Apple’s iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 will officially launch on September 20, 2021, but you can test them in public beta right now if you’re willing to risk running into potential bugs. Here we will guide you through the steps to install the software. It’s a similar process for the iPhone and iPad, but we’ve created separate sections for each operating system.
As expected, Apple announced the release date at the September event, where it also showcased the new iPhone 13, iPad Mini with USB-C charger, and more.
Before we begin, here’s the usual caveat about installing unfinished beta software: these releases may seem stable for general use, but they may contain some bugs. Your experience may differ from others depending on the apps you use. And finally, if you decide to install, I recommend backing up your device’s data just in case things go wrong.
What are the new features of iOS 15?
Some of the new features coming to iOS 15 include updates to FaceTime, Messages, notifications, privacy controls, and much more. For example, FaceTime supports spatial audio and reflects the speaker’s location on the screen, with a new speech isolation that can remove background noise. Other changes to FaceTime include the ability to share music and videos during calls and invite Android users to a FaceTime call with a shareable link.
SharePlay, which allows people to enjoy streaming entertainment at the same time, was one of the most anticipated features of iOS 15, but Apple recently decided it won’t be appearing in the final version of iOS 15 that launches on September 20. Instead, it will come later in the fall of 2021.
What devices are supported for iOS 15?
Here’s the list:
- iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
- iPhone X, iPhone XR
- iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus
- iPhone SE (first and second generation)
- iPod Touch (seventh generation)
How to install the iOS 15 beta
- go to Apple’s beta software portal from your phone’s Safari browser and agree to sign in with your Apple ID.
- If you aren’t automatically taken there, select “Enroll your devices” from the drop-down menu in the top right corner of the web page.
- Select “iOS,” the left-most option on the next page. Doing so will prompt a reminder to make sure you have sent a backup of your phone’s contents to your macOS computer in case you need to revert to an earlier state.
- Scroll down until you find a button that says “Download Profile” and tap it. This displays a warning that the website is attempting to download a configuration profile. Select ‘Allow’. You will get a pop-up window telling you that you can set up the new profile from the Settings app.
- Open the Settings app. A new section called “Profile Downloaded” should be added at the top. Select it and you can access the beta software download. You may need to restart your phone to activate the profile.
- Congratulations, you made it!
What are the new features of iPadOS 15?
This year’s release of iPadOS makes the home screen more customizable and makes split-screen multitasking easier. The App Library feature introduced last year in iOS 14 has made its way to this new iPad software. Plus, many of the features Apple is bringing to iOS 15 are also coming to the tablet lineup, including more spatial audio for FaceTime, Portrait Mode, and SharePlay, which lets you watch TV or listen to music with others on the phone. Chris Welch wrote all about the new features here, including a section on how iPadOS 15 will “take on ‘pro’ requests for another year,” delivering features that appeal more generally to people rather than professional users.
What devices are supported for iPadOS 15?
Here’s the list:
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st through 5th generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (1st to 3rd generation)
- iPad Pro 10.5-inch
- iPad Pro 9.7-inch
- iPad (fifth through eighth generations)
- iPad Mini (fourth and fifth generation)
- iPad Air (second through fourth generation)
How to download the iPadOS 15 beta
- go to Apple’s beta software portal from your iPad’s Safari browser.
- Click “Enroll your devices” at the top of the webpage (you may need to scroll horizontally to find it).
- Click on ‘iPadOS’, the second option from the left on the next page. Doing so will remind you to create a backup on your macOS computer first in case you need to restore your operating system to a previous state.
- Scroll down until you find a button that says “Download Profile” and select it. This may cause a warning that the website is attempting to download a configuration profile. Select ‘Allow’. You will get a pop-up window telling you that you can set up the new profile from the Settings app.
- Open the Settings app and a new section called “Profile Downloaded” should be added at the top. Select it and you should be able to access the beta software download. You may need to restart your iPad first.
- Finally, if nothing prompts you to get started with the download, open the Settings app, go to General, then find “Software Update” to install the beta software.
Update September 15, 2021, 2:00 PM ET: This article was originally published on June 30, 2021 and has been updated to include new information about iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.