It’s here. The first public beta of iOS 10 is now available to download. You can download it, even your neighbor can download it. And the good news is that you won’t have to pay $99 a year for a developer account. But remember, this is a beta.
If you can’t wait to see iOS 10 in action, Apple’s public beta program is for you. The company wants you to try out its new operating system before releasing it in the fall. The developer beta lets developers take advantage of all the new APIs, while the public beta is all about ironing out the bugs. As Apple just released the second developer beta a couple of days ago, it’s safe to say that the first public beta is the same one as the second developer beta.
But remember, you shouldn’t install an iOS beta on your primary phone or iPad. Some things won’t work while others might crash your phone altogether. It’s a beta, after all. But if you have an iOS device lying around, backup your device first. Make sure your iCloud backup is up to date by going to the Settings app on your iPhone, or plug your iOS device to your computer to do a manual backup in iTunes (or do both, really).
Then, here’s how to download it. Head over to and enroll your compatible iOS device. Then you have to install a configuration profile and update iOS. In September, your device should automatically update to the final version of iOS 10.
iOS 10 features a massive Siri update with third-party integrations. While it’s going to be hard to see the end result during the beta as third-party developers haven’t released iOS 10 apps yet, it could have a big impact on the way you use your iPhone.
Apple has also unveiled a completely redesigned lock screen with rich notifications that can display tiny live widgets and a huge Photos app update with face recognition, deep learning categorization and intelligent photo albums. Apple Maps, Apple Music, HomeKit and the Phone app are also receiving updates. Finally, the company is overhauling the Messages app with many, many new features — an emojify feature, message effects, Slack-like feedback on messages, rich link previews and third-party extensions.
While you’re downloading the beta, why don’t you head over to our early look of iOS 10. This way, you’ll learn everything you need to know about iOS 10 so you can impress your friends with the new features.