The iOS 13 public beta is out now, and it look like a smorgasbord of all the things we ever wanted. Dark Mode! Siri support for music apps! Better video editing! Overhauled Maps! A swiping keyboard! Smaller downloads!
It’s really tempting to pop over to beta.apple.com and jump on the beta bandwagon. (For more on how to install the beta, and how to uninstall it, read our guide.)
But you might want to pump the breaks a bit. Running beta software has sometimes serious consequences, and not all the wonderful features of iOS 13 are even available yet in the beta. To help you decide if you should participate in the iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 public beta, we prepared this short guide.
Three beta OS principles
No matter who you are, there are three core principles for running any beta operating system, and they certainly hold true for iOS 13 as well.
- Be ready for disaster. You may have to restart your device from scratch or return to iOS 12, so make sure anything even remotely important is backed up and easy to recover. As a rule of thumb, if you’re not prepared for your iPhone or iPad to be dropped into the deep ocean, you’re not ready to run a beta operating system.
- Don’t use a device you rely on. If you need your iPhone or iPad for your day-to-day work or for emergency contacts or really any other “can’t live without it” function, don’t run an iOS beta on it. Whenever possible, use a secondary device that won’t ruin your life if it becomes unusable. At the very least, make sure you have an old device available and up-to-date to use as a backup.
- Report any and all problems. When you run the iOS beta, you’ll notice a Feedback app on your home screen. Use it frequently! Crashes, formatting problems, design inconsistencies, performance issues…if it’s not right, let Apple know. If an app you use doesn’t work right with iOS 13, report it to that app developer. Use official channels—simply airing your grievances on Twitter does not count! Developers…