How to install the iOS 17 public beta | Engadget

    Gone are the days when you contort yourself to try the before its official debut. Apple has released the iOS 17 public beta, and it’s easy to install the preview on your iPhone. So long as you know what you’re getting into, you can explore major features months before the finished software arrives this fall. These instructions should also work for the iPadOS 17 beta, too.

    Before you start: iOS 17 beta requirements and risks


    To begin, you’ll need to be sure your hardware supports iOS 17. Apple requires at least a 2018 or newer iPhone, including the XR, XS and second-generation SE. Notably, this release — if you own one of these older models, you’ll simply have to buy a new handset to run the updated platform.

    The iPadOS 17 public beta clearly has different requirements. You’ll need at least a sixth-generation iPad, third-generation iPad Air, fifth-generation iPad mini, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, any 11-inch iPad Pro or the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

    Whatever you’re installing, remember that this is pre-release code. The iOS 17 public beta is better-suited to everyday use than earlier developer versions, but you may still run into bugs, odd behavior or app compatibility issues. You’ll want to wait for the finished software if your phone has apps or data you simply can’t afford to lose. If you’re willing to accept the risks, it’s still a very good idea to backup your data through iTunes or a cloud service (such as iCloud) in case you need to restore your phone at some stage.

    How to install the iOS 17 public beta

    NameDrop in iOS 17


    Be sure you’ve updated to iOS 16.4 or newer, as you’ll need it to walk through the public beta installation process. You can upgrade through the Settings app, choosing General, and then tapping Software Update. This screen will also tell you which version you’re running.

    Once ready, you’ll want to sign up for the using the Safari web browser on your iPhone. Membership is free; you’ll need to log in using the main Apple ID you use on your phone and in the program. Follow prompts, and be sure to read the agreement when it appears.

    After that, installing the iOS 17 test is almost as simple as installing ordinary updates. You just have to visit Settings, tap General, tap Software Update and then select a new Beta Updates item underneath Automatic Updates. Be sure that the Apple ID displayed at the bottom is the one you used to join the beta program. You should see the option to install “iOS 17 Public Beta” from that screen. Go back one screen and you should get an offer to download and install the beta.

    As with any other iOS upgrade, the installation may take a few minutes to complete and will involve restarts. At the end, the beta will add a Feedback Assistant app to your home screen that helps report bugs.

    What you do (and don’t) get with the iOS 17 public beta

    StandBy in iOS 17


    Apple revealed many of iOS 17’s features at the WWDC 2023 keynote in June. However, not all of those elements will be available in the public beta.

    Most improvements are intact. Notably, there’s a redesigned phone experience that includes custom contact cards and live voicemail transcripts. A Messages app revamp includes a new sticker interface, simpler replies, audio message transcripts and location-based check-ins. Sharing is easier as well. You can share content just by bringing iPhones close together, and you can now share contacts. The keyboard has improved autocorrection, predictions and voice dictation. You can document your mood in the Health app, and StandBy turns your iPhone into an ad hoc smart display.

    However, a few features won’t be present until after iOS 17 arrives. The life-logging Journal app isn’t in the public beta. You’ll also have to wait for AirDrop transfers that continue over the internet, and collaborative Apple Music playlists aren’t yet ready. We’d also expect Apple to make minor interface tweaks and additions in later revisions, and it won’t be surprising if one or two iOS 17 features will only be announced alongside future iPhones that use them.

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