Are you excited about trying out the new features coming up with iOS 11. If that’s the case, Apple just released the first public beta of iOS 11. It is now available to download for everyone. You don’t need to pay $99 for a developer account to download it. But remember, it is still a beta.
While the company still plans to release the final version of iOS 11 this fall, Apple is going to release regular public betas over the summer. This way, the company can iron out the bugs and test new features on a large group of users.
Apple released the second developer beta just last week, so it’s safe to say that this first public beta is more or less the same build as the one in the developer channel.
But remember, you shouldn’t install an iOS beta on your primary iPhone or iPad. Some things won’t work while others might crash your phone altogether. Many developers will tell you horror stories about iPhones that simply don’t boot up because of a beta.
If you have an iOS device lying around, back up your device first. Make sure your iCloud backup is up to date by going to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Even more important, plug your iOS device to your computer to do a manual encrypted backup in iTunes. That’s the only way you can restore your iPhone or iPad to iOS 10 if things go wrong.
Then, here’s how to download it. Head over to this website and enroll your compatible iOS device. You have to install a configuration profile, reboot your device and update iOS like it’s a normal software update — AirDrop works well to transfer configuration profiles between your Apple devices. In September, your device should automatically update to the final version of iOS 11.
iOS 11 features a ton of improvements for the iPad. You can now drag and drop files and app icons to open new apps, work with multiple apps at once and more. It’s a complete rethinking of the iPad user experience.
The iPhone is also getting many small and big improvements. The Photos app is going to learn new tricks, you can now send money in Messages using Apple Pay, and Control Center and lock screen are getting some much needed refinements.
Finally, there are some major changes under the hood, starting with ARKit and Core ML. Many third-party developers are already working on augmented reality apps and features as it has become much easier to turn the iPhone camera into an AR-enabled device.
While you’re downloading the beta, why don’t you head over to our early look of iOS 11. This way, you’ll learn everything you need to know about iOS 11 so you can impress your friends with the new features.