iOS 12 doesn’t officially launch until later this year, but after a few weeks of developer testing Apple has opened it up to the public. Now anyone can try out the new features and design tweaks as a beta tester.

There are a lot of new features coming in iOS 11, including face-tracking custom Memoji characters and habit-tracking app Screen Time, plus improvements like Siri Shortcuts, intelligent notifications and group FaceTime calls. Check out our rundown for more details on iOS 12.

If you’re curious to try out the new software before the rest of the world gets it, it’s an easy process to try out – but it’s not so easy to go back to iOS 12 if you change your mind, so proceed with caution.

A word of warning

Remember, this is an unpolished beta version of iOS 12 and you may find some things not working as intended. The purpose of a beta release is to find (and subsequently fix) as many bugs as possible before the official release in a few months – so prepare to see a few of those bugs yourself if you decide to try it out now.

That said, iOS 12 is focused almost entirely on stability and performance, and early reports from the developer beta suggest this is a much more stable release than usual. In fact, many users have actually reported an improvement in performance and battery life, especially on older devices. This improvement is one of the key selling points of iOS 12, but we’re surprised to see it working so well this early on in the testing phase.

Still – be careful out there in beta territory, folks. Or install it on a secondary device if you’re worried.

Back up your device

If you do plan on trying out the beta, make sure to back up your device first – just in case. The easiest way to make a backup is using iCloud:

1. Ensure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.

2. Open Settings, then scroll down and press iCloud.

3. Select Backup and ensure iCloud Backup is toggled on.

4. Tap Back Up Now to save a current backup to iCloud. It may take a short while.

Installing the beta

Time to take the plunge.

1. First, you’ll need to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program. Press here and then tap Sign Up.

2. Once you’re in, find the iOS section of the betas and press Enroll this device.

3. Choose Download Profile and then press Allow followed by Install.

4. Your device will reboot. Afterward, go to Settings General Software UpdateDownload and Install and press Install Now.

That’s it! It may take a while for the beta to install, but once it’s done your device will reboot with the new operating system. You can dive straight into Messages to make your own Memoji!