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Don't download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 just yet: 4 reasons why you should wait

It's called a beta for a reason and you should probably stay away for now.

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iOS-14-iPhone-Widgets-Beta

The new widgets look fancy, but they'll look even better when iOS 14 is officially released later this year. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Apple recently released the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 public beta. Now, anyone with a compatible iPhone or iPad can get an early preview of the features that everyone else will get this fall. If you're willing to put up with occasional bugs and issues, you can install and help test it right now. But should you? My sage advice: Wait until September. 

Even though the shiny new features in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 are tempting, it's probably best that you hold off on installing the beta right now.

Why? Glad you asked. Here are four reasons you should wait. 

ios-14-public-beta

As tempting as it might be to tap that Install button, hold off for now. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

1. Some apps are going to break

In order to add new features and capabilities to iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple has to make changes to the code that app developers use to build against. It's because of those changes that during the beta process, before developers can publicly release updates to fix any issues, that some apps will undoubtedly break. 

A simple Twitter search just a couple of hours after the public beta went live returns complaints about a banking app and the UK's Sky TV are both broken on iOS 14. I scrolled through maybe 10 tweets before I found those examples. Surely, there are more.

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Complicating matters is the fact that Apple releases several beta updates throughout the preview period and anyone of those updates can include changes that break an app. So even if your banking app works just fine on Public Beta 2, there's no way to know if Public Beta 3 will break it. 

Moral of the story? If there are critical apps without which you wouldn't be able to do your job, manage your money or even get into your house using a smart lock -- don't install iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 yet. 

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You're going to need some extra battery power during the beta. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

2. Battery life is always the last thing that gets better

I have one of Apple's Smart Battery cases, but I rarely use it. At least, until I start testing the next version of iOS when it becomes metaphorically glued to my iPhone. 

I can't say for certain, but it always feels as if during the beta program Apple focuses on implementing and improving features for the majority of the time. Then as September gets closer, with it the official release, the focus switches to improving battery and getting it back to where it was pre-beta. 

iOS-14-iPhone-Widgets-Beta

iOS 14 looks cool, right? 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

3. There will be random restarts and bugs

It's a given. Apple isn't done working on iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 and there are going to be issues that slip through (use the Feedback feature to report them!) or that Apple knows about, but plans to fix in a future build. 

For example, just this morning I tried to change songs in Apple Music while AirPlaying to a nearby speaker. The moment I touched the next button, my screen went black and I saw the Apple logo. 

A few seconds later, my phone was back up and running with no issue. But instances like this, although infrequent, can be annoying, frustrating and, depending on what you're doing at the time, could potentially cause you to lose work. 

recovery-mode

You'll need to put your iPhone or iPad in recovery mode to get rid of iOS 14. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

4. Going back to iOS 13 isn't ideal

It is possible to uninstall iOS 14 and roll back to a more stable operating system, but even that comes with a big downside -- you'll have to factory restore your iPhone or iPad. That means you'll either have to start again, as if your device is brand-new, or if you created a backup before installing the beta, use that as a restore point. 

Either way, you'll probably lose some data -- maybe even a lot of data -- and that's not something any of us want to deal with. 

Even if you hold off on installing iOS 14 right now, you can get acquainted with some of its best features now. Here are the biggest changes to the home screen, privacy controls and a new-to-iPhone video tool called picture-in-picture.