Why it matters: Usually, if you want to try out the latest iOS beta, you have to have an Apple developer account, which runs $99 per year. However, Cupertino has decided to make iOS 13 and iPadOS betas open to everyone.
If you are interested in seeing what the fuss is about, keep in mind that it is likely to be a buggy experience. Both updates are not due out until this fall, so it is highly recommended that you do not install the beta on your primary phone or pad. While installing the software will not void your warranty, you still would not want to be without your primary device if things go south.
TechCrunch believes the public beta is the same as the second developer build. It has been using this particular build and reports it is “quite buggy,” and some apps do not work at all.
We already know from this year’s WWDC that iOS 13 will have a new dark mode. The Photos app has been revamped with a gallery view and smart curation. It also will have enhanced security, and Apple Maps will now have a “Look Around” feature similar to Google’s Street View. Other apps that have been reworked include Messages, Reminders, Mail, Health, Files, and Safari.
Apple is also launching iPadOS 13, which is a fragment of iOS and as such will have many of the same features. However, to compete with other tablets, developers felt that more multitasking and mouse support was needed. They also wanted to improve Apple Pencil functionality. Mainly, Cupertino is looking to move iPads more towards operating like an ultraportable rather than a mobile device. More Mac-like features will likely be added over time.
That said, is it really worth the risk even on a spare device? Probably not. The final versions are only a few months away, so it is perhaps better to just wait. However, we will not be the one to deny those that want to live on the bleeding edge.
If you absolutely must try out the early versions, head over to Apple’s beta website and download the configuration profile. It will allow your device to download the beta software as if it was a regular update. You do need an iCloud account to sign up with the program.