Apple has teased great things to come in iOS 16, including new lock screen customisation, an improved notifications feed including Live Activities and better parental controls. It’s available to try in beta form right now ahead of the full release later this year.
Here’s all you need to know about the iOS 16 developer beta, including how to download it from today – 6 June, the day of WWDC 2022 – and the risks involved. If you’d rather wait for the public beta, then hang tight as it will arrive in July at beta.apple.com.
Can I download and install iOS 16 on my iPhone?
As long as you have an iPhone 8 or later, you will be able to download the iOS 16 beta when it’s released today. Just to confirm, here are all the devices which can get iOS 16, including the recently announced iPhone 13 range:
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 Mini
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Mini
- iPhone SE (second-gen)
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
The risks of installing beta software
Before we explain how to download beta versions of iOS on your iPhone, we need to first explain the situation with beta software. For those unaware, betas are unfinished, and that means you’ll likely run into bugs, glitches and even crashes that leave you locked out of various areas of your smartphone.
In other words, don’t expect the iOS 16 beta to be as stable as Apple’s current software. That can be true not only of the iPhone software itself, but the apps you’ve got installed – some may work perfectly in iOS 15, but crash upon opening in iOS 16.
If you do decide to take the plunge, we can’t stress how important it is to back up your iPhone using an archived backup prior to the upgrade. Without an archived backup, you won’t be able to restore from a backup if you decide to go back to iOS 15, due to Apple not supporting restore data from newer software updates. Essentially, if you back up your iPhone running iOS 16, you won’t be able to restore from that backup if you want to go back to iOS 15.
To archive a backup, open iTunes (or Finder in macOS Big Sur), click Preferences > Devices. You’ll then see a list of all your backups – right-click your most recent backup and select Archive to save it from being overwritten.
How to install the iOS 16 Developer Beta
If you’re a registered iOS developer, here’s how to install the iOS 16 developer beta:
- On your iPhone, head to developer.apple.com in Safari and log in with your Apple ID details.
- Head to the Downloads section, listed in the menu on the left.
- Scroll down to the iOS 16 beta and tap the Install Profile button.
- You’ll see a pop-up appear asking whether you want to download a profile to your iPhone. Click Accept.
- Head to the Settings app and tap Profile Downloaded at the top of the list. If this doesn’t appear, head to General > Profile and tap on the iOS 16 beta profile.
- Tap Install in the top-right to install the iOS 16 beta profile.
- Agree to the developer consent form.
- Restart your iPhone to finish installing the beta profile.
- Once restarted, go back to the Settings app and head to General > Software Update.
- You should see the iOS 16 beta appear – tap Download and Install, and wait for your iPhone to download the update.
- Once downloaded, you’ll see a pop-up appear asking to install the update. Tap Install to install the iOS 16 beta update.