Anyone can now try out the first iOS 12 public beta for free
Nowhere near as drastic a redesign as last year’s iOS 11, the twelfth edition of Apple’s popular mobile platform is primarily focused on improving your iPhone and iPad’s system stability, speed and “digital health.”
Formally unveiled earlier this month at a software-centric Worldwide Developers Conference, iOS 12 will obviously only be generally released to the public in the fall. Until September, anyone can help shape things up, as well as test-drive the latest OS build while various kinks are still ironed out.
If that sounds appealing, and you’re not scared of inherent bugs, the iOS 12 public beta program is now officially open to all. No more having to sign up for a $99 per year Apple Developer membership to get early access to features like Screen Time, App Limits, Alternate Appearance or iPhone X Memoji support.
Just remember to back up all your important data before agreeing to assess the stability and performance of the current pre-release iOS 12 version. Better yet, you could choose to install the first public beta on a backup “iDevice” you don’t regularly use for work stuff or anything you really care about.
iPhone bricking is rare even in this relatively early stage of software testing, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Besides, you may want to leave the program after a while and revert to a stable iOS 11 version, in which case it’s wise to keep your passwords, photos and other precious files stored elsewhere.