button that says “Download profile,” then select it. This may bring up a warning that says the website is trying to download a configuration profile. Select “Allow.” You’ll get a pop-up window that says you can set the new profile from the Settings app.
  • Open the Settings app, and a new section called “Profile Downloaded” should be added near the top. Select it, and you should have access to the beta software download. You might need to restart your iPad first.
  • Lastly, if nothing prompts you to get started with the download, open the Settings app, head to General, then find “Software Update” to install the beta software.

Update September 15th, 2021, 2PM ET: This article was originally published on June 30th, 2021, and has been updated to add new information about iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.

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