This is your opportunity to look into the future of iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS. Apple just released the first public beta of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8. These releases are the next major versions of the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch operating systems. Unlike developer betas, anyone can download these betas – you don’t need a $ 99 developer account. But don’t forget, it’s a beta.
The company still plans to release the final version of iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and watchOS 8 in the fall. But Apple will be releasing betas every couple of weeks this summer. It’s a great way to fix as many bugs as possible and collect data from a large group of users.
As always, Apple’s public betas closely follow the developer beta release cycle. Apple also released the second developer beta of iOS and iPadOS 15 today. So it sounds like the first public beta is more or less the same build as the second developer build.
But remember, you shouldn’t be installing a beta on your primary iPhone or iPad. The problem isn’t just bugs – some apps and features don’t work at all. In some rare cases, beta software can also lock your device and make it unusable. You can even lose data in iCloud. Proceed with extreme caution.
However, if you don’t have an iPad, iPhone, or Apple Watch that you don’t need, you can download them here. Visit Apple’s beta website from the device you want to use for the beta and download the configuration profile – do so from your iPhone for the watchOS beta. It’s a tiny file that instructs your device to update to public betas like it was a normal software update.
Once it’s installed, restart your device and then go to the Settings (or Watch) app. You should see an update. In September your device should be automatically updated to the final version of iOS 15, iPadOS 15 or watchOS 8 and you can delete the configuration profile.
The biggest change in iOS 15 is a new Focus mode. In addition to Do Not Disturb, you can configure different modes – you can choose apps and people you want to receive notifications from, and change your focus based on what you’re doing. For example, you can create a work mode, a sleep mode, a training mode, and so on.
There are lots of new features across the board, like a new weather app, updated maps in Apple Maps, an improved version of FaceTime with SharePlay, and more. Safari also has a brand new look.