Guide to iOS 10 beta

Susie Ochs re­veals ev­ery­thing you need to know

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

Now, a beta is a beta. Don’t get swept up in the ex­cite­ment and for­get that this soft­ware isn’t fi­nal and could have bugs, so you might want to think twice about putting it on your ev­ery­day iPhone. That said, devel­op­ers are on their sec­ond beta of iOS 10 and we haven’t heard about any ma­jor prob­lems, so if you’re feel­ing brave, here’s how to get the beta and what you can ex­pect when you do.

What is the iOS 10 beta?

Ap­ple has a Beta Soft­ware Pro­gram ( pkm­buxz) that started with OS X 10.10 Yosemite and is now pro­vid­ing be­tas of macOS Sierra. iOS 10 is the sec­ond ver­sion of iOS

that is avail­able as a pub­lic beta – be­fore last year’s launch of the iOS pub­lic beta pro­gram, you had to join the de­vel­oper pro­gram for $99 (per year) to get pre­re­lease ver­sions of iOS. The pub­lic beta lets you avoid that ex­pense, and will make it eas­ier to in­stall the beta too.

Keep in mind that this is pre­re­lease soft­ware – it’s close to be­ing ready for re­lease, but it still needs test­ing. You might see bugs, your iPhone or iPad could crash more of­ten, and some of your apps and ser­vices might not work.

What to do be­fore in­stalling the beta

Back up. Back up your de­vice – I rec­om­mend a teth­ered backup to iTunes with the ‘En­crypt this backup’ box checked, so you won’t have to log in to all your apps and ser­vices again if you should need to re­store from this backup. An en­crypted backup saves all your Health data too. Again, Ap­ple rec­om­mends you in­stall the iOS 10 beta on a se­condary de­vice.

How to sign up

You just head to the Beta Soft­ware Pro­gram page and ex­press in­ter­est by sign­ing in with your Ap­ple ID and pass­word. You also have to agree to the terms and en­rol your iOS de­vice.

How to en­rol your de­vice

Once you log in to the Beta Soft­ware Pro­gram page, you’ll see a link to En­rol your iOS de­vice. Ap­ple will re­mind you to make a backup (se­ri­ously, you re­ally, re­ally have to back up – back up to iTunes, and Ap­ple rec­om­mends you ‘archive’ the

backup to make sure it’s saved), and then you’re in­structed to go to beta.ap­ on the iOS de­vice that you want to put the beta on, in or­der to down­load and in­stall a con­fig­u­ra­tion profile. That will make the beta avail­able as an over-the-air soft­ware up­date in the Set­tings app.

Sup­ported de­vices

There’s some bad news: iOS 10 doesn’t sup­port some of the older de­vices that are com­pat­i­ble with iOS 9. The iPhone 4s, sec­ond- and third-gen iPads, the orig­i­nal iPad mini, and the fifth-gen­er­a­tion iPod touch are all be­ing left be­hind. It’s kind of a bum­mer: my third-gen iPad, pur­chased just four years ago, was still hang­ing on un­til I gave it away a month ago. It had def­i­nitely slowed down, and it couldn’t take ad­van­tage of any of the iPad-re­lated pro­duc­tiv­ity fea­tures in­cluded in iOS 9. But still, four years isn’t that old, even as hard­ware goes.

Take a look at our list on page 13 and 14 to see if you can even put the pub­lic on your de­vice.

How to pro­tect your data while run­ning iOS 10

Back up and keep back­ing up. Back up your pho­tos, and not just your Cam­era Roll. Some­one sends you a cute photo or video in a text? Save it to your Cam­era Roll so you can back it up. Ba­si­cally you don’t want to have any files that are stored only on your iPhone or iPad run­ning the beta. Ev­ery­thing should ex­ist in an­other lo­ca­tion too.

Since so much of what we do with our iPhones is cloud-based, you might not keep a ton of doc­u­ments stored lo­cally on your iPhone, and it can be easy to for­get to back up. So give it some thought. Look at the apps you use – do they store things in your Drop­box, in your iCloud Drive, or in an­other cloud lo­ca­tion? You should be okay. But files you cre­ate on your de­vice – pho­tos and videos spring to mind, but there might be more – need to be backed up of­ten.

How to in­stall up­dates to the beta

Ap­ple will up­date the iOS 10 pub­lic beta a few times be­fore the fi­nal ver­sion ships. But up­dat­ing it is easy – you can up­date over the air in the Set­tings app, or use iTunes. It’s al­ways a good idea to back up be­fore up­dat­ing, of course.

Can you go back to iOS 9 if some­thing goes wrong?

Yes you can (see page 91). It re­quires eras­ing your de­vice first, so you bet­ter be­lieve you’ll need a

backup. You’ll just con­nect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, put it in re­cov­ery mode, and re­store it to the backup you made be­fore you in­stalled iOS 10. So yes, you re­ally do need to do a backup to iTunes be­fore you in­stall iOS 10’s pub­lic beta.

When does the fi­nal ver­sion ship?

In the au­tumn – typ­i­cally it’s right around the time the new iPhones come out, which has tra­di­tion­ally been the sec­ond week of Septem­ber. (We at iPad & iPhone User don’t know what Ap­ple’s plans are for this year, but that’s been the pat­tern lately.) When the fi­nal ver­sion drops, peo­ple run­ning the pub­lic beta will be able to up­grade to it and shouldn’t lose any data. Espe­cially if they’ve backed ev­ery­thing up just in case, which I’m sure you’re sick of hear­ing me tell you by now.

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