Can’t Wait for iOS 12? Here’s How to Sign Up for Apple’s Beta Program

So you want to become an iOS beta tester? Well you’ve come to the right place. iOS 12, Apple's latest operating system for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, was announced at the WWDC Keynote in June, and the public beta version is finally available. Apple's new iOS 12 public beta download includes upgrades to performance, privacy, and security, as well as app overhauls for the News and Stocks apps, fun additional Animoji choices, brand-new Memojis (personalized animated emojis), and many other improvements and fixes. Ready to update to iOS 12? Read on to find out how to download and install Apple's newest operating system. We’ll cover which devices are compatible with iOS 12, and how to update your operating system so you can begin to take advantage of these new capabilities and features right away! Remember though, taking part in a public beta program comes with the understanding that the software isn't ready for prime time yet. You'll no doubt experience bugs and glitches, which you should report to Apple so programmers can make the needed fixes before the final version of iOS 12 is rolled out in September. If you'd rather not deal with a rough-around-the-edges operating system, I'd advise waiting for the finished version of iOS 12 to be released.

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Now that Apple has showcased the new iOS 12 update during WWDC, the anticipation may be much too high to wait until fall. And these days, signing up for Apple’s beta program is easy. Anyone can download iOS 12 before it’s officially released to the public. But remember that iOS 12 in this stage is Apple’s beta software. So there are some pros and cons to consider before you download the iOS 12 beta.  

Is My Device Compatible with iOS 12?

According to Apple, the following devices are capable of downloading and running iOS 12:

  • sixth generation iPod Touch 
  • iPad Air and later
  • iPhone 5s and later

apple beta

Pros:

The best part? You don’t have to wait until the new iOS 12 update is released to the public! That means you’ll see the best new features first. You will also see a Feedback app on your Home screen or Mac Dock; this app allows you report any issues or bugs in the software directly to Apple.

Cons:

Of course, the public beta is how Apple works out as many issues and bugs in the software before they’re officially released, which means you’re the one experiencing those bugs and bringing them to Apple’s attention.

Read This First

If you’re going to sign up for Apple’s public beta testing, I highly recommend using a secondary device. Now, if you’re like me and when warned to use a secondary device scoff, then I implore you to make a new backup of your device before installing the public beta. Should anything happen while beta testing iOS 12, you’ll need to restore that backup to your iPhone.

How to Sign Up for Public Beta Testing (iOS 12 & MacOS Mojave)

The Beta Program signup process is fairly straightforward:

  • Visit the Apple Beta Program page and sign up.
  • You’ll be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID and password.

  • If you have Two-Factor Authentication set up, you'll need to enter a code to verify your identity. 
  • Apple will present you with its Software Program Agreement; click Accept.

How to Update to iOS 12 Public Beta

To update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to Apple's latest operating system:

Make sure to back up your device to iCloud or iTunes. After you've made your backup: 

  • Plug your device into power and make sure you're connected to Wi-Fi. 
  • Follow this link to find the iOS 12 public beta download.
  • Tap Sign up to join the Public Beta Program or sign in if you've previously participated with an earlier beta version of iOS.  

downloadhow to download

  • Now you'll need to read the agreement and tap Accept.
  • Tap Enroll Yourself.

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  • Tap Download Profile.
  • Tap Allow to be brought to the Settings app.

ios 12 public betahow to install

  • Now, tap Install.
  • Apple really wants to be sure you mean it, so tap Install again.

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Now you'll see a notification like the one in the image below, with a blue line indicating download progress.

how to download ios 12 beta

  • Once the new operating system is finished downloading, tap Install Now.

how to download public beta

  • Your phone will power down then power back up.
  • Once your Lock screen comes back up, unlock your iPhone or iPad.
  • Follow any on-screen directions to complete the update.

You'll notice a new app called Feedback; this is where you can report bugs and glitches to Apple.

public beta feedbackapple beta

Welcome to iOS 12 Public Beta!​

To install the Public Beta for MacOS:

  • Create a Time Machine backup of your Mac computer.
  • To install the public beta on Mac, you’ll need to download the public access utility. Since you’ve already signed up to receive emails about public beta, Apple should send you a download link, which you need to click on from your Mac.
  • If you do not receive said email, visit the beta program page, sign in with your Apple ID, and click Enroll Your Devices at the top. Make sure you’re viewing the instructions for MacOS, then scroll down to find the Download MacOS Mojave Public Beta Access Utility button.

  • Once downloaded, click to run the installer and follow the onscreen directions.
  • The Mac App Store will launch the Updates page with MacOS Mojave public beta waiting for you. Click Update.

How to Unenroll from Beta Testing iOS 12 (without Restoring iPhone)

After iOS 12 is released to the public, the Apple beta program will end. But you can stay on the beta program, testing out iOS 12.3 and so on. However, after the initial testing phase, I prefer to revert to the public iOS 12.

To leave the iOS beta program:

  • Open Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Scroll down until you see Profile. Tap on it.

  • Select the iOS 11 Public Beta Profile and tap Delete.
  • Enter your passcode and confirm, Delete.

  • Restart your iPhone by holding down the Sleep/Wake button and sliding to power off. Power your iPhone back on by holding down the Sleep/Wake button again.
  • Lastly, you will need to let Apple know you’ve left the program by signing in to beta.apple.com and clicking the Leave Program link.

When your iPhone restarts, open Settings and tap General. Then select Software Update. You’ll see the most recent update for the official public iOS 12. Tap Download and Install to get the regular iOS 12 on your iPhone. Don't see it? Don't worry. According to Apple, "when the next commercial version of iOS is released, you can install it from Software Update."

How to Unenroll from Beta Testing MacOS Mojave

To unenroll from the beta program on your Mac:

  • Open System Preferences
  • Choose App Store.
  • There is a box that says, “Your computer is set to receive beta software updates.” Select Change.

  • A box will pop up; choose Do Not Show Beta Software Updates.
  • Lastly, you will need to let Apple know you’ve left the program by signing in to beta.apple.com and clicking the Leave Program link.

Apple recommends you wait until the official MacOS Mojave has been released to do this. However, you can unenroll your device any time during the beta testing period.

 

Do you plan to sign up for public beta testing? Why or why not?

 

 
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Conner Carey holds a bachelor's in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and resides in Fairfield, Iowa. When she's not writing, you can find her singing jazz or lifting weights. Her personal blog is currently under construction, but you can follow her on Instagram @connerleecarey.