How to install the iOS 9 public beta

For those who just can't wait until this fall, you can use iOS 9 now. Here's how to install it.

James Martin/CNET

First things first: Yes, Apple has released iOS 9 as a public beta, but that doesn't mean it's ready for everyday use.

In fact, I'd suggest you stay away if you don't like troubleshooting issues. And even after you've attempted to fix the issue, there are times when you simply have to live with an app not working or a feature you used to rely on crashing your device. It's a beta for a reason.

OK, with that out of the way, you want to test out Apple's latest and greatest mobile operating system? Good. The more the merrier, as they say.

  • Start by signing up to take part in the program, if you haven't already. You can do so here. The process takes a few minutes and requires your Apple ID. Preferably the same ID you use on the iOS device you'll be installing the beta on.
  • Next, back up your device. Let me repeat that: Back. Up. Your. Device. Apple recommends connecting it to iTunes and backing it up the old fashioned way. Apple also suggests archiving the backup using iTunes. Doing so ensures that you have a good backup stored locally, instead of one in iCloud. Follow Apple's instructions here.
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • OK, you're signed up and your device is backed up. You'll need to revisit the Apple beta site from your iOS device and sign in to your acccount. Scroll down to step number two under the iOS section, and tap on the Download Profile button.
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Safari will immediately redirect your to the profile settings page, where you can tap on Install. Enter your device PIN code when prompted, then accept the terms and conditions.
  • Restart your iOS device.
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • After your device restarts, launch the Settings app and tap on General followed by Software Update. My iPad was already trying to download the update, but you may have to tap the update button in this section.
  • Download the update and let your iOS device do its thing. It will take some time, so sit back and read a book.

When you encounter an issue, and you will, report it to Apple. The entire goal of putting iOS 9 on as many devices before official launch is to iron out issues, and if you don't report it, who will? You'll find a new Feedback Assistant app on your iOS device to accommodate the process.

Also, please keep in mind when a third-party app like Twitter or Facebook is misbehaving on beta software, it's not the developers' fault.

Reach out and let them know about the issue, but shy away from 1-star reviews in the App Store. It's the right thing to do.