How to install the iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 beta right now
Want to dive into iOS 15 before it is publicly available? Here’s how.
If you own an iPhone or iPad and really can’t wait to try out iOS 15, the latest mobile operating system from Apple, or an Apple Watch and want to see what watchOS 8 will bring, you can now install the public beta. Announced at WWDC 2021, iOS 15 will not fully release to the public until the fall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run it now.
Before you rush off to install the beta, just know that while it’s pretty stable from my testing so far, you might not want to run it on your primary device. Everything from apps you rely on not working to random reboots, to issues with AirPods could all happen while it’s in the beta stages, so just make sure you’re okay with that before you continue.
If you’re okay with some (possible) interruptions with iOS over the next few months, here’s how to install the iOS 15 beta, iPad 15 beta, or watchOS 8 beta on your devices.
How to install the iOS 15 beta
As always, the first step is to make sure your device will be supported by iOS 15. This year, any device that could run iOS 14 is also compatible with iOS 15, which means anything newer than the iPhone 6S.
Any Apple Watch newer than the Series 3 can run watchOS 8, and anything newer than the iPad 5th gen will run iPadOS 15, from the 11-inch iPad Pro (all three generations) to the iPad Air (3rd and 4th gen), or any of the other iPad Pro sizes. watchOS 8 also needs iOS 15 on the iPhone the Apple Watch is paired to, so you’ll want to update that first.
Then it’s time to back up your device to iCloud, just in case you need to revert back to iOS 14 in the future.
Backup your stuff:
- Open Settings > Tap your Apple ID at the top of the screen
- Once inside your account, go to iCloud > scroll down to iCloud Backup and turn the option on
- Then tap Back up now
That works for your iPhone and iPad, and if you back those up, your Apple Watch will also be backed up, as those automatically back up to the iPhone they’re paired to.
Now you have a back up of your precious data, it’s time to grab the beta
- Open Safari while on your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, and go to Apple’s Beta Software Program site. You need to do this on Safari as it won’t work on any other browser. Sign in with your Apple ID information and agree to the terms & conditions.
- If you don’t have a developer account, head to Beta Profiles and download the beta profile from their links.
- Then enroll your device iPhone/iPad by downloading the iOS 15 public preview profile
- Scroll down to the Install Profile section of the website, tap on Download Profile and tap Allow on the pop-up
- Once downloaded, go to Settings and tap the new section at the top, Profile Downloaded. Then install the profile
- Your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch will then restart to finish the profile install
- Once the restart is finished, go back to Settings > General > Software Update to install the iOS 15 Public Beta update
- To update your Apple Watch, you need to go to Watch app > General > Software Update once you have the watchOS 8 configuration profile downloaded
You’ll now be on the iOS 15 beta, and your device will get any updates of iOS 15 over-the-air, so you don’t have to do anything manually. You’ll probably get an update every two weeks before the full release, or maybe less frequently as COVID-19 precautions have slowed down development time everywhere. Enjoy using the new features ahead of everyone else before the full release of iOS 15 in the fall.
- iOS 15 is bringing back the magnifying glass for selecting text
- Apple’s FaceTime is finally coming to Android and Windows
- You’ll soon be able to store your ID on your iPhone and use it at places like airports
- Apple reveals watchOS 8 with a bunch of new features including respiratory counts