You can now download iOS 10, and it's completely free.
The next major software update for iPhone and iPad will officially release alongside new iPhone models this autumn. If you'd like to try a version that's currently in the final stages of development, Apple just opened the iOS 10 public beta program, marking the third time the company has allowed its customers to download and run a major pre-release version of iOS before a formal release.
The first public beta program launched for iOS 8.3, followed by iOS 9 last year. Unlike those updates, Apple is claiming that iOS 10 is its biggest update yet. It sports a number of new features designed to enhance your iPhone, including changes to Siri, the lock screen, photos, and much more. Be sure to browse Pocket-lint's roundup to see a list of the 10 most-interesting changes in iOS 10.
If you care more about getting iOS 10 up and running on your phone, Pocket-lint has detailed everything you need to know below. Also, keep in mind Apple has just opened up the macOS Sierra public beta program, and we have a step-by-step guide on how to join that too.
How can you get iOS 10 public beta?
With the public beta program, you can download and install iOS 10 to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It doesn't require a developers account or involve the hassle of registering your device’s UDID. And it's totally free.
- Visit the Apple Beta Program website and hit the sign up button.
- You'll then need to sign in with your Apple ID login credentials.
- From there, read and accept Apple's agreement.
- In the past, you’d also be taken to Apple's Guide for Public Betas website, where you'd click the "Enroll Your Devices" link. You'd then be warned to backup your device (see this Apple support page).
- From your iOS device, visit beta.apple.com/profile.
- Download the iOS Beta Configuration Profile (follow the on-screen steps: tap the iOS tab, then tap Download Profile, and tap Install). You may need to enter your passcode and tap Restart to reboot your device.
- Once downloaded, go to the Software Update section in the Settings app on your device and wait for the iOS 10 public beta prompt to appear. Tap it to download and install the beta.
- You'll also get an email inviting you to download the iOS 10 public beta.
Apple's iOS public betas, as well as subsequent updates, are automatically pushed to devices over the air.
Which devices support iOS 10?
Before you get excited about iOS 10, it's worth checking the device compatibility list. Here is a list of iPhones and iPads that support iOS 10:
iPad 4th generation, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPod Touch 6th generation, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone SE, iPhone 6/6 Plus, and iPhone 6S/6S Plus
Should you test the iOS 10 public beta?
It's up to you. Just bare in mind that the iOS 10 beta is not the final, stable version of iOS 10 and might include several bugs that have yet to be spotted or addressed. You should therefore only download and install the beta on a device that isn't your primary handset - just to be cautious.
Here's what Apple recommended: "Always back up your data and files before installing beta versions of iOS. If you have multiple devices, we strongly recommend installing on a secondary unit."
What happens if you want to revert back?
That's okay. Not everybody wants to test software that isn't 100-per cent ready. If you've downloaded and installed the iOS 10 public beta but now want to get rid of it altogether, go to the Settings app on your device, then tap on General, and tap Profile. From there, select the iOS 10 Beta Software Profile, then tap on Delete, and confirm you want to remove the profile. That's it.
In the future, your device will only download officially-released builds.
How do you provide feedback to Apple?
The OS X and iOS public betas come with a Feedback Assistant app, which can be opened from the second page of the Home screen on your iOS device or from the Dock on your Mac. You can learn more about the app here.
The Feedback Assistant app is also available from the Help menu of any app.