Apple introduced its upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 releases back at its WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) last month, and ever since then it’s seeded a few pre-release builds to developers. Starting today however, you can partake in the testing of the upcoming releases too, as the public beta program is now live for iOS 16 and iPadOS 16.
This means that, if you have a compatible iPhone or iPad, you can now simply enroll it into the beta program, and you’ll receive the first public beta build later today as an over-the-air software update. From that point on, you’ll also get subsequent public beta builds as software updates, all the way until the final release hits the streets this fall. Once you install that, you’ll be off the beta track.
Since this is the first public beta build, you shouldn’t expect it to be flawless – far from that, in fact. There are likely to be plenty of issues with it and annoying bugs, so it’s not really advisable to rock it on your main phone or tablet.
iOS 16 has a lock screen that can be customized with wallpapers, clocks, and widgets, while notifications now roll in from the bottom. Multiple lock screens are supported too and can be linked with Focus modes.
The Messages app has received some updates too, including support for editing, deleting, and marking messages as unread, while SharePlay is no longer limited to FaceTime so you can use Messages to communicate with the people you’re sharing content with. Speaking of FaceTime, calls can be handed off from one device to another, while the Health app now tracks the medicine you take – if you want it to, of course.
There are many more interesting new things packed inside this release, which you can play with – the iPad gets a Weather app of its own, and a new multitasking system called Stage Manager, for example.