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How to download iOS 12 on your iPhone or iPad

Memoji, Group FaceTime and so much more.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

After detailing all that iOS 12 has to offer in early June, Apple is ready to begin taking feedback from public beta testers willing to persevere through a bug or three.

Full public release of Apple's latest wares is still a few months out, but if you just can't wait and insist on using iOS 12 right now, here's what you need to know.

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Does your iPhone or iPad support iOS 12? (Probably) 

Rick Broida detailed which devices support iOS 12, but the cheat sheet for compatibility is if your device runs iOS 11, it will run iOS 12.

Public beta time!

Staring today, iPhone or iPad owners who want to see what iOS 12 is all about before its full release this fall can take part in the public beta program.

The public beta is usually more refined and stable compared to the first developer beta, thus its wider release. Odds are the public beta is the best way for you to get a taste of the upcoming update.

To sign up for the public beta you will need to visit beta.apple.com on your iOS device, and log in with your iCloud account. Select the iOS tab, then follow the instructions.

You will need to install a provisioning profile, restart your device, and then go to Settings > General > Software update to complete the process.

For developers

Apple released iOS 12 in beta form to developers in early June. The first release is usually the roughest, and bound to have bugs and lead to app incompatibility. This is why Apple takes a cautious approach to the first release.

Those with a paid Apple Developer account can download and install iOS 12, along with WatchOS 5, MacOS Mojave and the latest TVOS beta through the developer portal.

Outside of access to a beta update usually a day or two earlier than public beta testers, there's no difference in the software the two programs use.

But first, back up your device

Before you even think about installing iOS 12, especially while it's in beta, do your future self a favor and create a backup right now. Don't rely on iCloud, but preferably use iTunes on a computer.

With your iOS device connected to iTunes, select "Backup to this computer" and check the box to create an encrypted backup. Set a password, and let iTunes do its thing.

Creating an encrypted backup saves all of your account and app passwords. If you should need to restore your iOS device, you can use this backup and not have to enter passwords.

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