Apple has made the public beta of iOS 11 available to download now.

The next major software update for iPhone and iPad will officially release alongside new iPhones, which could for the first time see three 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 11 public beta program, so you can download and run a major pre-release version of iOS 11 before a formal release.

In traditional Apple style, the Cupertino tech giant said iOS 11 is the biggest update yet to iOS, as it sports a number of new features designed to further enhance your iPhone, including changes to Siri, Control Center, Music, and much more. You can read about the 11 biggest features coming to iOS 11 here. Like all other software updates from Apple, iOS 11 will be free to download and use.

If you care about getting iOS 11 up and running on your phone now, Pocket-lint has detailed everything you need to know below.

With the public beta program, you can download and install iOS 11 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 completely free.

  1. Visit the Apple Beta Program website and click the sign up button.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID login credentials.
  3. From there, read and accept Apple's agreement.
  4. 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).
  5. From your iOS device, visit beta.apple.com/profile.
  6. 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.
  7. Once downloaded, go to General > Software Update in the Settings app on your device and wait for the iOS 11 public beta prompt to appear. Tap it to download and install the beta.
  8. You'll also get an email inviting you to download the iOS 11 public beta.

Apple's iOS public betas, as well as subsequent updates, are automatically pushed to devices over the air.

As with most Apple updates, some older devices unfortunately get left behind, and not all will be able to support the new software. Here's a list of all the iOS devices that will be capable of running iOS 11:

  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (1st and 2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5
  • iPad Pro 9.7
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad Mini 4
  • iPad Mini 3
  • iPad Mini 2
  • iPod Touch 6th generation

It's entirely up to you whether you decide to install the beta software to your device to start using all the new features early. However, some may want to wait until the final version is released, just in case there are any problems. We'd always recommend downloading the software onto a secondary iOS device if you have one, as you wouldn't want your main iPhone or iPad to get any bugs.

Whichever device you decide to install the iOS 11 public beta onto, make sure you carry out a full backup first.

Yes, you can. If you run into any problems with the iOS 11 public beta, or just want to revert back to iOS 10, Apple has made it possible to do so. Simply go into the Settings menu, tap General and then tap Profile. Select the iOS 11 Beta Software Profile, tap Delete and confirm you want to remove the public beta.

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 app is also available from the Help menu of any app.

Apple also has a guide and instructions on how to get the iOS beta installed on your device.