Apple releases first iOS 12 public beta for anyone to try

Want to try iOS 12 on your iPhone or iPad right now? You don't have to wait until September when it officially launches. Apple just rolled out a public beta that anyone can try for free. Here's what you need to know.
Written by Elyse Betters Picaro, Managing Editor

Video: iOS 12 will give your location to the emergency services when you call 911

Apple has launched the first public beta of iOS 12.

The beta is now available to download. Keep in mind developers have been able to play with the software since Apple's developer conference in early June. Now, the general public can test it. Just be aware that beta software isn't finished and could be loaded with bugs.

Read also: Older iPhones, iPads will perform better on iOS 12, says Apple

If you have a spare iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, then you can easily download the public beta and try it now for free. It should be similar to the final, more-refined version of iOS 12, which will likely arrive this coming autumn alongside the next-generation iPhone models.

Apple added several features and performance fixes to iOS 12. There are parental controls, Siri Shortcuts, tools for monitoring screen time, and support for ARKit 2. You can see the full list of changes from ZDNet's round up here. We also have an iOS 12 screenshot gallery below.

Read also: Apple iOS 12: Cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

(Screenshot by ZDNet)

How to download the iOS 12 public beta

To download the iOS 12 public beta, you do not need a paid developers account, and you don't have to deal with the hassle of registering your device's UDID. Apple's iOS public betas, as well as all subsequent updates, are automatically pushed to your device over the air.

But first, you need to back up your device, then visit the Apple Beta Program website, and click the sign up button. You'll then have to sign in with your Apple ID login. After, from your iOS device, visit beta.apple.com/profile, and download the iOS Beta Configuration Profile.

Read also: iOS 12: Release date, new features, and hidden features (CNET)

Once downloaded, go to General > Software Update (in the Settings app) and wait for the iOS 12 public beta prompt to appear. Tap it to download and install. The iOS 12 beta runs on iPhone 5S and later, iPad mini 2 and later, and the iPod touch (sixth-gen) and later.

iOS 12 public beta: the best features (CNET)

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