The first iOS 13 beta is here and in this guide we’ll take you through the most important things to know, right now, about this version of iOS 13.
As expected, Apple confirmed iOS 13 on stage during its WWDC 2019 keynote. The new operating system, which replaces iOS 12, is set to launch later this year, but you can test the update’s new features, and performance, ahead of the official release date.
Apple’s pushed an early version of iOS 13 to developers. The iOS 13 beta gives those enrolled in the company’s developer program (and soon, the public Beta Software Program) the chance to try the software before it lands for millions of devices around the world.
iOS 13’s first beta features many of the features we saw on stage during WWDC 2019 including Dark Mode, the new Reminders app, and more.
There are some great reasons to use Apple’s beta software. You can try out new features before everyone else and you can help the company squash bugs before it pushes the final version to millions of customers around the world. There are also some drawbacks.
Pre-release software typically is plagued with various bugs and performance issues and we’re starting to hear about some of the issues on board the first iOS 13 beta. We expect the list to grow as more people jump up from iOS 12.
With all that in mind, allow us to walk you through the most important things to know about the iOS 13 beta right now. We’ll take you through the problems, downgrade, and some of the other key details to keep in mind as we push away from the release.
iOS 13 Beta
There are two ways download the iOS 13 beta. You can join Apple’s developer program or you can join Apple’s Beta Software Program. Most people will want to try it 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.
Apple will release the first public iOS 13 beta in July.
Before you decide to move off iOS 12, you’ll want to do some prep work and research. The iOS 13 beta is a tempting download, but most people are better off staying 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 iOS 13 beta.
- Dig into iOS 13’s new features and other changes.
- Decide if the iOS 13 beta is worth it.
You’ll also need a device that’s compatible with iOS 13. Here are the device’s that are compatible with the iOS 13 beta:
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE
Apple’s dropped support for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 5s this fall. Those devices will stay put on iOS 12.4 or whatever the final version of iOS 12 winds up being.
If you do decide to download the iOS 13 beta, here’s how long you can expect the download and installation to take. Those installing beta software for the first time can expect the entire process to take 30 minutes, or longer, to complete.
iOS 13 Beta Problems
Apple’s iOS 13 beta is pre-release software which means it’s unfinished. The purpose of the beta is to weed out bugs and performance issues before the software arrives for everyone this fall.
Unsurprisingly, the iOS 13 beta is causing problems for many beta testers. Apple’s acknowledged several issues it’s currently working on and beta testers have put together a long list of additional bugs.
The current list of iOS 13 beta problems includes some of the usual suspects like severe battery drain, issues with apps, connectivity issues, crashes, installation problems, and UI lag.
This is the first beta and future releases will be more polished, but you can expect bugs and performance issues to linger throughout Apple’s beta testing period.
If you depend on your apps to get you through the day or simply can’t handle dealing with major problems, you’ll probably want to avoid the iOS 13 beta for now.
You Can Downgrade to iOS 12
If you do decide to try the iOS 13 beta on your phone, note that you can only downgrade to select versions of iOS 12.
Apple’s stopped signing on iOS 12.2 and older versions of iOS which means you’re stuck with iOS 12.3.2, iOS 12.3.1 and iOS 12.3 once you move your device to iOS 13 beta.
This is something you need to weigh if you’re having a great experience on iOS 12.2 or an older version of iOS.
For more on the downgrade process, please take a look at our guide.
iOS 13 Release Date
The iOS 13 update will probably stay in testing until September.
Apple hasn’t confirmed an official iOS 13 release date, but the company has provided us with an official release window for the new software.
The iOS 13 release date is confirmed for the fall and it’ll probably arrive a few days after Apple confirms the new 2019 iPhone models.
Apple typically confirms iOS release dates on stage alongside the new iPhones and releases the software a few days before the new hardware hits stores.
iOS 13 Beta Jailbreak
If you still jailbreak your devices, avoid the iOS 13 beta.
The only way you can jailbreak a device 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 any of those versions.
— sparkey (@iBSparkes) June 3, 2019
Jailbreak developers have teased an iOS 13 jailbreak but don’t expect them to rush out a public jailbreak tool. They probably won’t burn their exploits on beta software.
With that in mind, keep an eye out for iOS 13 jailbreak news as we press on through the summer.
Install the Beta to Help Improve Apple Improve iOS 13
While trying new features is certainly exciting, remember that you're also helping Apple squash issues before they reach millions of iOS users around the world.
Your testing could help the company discover a nasty bug or performance problem ahead of the final release later this year.
If you're sick of dealing with issues or sick of hearing friends and family complain about problems, think about giving the iOS 13 beta a try.
If you decide to download the iOS 13 beta and find an issue on board, make sure you report it to Apple. This way, engineers can work on a permanent fix.
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