Update: If you're looking to get iOS 13 public beta, good news: Apple has officially launched the iPhone software update early. All you have to do is enroll in the beta program on Apple's website. It's fairly painless to download and install and totally free.
Developers wondering how to get iOS 13 beta onto an iPhone may need a little help this year, as there's no over-the-air update. We're here to help with instructions.
You can try iOS 13 early, ahead of its full release likely in September with iPhone 11. Apple made iOS 13 beta 1 available to the developer community right after the WWDC 2019 keynote, as promised, and they recently released beta 4.
Apple also released a separate public beta - but note that it may not include as many new features as the latest developer beta. The public beta is, however, far easier to install.
Here’s how to download the iOS 13 developer beta, but be warned – it’s onerous to install. Likewise, the developer beta (and even the iOS 13 public beta after it) aren’t guaranteed to be completely stable.
Some apps may not work with the iOS 13 beta until the final release (we've experienced that before in prior iOS betas). If you want to minimize your risk and/or irritation, you can wait for the iOS 13 public beta coming to all iPhone users in July.
But keep reading if you’re willing to do a little legwork to get an early taste of iOS 13 Dark Mode and some of the other cool new features coming in the next iPhone operating system (note: not all features will launch in beta 1).
1. Before getting iOS 13 beta, backup your iPhone
If you want to try out the developer beta, we recommend you back up your iPhone first – just in case. That way, you can restore your phone’s settings, apps, and data to normal (that is, on a stable version of iOS) should something go wrong.
So before downloading to iOS 13 beta, head over to our supreme guide on how to back up your iPhone.
2. To get iOS 13, enroll in the Apple Developer Program
If you want to test iOS 13 developer beta but aren’t enrolled in Apple’s Developer Program, go to the Apple Developer Program signup page and follow the instructions.
You’ll need to provide your Apple ID along with some basic personal information. Remember that registering costs $100 (about £69, AU$140) to enroll as a new developer. But you'll also have early access to macOS and other beta software.
3. How to download and install iOS 13
Got your developer account? Great. First, head to Apple’s developer page here. Click the ‘Operating Systems’ tab at the top. Now, you guessed it, scroll down to the section marked ‘iOS 13 beta.’
Next, choose between installing using the macOS 10.15 beta (which is itself another developer beta at this point) or through the Xcode 11 beta, and you’ll actually install it via iTunes (ironically, as iTunes is going away soon).
Now you’ll pick from a list of phones to choose which iPhone you’re loading the iOS 13 beta to. Keep in mind that there’s a new minimum threshold: anything older than the iPhone SE, iPhone 6S or iPod Touch (7th generation) won’t be able to update to this version of iOS.
And..that’s it. Enjoy the iOS 13 beta, and keep checking in to see if a new version is ready to be downloaded.
- Here's our list of the best iPhones out there to load up with iOS 13