There may be more Android phones out there than iPhones, but iOS is still one of the most beloved mobile operating systems on the market. In fact, it's the reason so many people choose to buy iPhones in the first place -- with users citing its clean look, ease of use, and high-quality third-party apps as major selling points for the platform.
Because of this, it's always an exciting time when Apple releases a new version of iOS. Each update has brought a plethora of handy new features to the mix, and with iOS 13, users can expect even more new uses for their apps, bug fixes and security options to protect their device and data from prying eyes.
That said, iOS 13 isn't due out for some time -- autumn to be exact. But for those who are eager to see all the cool new options Apple is bringing to the table, the company is offering Beta access for those willing to try it. You'll be able to get the newest version of iOS months early if you sign up, but is the beta really worth using on your daily-driver at this point in time? We'll be going over the pros and cons, and what you can do if you're brave enough to try an in-progress operating system (OS) on your device.
What's new in iOS 13?
We've already gone over some of the benefits found in the latest edition of iOS. The sleek new Dark Mode is already turning heads with its stunning good looks and makes using your phone in dim areas even easier on your eyes.
Updates to Maps, Messages, and Health give users even more flexibility with how they can use their iPhone. Most notably for Komando.com readers, iOS 13 includes the ability to send any unknown calls directly to voicemail -- thwarting potential robocallers before they even have a chance to annoy you!
Most of these updates occur "under the hood," so to speak, but that's not to say iOS 13 is the exact same as iOS 12. Like the previous OS, this release focuses primarily on stability and performance, but the new features announced are crowd pleasers that have some real utility for those who rely on their phones every day.
Is beta software worth using?
This is the biggest deciding factor when it comes to downloading unreleased software. By definition, a beta release is incomplete -- essentially a "prototype" of a piece of software. The job of beta users is to test this software out, find bugs, and report them to Apple to help it make programs work even better by the time of final release.
Not all betas are created equal, mind you. Some betas are fairly close to the final product and have already implemented numerous bug fixes. Others are from fairly early in software development and may show unstable performance when used.
When it comes to the iOS 13 beta, the reaction has been mixed. Users are praising the variety of new features -- with Dark Mode seen as a major standout. However, it has received criticism for random crashes, certain webpages failing to load and incompatibility with certain apps.
These issues are likely to be phased out by the time of final release, but if you depend on many third-party apps for work and play, you may want to hold off on downloading the beta.
In fact, if your phone is critical to you for conducting business, I would highly advise waiting for the final product to arrive. In a world where we depend on our phones for so much, having your device out of commission when you need it most can be a devastating situation.
How can I get my hands on iOS 13 early?
If you're eager to give the new software a try, all you'll need to do is sign up for Apple's Beta Software Program.
By signing up, you're agreeing to help Apple improve its software prior to release and your device may send information back to Apple in the background to that end. Additionally, there is a front-facing "Feedback Assistant" app that participants will be able to use to report bugs to Apple.
Keep in mind, when you have the beta installed, you'll receive an alert every time a new version of the beta is released. At this point, it's recommended you continue to update your device, as these releases will implement bug fixes based on user reporting. The latest version of the beta, in most cases, will be the most stable.
To download the program, visit the Apple Beta Software Program Page and sign up. Once you're a participant, you'll have the option to either download and install the software (a cable and compatible computer are required), or you can AirDrop the update into your device. Apple's webpage will provide instructions on the process the whole way through.
Just make sure, above all, to backup your data before trying out unreleased software. If iOS 13 is buggy enough to crash, you may find yourself needing to restore your phone from scratch -- which erases everything on the device. Without a backup, your data is essentially forfeit.
If you've backed up your data and feel brave enough to go forward, go ahead and sign up for Apple's beta program. You'll be one of the first users in the world to experience Apple's latest software months before release to the general public! Be smart with your data, and you should have no major issues. Enjoy your taste of the future!
Get Kim and Andrew's favorite apps
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