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How to Safely Update to iOS 18 Developer Beta

How to Safely Update to iOS 18 Developer Beta

Apple’s iOS 18 Developer Beta builds give you a sneak peek at the new functionality and features coming to iPhone this fall. But installing it on your primary device can be risky business. These software updates are often released early so developers can test their apps on the upcoming software.

But if you’re not a developer and still want to check out these updates, you might want to check out this guide before installing the beta. Here’s what you need to know.

Benefits of Installing iOS 18 Beta

1. Early Access to New Features

Getting early access to the new iOS 18 is very exciting. It’s more than just curiosity for me. Having access to beta versions allows me to report bugs and test new features.

Apple unveiled iOS 18 a few months ago. It comes with a bunch of new features, from a revamped Photos app to the highly anticipated Apple Intelligence. The stable public release is set for fall 2024. However, you can get early access to the Developer and Public Beta versions if you enroll in the Apple Beta Software Program.

In iOS 18 Developer Beta 3, I can customize Control Center, adjust app icon sizes on the Home Screen, and request Remote Control via Screen Sharing. Of course, not all the features are here yet. We may see more gradually as Apple releases subsequent iOS betas, but Apple Intelligence will likely come much later.

2. Apple Needs Your Feedback

One of the reasons Apple releases beta versions is because it needs a diverse pool of testers, including developers and regular iPhone users. iOS 18 is still new, and the company understands that there are many hidden bugs that need to be addressed. The fastest way for developers to troubleshoot and resolve issues is to have proactive volunteers explore new iOS environments.

3. Technology Enthusiast

For tech enthusiasts like me, the opportunity to tinker with unreleased features is pure gold. That’s why I jumped at the chance to explore the iOS 18 Developer Beta. By diving in early, I not only get to test out new features myself, but I can also use my experience to create helpful guides for other Apple fans.

Sure, there might be some bragging rights when you show off that new interface to your non-tech-savvy friends (we’ve all been there!), but the real reward is knowledge and the chance to be a part of Apple’s innovations.

Dangers of Beta Version

The above benefits may seem tempting, but you should also be aware of the risks of using Developer Beta versions.

1. Performance Issues

Since updating my iPhone to iOS 18 beta, battery performance has been terrible. It overheats while charging and app crashes are annoying.

This is one of the biggest drawbacks of installing beta versions. As mentioned, such software updates are in raw form and are expected to cause performance issues that you may not want on your primary device.

2. Application Compatibility Issues

If you like peace of mind, betas are not for you. Many apps running the new iOS version are likely to crash. Additionally, certain app features you rely on may be unexpectedly missing or malfunctioning during the beta phase.

3. Data Loss

This doesn’t happen very often, but it is possible, and you could lose all your data including media, contacts, documents, etc. It’s very important to have a solid backup plan before installing any beta software.

4. Drop Mayhem

I’ve come across numerous posts on Reddit and Apple Forums from Apple users asking for help to rollback to iOS 17. This can be a complicated process and may require wiping the entire device, wiping all your data.

Image Credit: Reddit

How to Prepare for Beta Installation

The downsides may seem discouraging, but there are a few steps you can take to test beta versions safely. Follow these steps before updating to iOS 18 Developer Beta:

Get a Second Device

Avoid installing beta versions, especially Developer Beta versions, on your primary device. In most cases, developers who frequently test new beta versions use their secondary iPhones.

This lets you explore beta features without compromising the stability and security of your everyday device. You can use your old iPhone if it’s still compatible, or buy a used model online.

Create a Backup

If you don’t have a backup iPhone, it’s important to create a backup of your primary phone. It’ll act as a safety net in case you accidentally wipe your device during the update process.

Here are some backup options:

1. iCloud Backup

Using iCloud is the fastest and most convenient way to back up your data. Follow these steps:

  1. Hungry Settings Go to the app on your iPhone and tap on your name at the top.
  2. choose iCloud Settings.
  3. Now scroll down and get under it Device Backups, tap on it iCloud Backup.
  4. Make sure Backup This iPhone effective.
  5. Then, tap on Backup now.

Follow the on-screen instructions to create a backup of your device on Apple’s server. You may also need to purchase some extra storage space, as Apple only gives 5GB for free.

2. Backup to Your Computer

If you don’t want to buy more space, you can back up your data directly to your computer. Connect your iPhone to your MacBook and use Finder to sync your files.

Once you’ve completed all of the above, open the Settings app and navigate to: General > Software Update > Beta Updates. Select iOS 18 Developer Beta to start the update.

If you’re eager to upgrade your Mac, you could also look into the macOS 15 Developer Beta. I recommend checking app compatibility beforehand to make sure you can still access your favorite personal and professional programs.