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iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma Public Beta 1 Rolling Out: How to Sign Up to Test Apple's Upcoming Updates

Apple's public beta releases are relatively more stable compared to developer previews and allow users to try out more reliable testing versions.

iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma Public Beta 1 Rolling Out: How to Sign Up to Test Apple's Upcoming Updates

Photo Credit: Apple

iOS 17 will add new Messages capabilities including a Check In safety feature

  • iOS 17 Public Beta 1 can now be downloaded on eligible iPhone models
  • Eligible iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac owners can also install beta versions
  • Apple is expected to roll out iOS 17 and other updates later this year

iOS 17 public beta has begun rolling out to users, a month after Apple rolled out developer betas for the company's upcoming OS update for eligible iPhone models. Alongside iOS 17, Apple is also rolling out the first public beta of iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and macOS Sonoma. The Cupertino company is expected to roll out the stable versions of these operating systems in the coming months, and will introduce new features like the ambient display with StandBy mode and the new Journal app, as well as notable changes to the FaceTime, Messages, and Phone apps.

Apple started rolling out the first public beta versions of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and macOS Sonoma on Wednesday, and users who have enrolled their devices to receive testing versions of Apple's operating systems for iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers can now download and try out the new features before Apple rolls them out on the stable channel later this year.

With iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, Apple is adding support for interactive widgets as well as updated versions of the FaceTime and Messages app with new features including the ability to make video calls from an Apple TV using the camera on an iPhone or iPad. Meanwhile, watchOS 10 will bring a major change to the interface with more information available at a glance, while macOS Sonoma brings new lock screen screensavers, desktop widget support, and improved gaming features.

While Apple opened access to the early developer beta versions to all users this year — without the annual $99 developer fee — those testing versions are known to have a few bugs and glitches. Public beta versions of Apple software are relatively more stable and allow users to try out a more reliable version of the company's upcoming updates.

In order to enrol your iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer to receive the first public beta of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma, you can visit beta.apple.com and sign in using the same Apple ID used on your devices. After you agree to Apple's terms, you can visit Settings > General > Software Update > Beta Updates on your devices and select the public beta you want to download.

However, it is worth noting that this is still pre-release software and Apple explicitly warns users that they should not install software for beta testing on their primary devices. If you want to install the beta versions of iOS 17 or iPadOS 17 on your iPhone or iPad, you should first take a backup using iTunes. Similarly, you can take a Time Machine backup and install macOS Sonoma on a separate partition to make sure the functionality of your Mac computer is not impacted.

Apple's annual developer conference is just around the corner. From the company's first mixed reality headset to new software updates, we discuss all the things we're looking forward to seeing at WWDC 2023 on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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David Delima
As a writer on technology with Gadgets 360, David Delima is interested in open-source technology, cybersecurity, consumer privacy, and loves to read and write about how the Internet works. David can be contacted via email at DavidD@ndtv.com, on Twitter at @DxDavey, and Mastodon at mstdn.social/@delima. More
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