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Try iOS 17 now! Apple releases first public betas

Apple has now released the first public betas for iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. This gives all the Apple enthusiasts out there a chance to test drive the new software ahead of its official launch in September. This public release follows three rounds of developer betas, and marks the first time the general public is getting a taste of these updates since WWDC in June.

Well, sort of. Despite this being labeled as a public beta, Apple changed the game this year by allowing anyone to sign up for a free developer account to test iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 at the same time as actual developers. Previously, users would have to pay a registration fee to qualify as an Apple developer, but the limitations seem to have dropped for those visiting and signing in with their regular Apple ID. That means dedicated users have been able to try these beta releases for more than a month already.

However, the official public beta release simplifies the process even further and signals that Apple believes its betas are ready for wider testing. To do so, sign up for the free Apple Beta Software Program. Once registered, you can then download updates by heading to the Settings app, tapping on General, then hitting the Software Update section. Here, you can toggle on the iOS 17 Public Beta option, which grants access to the current release and all subsequent beta updates through the summer.

This sure simplifies things for those who don’t wish to sign up for a free developer account. The world of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 is now just a few taps away for everyone. But be warned that this is still pre-release beta software, meaning some apps might not work as intended just yet and you’re almost certain to encounter unexpected bugs from time to time. Although it’s exciting to try new features (like Contact Posters, Standby, Offline Maps, and more) early, we’d recommend installing betas on a secondary device if you have one, to avoid wrecking your primary device with bugs. That’s up to you though!