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Try Unreleased iOS Features With Apple's Beta Software Program

You should download beta software on something other than your main device just in case.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
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  • Apple software beta tester, "Helps make our computers and phones work!" - Zach's grandparents
Zachary McAuliffe
2 min read
All four models in the iPhone 14 series standing on a desk

Try out new iOS features by joining Apple's Beta Software Program.

Celso Bulgatti/CNET

Apple usually releases an iOS update every month or two, and these updates have bug fixes, patches and occasionally new features. But if you want to try new features before they're widely available, you can sign up to be a part of Apple's Beta Software Program.

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This program allows you to test beta versions of iOS software before wider release. New iOS features can be fun, but we recommend only downloading a beta on something other than your primary phone just in case the new software causes issues. Apple also provides beta testers with an app called Feedback. Testers can notify Apple of any issues in the new software with the app, that way the problem can be addressed before general release. 

If you want to beta test the latest iOS software and help push it across the finish line, here's how to sign up for Apple's Beta Software Program.

Joining Apple's Beta Software Program on your iPhone

Signing up for the program takes a few steps. Here's how to sign up on your iPhone.

1. Back up whatever iPhone you plan to use beta software on. Again, we recommend using an iPhone that isn't your main device.

2. Go to the Apple Beta Software Program page on that iPhone.

3. Tap Sign Up.

4. Sign into your Apple ID.

5. You should already be in the iOS section, but if not, tap iOS under Guide for Public Betas.

6. Tap enroll your iOS device under the Get Started section.

7. Tap Download profile and Allow.

8. Go back to your home screen and tap Settings.

9. Tap Profile Downloaded.

10. Tap Install in the top-right corner of your screen. 

11. Enter your passcode and tap Install again on the consent form.

12. Tap Install for the third time.

13. Restart your iPhone.

14. Once your phone has restarted, go to Settings and tap General

15. Tap Software Update and if one is available, download it as you normally would.

For more on iOS, check out the what's included in iOS 16.3.1 and features you might have missed in iOS 16.3iOS 16.2 and iOS 16.1.

Watch this: What Apple Is Cooking Up for 2023