You don’t have to wait until September to get iOS 16 on your iPhone…
Wondering how to download iOS 16 right now? Apple has now officially announced iOS 16, the next version of the operating system for its iPhones. iPhone 16 has long been expected but today’s reveal now means we know what big features the next-generation iPhone operating system will have.
Those features include an all-new lock screen experience, editable texts in the Messages app, and major improvements to Wallet, among much, much more.
iOS 16 is expected to be released to the public in September alongside the release of the iPhone 14 series. But those not wanting to wait can actually get iOS 16 well beforehand. As a matter of fact, iOS 16 is available today. Here’s how to get it…
iOS 16: Download The Developer Beta
When Apple announced iOS 16 today, it also announced the immediate release of the iOS 16 developer beta. This developer beta of iOS 16 is available now to registered developers.
The developer beta is the first release of the as-yet unfinished iOS 16. That means it will be buggy. But the point of the developer beta is it allows developers to go hands-on with iOS 16 today, well before iOS 16 launches to the public in September. That means that developers can spot bugs that Apple will fix in later betas. It also allows developers to get their apps ready for iOS 16 when it launches to the public later this year.
The good news is you don’t need to be a professional developer to get your hands on the iOS 16 developer beta. All you need is a developer account and you can download the iOS 16 developer beta today.
A developer membership does cost money, however. An annual basic developer membership is $99 per year. But if you sign up you can download the iOS 16 developer beta today. To sign up go to developer.apple.com.
iOS 16: Download The Public Beta
In addition to the developer beta of iOS 16, Apple also makes a public beta available. However, as of the time of this writing, Apple has not made the public beta of iOS 16 available yet.
Apple usually makes the first public beta of iOS available about a month after the first developer beta launches. This means we can expect to see the public beta of iOS 16 first become available in late June or early July.
But how are the developer and public betas different? The developer betas will always have the latest features and fixes while the public betas always trail about one release behind. The reasoning behind this is so that Apple can squash the major bugs devs find in the developer beta before they are released in the public beta.
In other words, the public beta is almost always more stable than the developer beta.
Another difference between the two betas are the public beta does not cost money. You don’t need a developer account at $99 per year to get access to the public beta. Apple makes the public beta of iOS 16 available for free.
When Apple does release the public beta of iOS 16, you’ll be able to get it by signing up for free to the Apple Beta Software Program at beta.apple.com/betaprogram.
iOS 16 Beta MAJOR WARNING
However, before you download and install either iOS 16 beta on your iPhone there is one thing you should know: betas are, by their unfinished nature, buggy and have flaws–lots of them. The whole point of a beta period is to find those bugs and flaws and fix them.
If you install a beta of iOS 16 on your iPhone it’s possible you could lose all your data or even brick your iPhone if there is a serious flaw in the software.
That means you should NEVER use a beta without making a backup of all your data first that you can restore later on if things go bad. But to be extra safe, it’s best not to install a beta on the iPhone you use for everyday use–your primary iPhone. If you also have an older iPhone it’s beta to install the beta on that. That way, if the beta corrupts the older iPhone or its data, you at least have your main iPhone with your data running the latest stable release of iOS.
Public betas have less risk than developer betas (but still have some risk), so if you do install a beta, it’s best not to install the dev beta unless you are an actual developer who needs to test the OS with your app.
iOS 16 isn’t the only new operating system coming out from Apple later this year. The company will also release macOS 13, iPad OS 16, watch OS 9and tvOS 16 this fails.
apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book by him Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.