Originally expected to arrive in July, Apple’s just released the first public beta version of iOS 13 for iPhone SE, iPhone 6S (and newer) and iPod touch (7th-generation) as an over-the-air update.
iPadOS, which is based on iOS 13, is also available as a public beta for the 9.7-inch iPad (5th- and 6th-generation), iPad Air 2 and 3, iPad mini 4 and 5, and all iPad Pros.
Additionally, the software update also comes with hundreds of smaller and very welcome tweaks like an all-new volume control (finally!), WiFi networks and Bluetooth devices that can be selected from Control Center, and optimized battery charging.
Maybe the most significant, but least talked about iOS 13 feature is the overhauled search for iMessage. It now searches for all instances of word or sentence and returns results in a proper list.
Download and install
Downloading and installing the iOS 13 public beta is pretty easy. Before you do so, we highly recommend you back up your device to prevent any potential data loss. While it’s unlikely the update won’t go smoothly, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
You can backup your compatible iOS device wirelessly via iCloud or wired through iTunes on a Mac.
Next, you’ll need to sign up and enroll your device through Apple’s public beta website. If you’ve previously tested Apple beta software before, you can just sign in.
When prompted, choose the device you’re installing it to (iPhone, iPod touch, etc.). The iOS 13 beta profile will automatically download to your device and appear in the Settings app.
Tap “Download Profile” and then the “Install” button. You may be asked to reboot your device. If asked, restart your device and then afterwards go to Settings > General > Software Update and tap “Download and Install.”
Grab a glass of wine and then wait for the public beta to finish installing.
As with all betas, iOS 13 public beta is still a work in progress and may be buggy. The first public beta of iOS 13 and iPadOS is based off the developer beta 2 of iOS 13; we’ve been using them on an iPhone XS and iPad Air 3 and it’s been pretty stabile, but your mileage may vary.
If you only have one device, we recommend waiting until Apple releases the consumer version of iOS 13 in the fall. Most of the bugs will get plugged and features will get polished by then.