Apple has introduced great features in iOS 15, including new FaceTime functionality, a redesigned notification system and offline Siri support, and it's available to try in beta form right now ahead of full release later this year. The catch? The beta isn't available to everyone - not just yet, anyway.
Here's all you need to know about the iOS 15 beta, including how to install it right now, and when the public beta will be available.
Can I install iOS 15 on my iPhone?
As long as your iPhone is compatible with iOS 14, you should be able to download iOS 15 when it becomes available. Just to confirm, here’s all the devices which can get iOS 15:
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Mini
- iPhone SE (second-gen)
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6S
- iPhone 6S Plus
- iPhone SE (first-gen)
The risks of installing beta software
Before we explain how to install beta versions of iOS on your iPhone, we need to first explain the situation with beta software. For those unaware, betas are unfinished, and that means you’ll likely to run into bugs, glitches and even crashes that leave you locked out of various areas of your smartphone.
In other words, don’t expect the iOS 15 beta - especially early betas - to be as stable as Apple’s current software. That can be true not only of the iPhone software itself, but the apps you’ve got installed - some may work perfectly in iOS 14, but crash upon opening in iOS 15.
If you do decide to take the plunge, we can’t stress how important it is to back up your iPhone using an archived backup prior to the upgrade. Without an archived backup, you won’t be able to restore from a backup if you decide to go back to iOS 14, due to Apple not supporting restore data from newer software updates. Essentially, if you back up your iPhone running iOS 15, you won’t be able to restore from that backup if you want to go back to iOS 14.
To archive a backup, open iTunes (or Finder in macOS Big Sur), click Preferences > Devices. You’ll then see a list of all your backups - right-click your most recent backup and select Archive to save it from being overwritten.
How to install the iOS 15 Developer Beta
The only way to get iOS 15 on your iPhone right now is if you're a registered Apple developer. Once you're a registered iOS developer, here’s how to install the iOS 15 beta:
- On your iPhone, head to developer.apple.com in Safari and log in with your Apple ID details.
- Head to the Downloads section, listed in the menu on the left.
- Scroll down to the iOS 15 beta and tap the Install Profile button.
- You’ll see a pop-up appear asking whether you want to download a profile to your iPhone. Click Accept.
- Head to the Settings app and tap Profile Downloaded at the top of the list. If this doesn’t appear, head to General > Profile and tap on the iOS 14 beta profile.
- Tap Install in the top-right to install the iOS 15 beta profile.
- Agree to the developer consent form.
- Restart your iPhone to finish installing the beta profile.
- Once restarted, go back to the Settings app and head to General > Software Update.
- You should see the iOS 15 beta appear - tap Download and Install, and wait for your iPhone to download the update.
- Once downloaded, you’ll see a pop-up appear asking to install the update. Tap Install to install the iOS 15 beta update.
What about the iOS 15 public beta?
Apple has, for the past few years, introduced a public beta alongside its dev-only beta, allowing dedicated Apple fans to experience the new operating system before its full release later in the year. Apple has confirmed that the Public Beta program is set to return not only for iOS 15, but all other software updates announced at WWDC 2021.
The catch? It's not available just yet, with Apple confirming that the iOS 15 public beta will launch sometime in July. It'll give the company a bit of time to iron out some of the more damaging beta bugs found in early dev-only builds before (hopefully) rolling out something a little more stable to members of the public because, let's be honest, we all install it on our primary devices right?
We'll update this section with specific instructions once the public beta launches next month, so check back frequently if you're keen to get the iOS 15 beta installed on your iPhone.
We also go into detail about when to expect the iOS 15 public beta separately if you want more information.