iOS 13: how to install Apple’s latest iPhone software today

Feature-packed new software is out in beta, though users are reporting ‘tons of rough edges’

Apple has released the public beta version of its much-anticipated free iOS 13 software update for iPhones and the first edition of its new iPadOS for tablets.

Those eager to try the latest features, including the new dark mode, faster Face ID, Memoji stickers and smarter photo organisation, can now install iOS 13 on a compatible iPhone or iPadOS on their Apple tablet.

Announced at the beginning of June, iOS 13 and iPadOS were initially released as a developer test versions but are now available for the general public to try before their full release in September.

To try out iOS 13 you will need an iPhone 6S, iPhone SE, iPod touch (seventh generation) or newer device. For iPadOS you will need an iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, iPad Pro or newer device.

iOS 13 Public beta download now available for various newer iPhones.
The iOS 13 Public beta download is now available for various newer iPhones. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Installing the beta is fairly straightforward:

1. Make a full backup of your phone or tablet as, if you dislike the update, reverting back to iOS 12 will require a full wipe and restore of the device.

2. Visit Apple’s beta site on your iPhone or iPad and sign in with your Apple ID (the one you use for iTunes and the App Store).

3. Download the beta settings profile.

4. Open the Settings app, tap on the new Profile menu option near the top and install the Profile using your pin code.

5. Reboot your iPhone or iPad.

6. Connect to wifi.

7. Check for updates in the settings app under General > Software Update.

8. Download and install the iOS 13 or iPadOS Public beta (this may take some time).

Once installed on your phone or tablet iOS 13 and iPadOS will automatically update as new beta versions are released (there were 10 for the public beta of iOS 12). As ever, it is important to make sure you install updates promptly, as bugs are fixed on a regular basis and older versions will no longer be supported.

It is also worth noting that this is very much still an early test version of Apple’s software and bugs will be present that can cause crashes and other issues. Battery life and device performance may not be the same either.

Some experienced developers have been warning about the testing nature of iOS 13 and iPadOS.

Don't install the betas yet.

Tons of rough edges, still. I wish I'd waited.

— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) June 24, 2019


- Watch apps lose connection with the phone.
- Several apps render strangely in Dark Mode
- Random UI freezes
- Some apps (including my own RECaf) simply don’t work.

In short, everything you’d expect. Last year gave many a false impression of what beta life is like.

— jcieplinski (@jcieplinski) June 24, 2019

The advice is to install it on an older phone or tablet, if you have one, or wait until the next beta update, which is likely to be more stable and complete. But for those eager to try the very latest iPhone or iPad software, this is your chance.


Samuel Gibbs

The GuardianTramp

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