How To Download The iOS 13, macOS Catalina And iPadOS Public Betas

The public betas for iOS 13, macOS Catalina, iPadOS and tvOS 13 are all now available. Here’s a quick recap of how to sign up, and what testers can expect from these beta builds.

How to sign up for and download iOS 13, macOS Catalina, iPadOS and tvOS

In order to receive access to each beta, you’ll need to sign up to Apple’s Beta Software Progam, which requires an Apple ID (naturally).

  1. Open the Apple Beta Program page on whatever device you want the beta (and use the Safari browser to make this easy).
  2. Click “Sign up” and use your Apple ID to sign in.
  3. Accept the user agreement.
  4. Select the beta you wish to enrol in, then scroll down to the “Get Started” section and click the “enrol you [device]” link.
  5. Apple will give you some additional instructions to follow. The short version: You’ll have to install a beta profile to your device, which will then unlock the beta as a regular Software Update — found within your device’s settings menu.

What to expect

While these betas only became open to the public last week, the dev community (and Lifehacker readers) have been able to play around with them for a bit longer. If you’re just getting started, we’ve published a lot of stories about the latest and greatest features available in iOS 13, macOS Catalina and iPadOS. (And if you’re interested in how iOS 13 is shaping up against its Google-y competitor, here’s how the iOS 13 and Android Q betas compare.)

As we always say about installing beta software, these operating systems are still being finalised. You’ll probably run into bugs, glitches, and find that some apps aren’t yet supported.

While you probably shouldn’t run the beta on your primary device — especially if you need it to always be operational for, say, your job — the public beta is at least a little bit more stable than the first developer betas for these operating systems. (Not perfect, just better.)

Should you join the public beta, be sure to be a good tester and report any bugs or other feedback through Apple’s Feedback Assistant page (or app).

If you’re simply giving the new operating systems a test run, be sure to follow Apple’s backup steps — do not forget to make a backup of your device before you install the beta — so you can undo the updates and keep most of your data intact if you ever want to roll back to iOS 12.

You can also find backup and restore options for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV in Apple’s beta software program information.


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