The second beta for iOS and iPadOS is still only available for developers, but the public beta is getting closer.

It’s only been two weeks since Apple revealed iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, and developers have the second beta build available for testing. Notice there are now two different versions of iOS? One for the iPhone and iPod Touch, the other is a dedicated to the iPad and brings with it new multitasking features and a desktop-class version of Safari.

Both software updates include a long list of new features, such as an official systemwide dark mode, new privacy features and improved Apple Maps. Apple also announced WatchOS 6, MacOS 10.15 Catalina, and TVOS 13 during its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.

Once again, Apple is offering a beta program you can sign up for to help test the upcoming software updates before their release this fall. Right now, the iOS 13 beta is only available for developers with a paid account, with the free public beta scheduled to begin in July. Installing the beta is an easy process, taking very little of your time. However, be aware of the following warnings.

But first, a warning

Over the years, the beta program for an upcoming iOS release has gotten more stable. However, it’s called a beta version for a reason — it’s not finished. Apps are going to break, battery life is going to be horrible and frequent random restarts aren’t unheard of.

You don’t have to take our word for it, Apple’s own developer portal has the following warning:

Important Note for Thrill Seekers: If you’re interested in living on the edge and trying out the great new features in iOS 13, we strongly advise waiting for the many bug fixes and refinements coming to the public beta next month.

If you want to test iOS 13, go into it knowing that you’re testing beta software and do yourself — and Apple — a favor by providing feedback through the Feedback app.

You can’t (easily) go back

In addition to a willingness to deal with bugs and random issues, you need to know that you can’t easily go back to the current official version of iOS. It’s possible, but you can’t restore from a backup made with your device on iOS 13.

So, with that in mind, it’s a good idea to create a backup of your device as it is right before switching to the beta. The best way to do that is to use iTunes (RIP) and create an encrypted backup.

You’ll need to restore your device if you leave the beta program.Oscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Which devices are supported?

According to Apple, the following devices can take part in the iOS 13 or iPadOS beta:


iPhone XS 12.9-inch iPad Pro
iPhone XS Max 11-inch iPad Pro
iPhone XR 10.5-inch iPad Pro
iPhone X 9.7-inch iPad Pro
iPhone 8 iPad (6th generation)
iPhone 8 Plus iPad (5th generation)
iPhone 7 iPad Mini (5th generation)
iPhone 7 Plus iPad Mini 4
iPhone 6S iPad Air (3rd generation)
iPhone 6S Plus iPad Air 2
iPhone SE
iPod Touch (7th generation)

Ready? Here’s how to install iOS 13

Right now, you’ll need a paid Apple developer account in order to access the profiles and proper files required to install iOS 13. A paid developer account costs $99 per year and also gives you access to publishing an app for sale in the App Store.

Paid developers can visit this page of the Apple Developer site to download the beta profile. Unlike the first beta, which required MacOS 10.15 Catalina or a beta version of Xcode installed on a Mac, the second developer preview can be installed via an OTA profile. You’ll need to download the install profile on your iPhone or iPad from the Downloads section of the developer site, approve the profile’s installation, restart your device and then install the OS update.

What about the public beta?

When it launches, the public beta program will be available here. You’ll need to enroll your device and install the update over the air (OTA). We’ll update this post with more thorough instructions once the beta program opens up.

Check out all of Apple’s WWDC 2019 news.

Originally published June 3.
Update, June 17:  Updates with information about developer beta 2.


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