Apple announced iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 at the Worldwide Developers Conference early last month alongside the macOS Ventura and watchOS 8. The developer betas for all these new softwares were rolled out on the day of the keynote address itself but to be able to access that, you would have to be a member of Apple’s Developer Program and that’s not free.
However, for those who waited, the public beta for iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 are now live and to be able to access this you don’t need to be a part of any program. If you have a device that is compatible, you can just enroll into the beta program and you will receive the first public beta build as on over-the-air update.
Once you have installed the first beta build, you will get the subsequent public beta builds as OTA software updates as and when Apple rolls them out. This is going to continue till Apple releases the stable versions of the softwares. Once you install that, you will be off the beta builds.
Now, if you are rushing to join the beta program, we’d like to warn you that the softwares are not going to be flawless. As is the case with any beta build, there will be flaws and issues, it might also affect the battery life on your iPhone or iPad and hit your productivity. It is thus advised that you download the beta builds on a spare iPhone or iPad if you have one of those lying around.
What can you look forward to on iOS 16?
Apple’s iOS 16 brings in a customisable lock screen with wallpapers, clocks, widgets and more with notifications rolling in from the bottom. You can also set up multiple lock screens and link some with Focus modes.
iOS 16 also brings in some changes to Messages on the iPhone. You will be able to edit, delete, and mark messages as unread. SharePlay with iOS 16 is no longer limited to FaceTime, so you can also use Messages to speak to people you are sharing content with. FaceTime can be moved from device to device with iOS 16 and additionally, the Health app will be able to track medications you take.
iPadOS 16 brings in a dedicated weather app on the tablet along with a new multitasking system called Stage Manager.