When to Update to the Beta (And When You Shouldn’t)
Be advised that although the public release of beta is quite stable but it’s still beta altogether which means there will be crashes, frozen apps, quirks and other issues.
The wise things to do is if you only have one iOS device and rely on it on daily basis and it contains all your data then wait for the public release of iOS proper.
On the other hand if you are just way to curious and excited and can deal with all the hiccups it will offer then go right ahead.
What You Need
First and foremost you need an iOS compatible device so let’s break it down. Every iPhone from iPhone 5 and above is compatible along with the following devices.
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone 5c
- iPhone 5
It gets a little hard to explain once we start to talk about iPads but if you have an iPad 2 then there shouldn’t be a problem along with the list below.
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch
- iPad Pro 9.7-inch
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Air
- iPad 4th generation
- iPad 3rd generation
- iPad 2
- iPad mini 4
- iPad mini 3
- iPad mini 2
- iPad mini
You can also install iOS 10 beta on the latest two generation of the iPod Touch:
- iPod touch 5th generation
- iPod touch 6th generation
Once you have the compatible device then sign up for an Apple beta Software Program account using your regular Apple ID.
In addition to the device hardware requirements, we also strongly suggest you have a Windows PC or Mac running the most current version of iTunes in order to do a complete backup of your device in its iOS 9 state before updating to iOS 10 beta.
Step One: Back Up Your iOS Device Up With iTunes
Even with a fast connection, pulling down a full iCloud backup can take a very long time for a phone with a lot of apps and storage. Further, you never have to worry about running out of space or your backup being overwritten when you have the extra space of a hard drive (compared to the very limited amount of space allocated to the free iCloud account). If you want to wipe your phone and go back to iOS 9, the process will take a few minutes if you have a local backup and, potentially, hours and hours if you have to do it over the internet. To back up, run iTunes and plug in your iOS device with the sync cable. Look for the device icon near the upper left corner of the iTunes interface and click on it.
In the device “Summary” page, which is open by default when selecting the device, scroll down to the “Backups” setting and check “This computer” as the backup location, then check “Encrypt iPhone backup”–if you don’t encrypt your backup, you’ll lose all your account passwords saved in Safari and other apps, all your Health data, and all your Homekit data and settings. Click “Back Up Now” to start the backup.
Even with a particularly full iPhone, the process shouldn’t take long–our 64GB iPhone 6 was a little over half full and it backed up over USB in a little over 10 minutes.
Speaking of particularly full iPhones, if your iOS device is packed to the gills with stuff, you may not have room for the iOS 10 update. While you’re waiting for the backup process to finish, take a peek at the bottom of the device panel and see how much free space you have on the device.
The iOS 10 beta update is approximately 1.7GB in size, and requires about 1.5GB of temporary space to use during the upgrade process. So what you should do is add these two numbers up and aim for a round figure of 4GB free space. If you are a little tight now is the time to delete any unwanted data, app or games. Check out Settings > General > Usage on your device to see what’s using up the space.
Step Two: Update Your Configuration Profile
Now when the backup is done and you have freed up some space it’s time for the process to begin. The public beta update is an Over The Air (OTA) process so make sure you’ve got your device fully charged and, preferably, hooked up to a charging cable.
Now open Safari, go to https://beta.apple.com/profile, log into your Apple account scroll down and look for the step “Download Profile”.
You’ll be prompted to install the profile. Click “Install” in the upper right corner.
If your device is secured with a PIN number, you’ll be prompted to enter it. Next you’ll see a big block of legalese, click “Install” in the upper right corner again. Finally you’ll be prompted to restart your phone. Click “Restart”. Note: this does not install iOS 10, it merely updates the profile on your phone so that you are even eligible for the OTA update in the first place.
After the restart it’s time to actually download and apply the update.
Step Three: Apply the Update
With the phone booted back up and with a health battery life, navigate to Settings > General > Software Update. When you click on it you should see the following entry for “iOS 10 Public Beta 1” (or higher, if you’re reading this tutorial once further Beta updates have rolled out).
Click on “Download and Install”.
Enter your PIN, if applicable, and then accept another round of agreements. Once you’ve done that, the download will start–but be prepared to wait (especially if you’re following along with this tutorial around the July 7 release of the first public beta).
Once the file is on your device the “Download and install” option will turn to “Install”. It’s your choice if you want to install immediately or wait to install it later on.
Plug in your phone to play it safe and be patient while the update is being installed.
Completing the Process
When your iOS device finishes updating and you’re back at the lock screen, key in your PIN to get started. You’ll be prompted to accept some more agreements (iOS software is, apparently, agreements all the way down). Then you’ll be prompted to participate in various data collection programs like error reporting to Apple and app developers. Even if you normally lock down those kind of privacy settings we’d encourage you to turn them on (at least while you’re using beta versions of iOS). The whole point of the beta program is for curious/dedicated iOS users to try things out before they reach the public in a stable release–every error report helps.
In addition to enabling error reporting, you may notice that there is now a new Apple provided app on your phone: Feedback.
If you run into weird glitches with iOS 10, you can tap on the Feedback icon and file a report using a very well laid out report form.
With an extra minute of effort here or there your bug reports will help polish the edges of iOS 10 before it is released to the public.
A sign up here, an “I agree” here, there, and everywhere, and after a little downloading you’re up and running iOS 10 months before everyone else. Now it’s time to play with the slew of new features and see how things change between now and the Fall release.