Apple’s iPad won’t get iOS 13. Instead, the company’s introduced a new operating system called iPadOS and the first iPadOS update, iPadOS 13, is currently in beta ahead of a release later this year.
As expected, Apple debuted all of the new software it plans to release for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Mac later this year. Unexpectedly, the company revealed plans to move its iPads off of iOS to a new platform called iPadOS.
iPadOS is built on the framework of iOS, but it’s tailored for devices with bigger screens like Apple’s iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad Pro lines.
On stage, the company confirmed the first iteration of iPadOS, dubbed iPadOS 13, and it’s slated to bring a slew of upgrades, including a new home screen, later this year.
Ahead of the official release Apple’s pushed an iPadOS 13 beta to developers. The company will also push a public iPadOS beta to those enrolled in the Beta Software Program, but that will take a few weeks.
There are some great reasons to try the iPadOS 13 beta on your iPad. It’s stocked with new features like Dark Mode and includes several important performance improvements. There are also some reasons why you might want to avoid it.
For one, the first beta is riddled with issues. Apple’s outlined some of these initial problems and developers are starting to publish feedback of their own. We expect the list to grow as more people move off iOS 12.
With that in mind, we want to walk you through the most important things to know about the iPadOS 13 beta right now.
We’ll take you through the current list of problems, the installation, and other things you should keep in mind if you’re thinking about giving it a try on your tablet ahead of the official release date.
iPadOS 13 Beta
There are two ways to try the iPadOS 13 beta. You can either join Apple’s developer program or you can sign up for Apple’s Beta Software Program. Most people will want to try the software via the Beta Software Program.
An Apple developer account requires a yearly membership fee. Apple’s Beta Software Program is a free service that requires an Apple ID and a compatible device.
If you want to signup and become a developer, here’s how you get the developer iPad OS 13 beta on your tablet. If you’d prefer to install the public iPadOS 13 beta for free, here’s how you signup for that.
Apple will release the first public iPadOS 13 beta this summer.
Before you decide to move off of iOS 12, make sure you prepare. The iPadOS 13 beta is extremely tempting, but most people are better off on iOS 12.
Here are a few steps to take before installing iOS 13 beta on your device:
- Prepare yourself, and your device, for the iPadOS 13 beta.
- Dig into the update’s new features and other changes.
- Decide if the beta is worth it.
You’ll also need a device that’s compatible with iOS 13. Here are the device’s that work with the beta:
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro
- 11-inch iPad Pro
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad (6th generation)
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- iPad Air 2
Apple’s dropped support for older iPad models like the iPad mini 2 and iPad Air.
If you do decide to download the beta, you can expect a lengthy download process. Those installing iOS beta software for the first time can expect the entire process to take 30 minutes, or longer, to complete.
iPadOS 13 Beta Problems
This is beta software which means it’s unfinished. Unfinished software is often buggy so it should come as no surprise to learn that iPadOS 13 beta is riddled with issues.
Apple’s outlined many of these problems in its iPadOS 13 beta release notes. Some of these issues are minor, others are far more problematic.
We’re also getting feedback from those testing the iPadOS 13 beta and some users are dealing with installation problems, abnormal battery drain, connectivity problems, and issues with first and third-party apps. These are all common beta problems.
Because of these problems, the company strongly advises “waiting for the many bug fixes and refinements coming to the public beta later this month.”
You Can Downgrade to iOS 12
If you do decide to try the iPadOS 13 beta on your tablet and you run into problems, you can downgrade back to iOS 12.
Apple is currently signing on iOS 12.3 and iOS 12.3.1 which means you can drop back to either one of those if you can’t handle the beta’s performance.
Unfortunately, Apple stopped signing on iOS 12.2 and older versions of iOS which means you’re stuck with iOS 12.3.1 and iOS 12.3 once you move to the iOS 13 beta.
For more on the downgrade process, please take a look at our guide.
iPadOS 13 Release Date
The iPadOS 13 beta will probably stay in beta until September.
Apple hasn’t confirmed the official release date, but the company says iPadOS 13 will arrive alongside iOS 13 sometime in the fall.
We expect it, like iOS 13, to arrive a few days after Apple confirms the new 2019 iPhone models.
The company usually confirms iOS release dates on stage alongside new iPhones and releases the software a few days before the hardware hits physical retail locations.
iPadOS 13 Beta Jailbreak
If you still jailbreak your tablet, avoid the iPadOS 13 beta.
The only way you can jailbreak an iPad right now is if it’s running iOS 12.1.2 or an older version of iOS 12/iOS 11. Unfortunately, there’s no way to downgrade to those versions of iOS.
We don’t expect jailbreak developers to rush out an iPadOS 13 jailbreak and we don’t expect them to burn their exploits on beta software.
If you’re interested in jailbreaking, keep an eye out for new details as we push toward the official release.
Download the iPadOS 13 Beta to Help Apple
If you download the iPadOS 13 beta you can help Apple improve the software before it's released to millions of iPad users later this year.
If you're tired of using buggy software or you're sick of hearing complaints from friends, family members, and co-workers, think about trying the beta.
After installing the beta you'll need to report whatever you see to Apple via its bug reporting tools. This way, company engineers can get to work on a fix ahead of the update's release this fall.
Your testing could help Apple squash an annoying bug or a nasty performance issue.
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