Updated 07/16/21: The iOS 15 Public Beta 3 has been released with several new tweaks.
Every year, Apple releases major updates to its iPhone and iPad operating systems in the fall. For months before that, it released beta tests for developers and the public. They are often incomplete and buggy, but it can be exciting to test everything before it hits a billion devices in the fall. We highly recommend that you do not run this beta version on a critical device. Yes, you can go back to the previous version of iOS or iPadOS 14, but it is not a quick and easy process and you may lose some of the information that you have not backed up or saved to the cloud. We also recommend that you backup your iPhone or iPad before starting. If you want to know all about the new features coming to your iPhone and iPad this fall, check out our iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 guides.
Also, beta testing is a great way to help find bugs and issues, resulting in a more stable release this fall. Just use the Feedback app to submit bug reports. If you’re interested in running the beta version of iOS 15 or iPadOS 15, this is how you get it.
[For more tips, tricks, news, features, and updates, check out our iOS 15 superguide.]
What’s new in Beta 3?
Apple is fine-tuning the Safari redesign with a new search layout and a secondary way to reload a web page (by holding down the URL bar). However, it remains fundamentally the same.
There is a splash screen in the App Store to highlight new features like in-app events and the App Store widget.
The focus settings are modified and updated.
There are new shortcut options for playing background sounds.
The Music widget has been slightly redesigned.
The Reset option in Settings> General now says Transfer or reset iPhone and can guide you through transferring to a new iPhone, even if you don’t have enough iCloud storage.
Sign up for the public beta
It couldn’t be easier to get into the public beta program. Just go to beta.apple.com and tap “Sign up.” You need to do this on the device where you want to run the beta version. You will be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID, agree to the terms of service, and then download a beta profile.
Once you download the beta profile, you need to activate it.
Open Settings, then touch general. Scroll down to Profiles and select it. You can then tap on the iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 beta software profile and choose to activate it.
Note that Developer Beta is available immediately, but Apple says Public Beta won’t start until July.
Before installing the beta version, you must download and install the beta profile.
Downloading the beta
Once you’ve signed up, downloaded the profile, and activated, you’re ready to download the beta version.
Open Settings, soon general, soon Software update. You should see that the public beta version of iOS or iPadOS 15 is available for download; If you don’t see it, make sure the profile is activated and installed. The beta version may take a few minutes to appear after installing the profile, so don’t be too hasty.
Once you have the profile installed, you will continue to receive beta updates throughout the beta program. Whenever a new public beta is available, you will receive it automatically or you can go to Settings > Software update to download it manually. No need to download or activate the profile again.
The iOS 15 beta, especially the developer beta, is bound to have bugs and should only be installed on secondary devices.
Sign up for developer beta
If you are a registered developer (which costs $ 99 / year, go here to sign up), you can download the beta versions a little earlier than the general public. Apple often makes a developer beta available for iOS and iPadOS immediately during its WWDC conference in June, with the first public beta coming a few weeks later. Subsequent updates are much closer together – developers generally get the update only one day before the public release, if they do so.
That initial beta for developers is often very incomplete, so we strongly recommend that you backup your device first and do not run it on your main device.
Once you have registered your Apple ID as a developer, go to developer.apple.com/download/ using the iPhone or iPad you want to beta run on. You will need to log in and then you can download and install the beta profile from that page.
Then activate the profile by opening Settings, soon general, then scroll down to touch Profiles. You may have to restart your device, but then the beta version should appear in general > Software updates for you to download and install.
Coming out of the iOS 15 beta
If you want to stop getting beta updates, that’s pretty easy. Just delete the profile and you won’t get any more beta releases, it will just stay on the one you have. Once the final public release of iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 is available in the fall, your device will download it and it will be on the regular non-beta public release schedule.
Simply deleting the profile will prevent you from getting more beta versions, but it will not return it to iOS 14 or iPadOS 14. To do so, you need to put your iPhone or iPad into recovery mode, connect it to your Mac or PC, and then use Finder (or iTunes in PC) to download the current regular version of iOS and restore your device. This will reset it to a new, ready-to-use state. We told you to backup everything important and not to run beta on critical device!
You can run iOS 15 on any iPhone that runs iOS 14, and iPadOS 15 runs on any iPad that is compatible with iPadOS 14.
Here is the list of iPhones compatible with iOS 15:
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- 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 (1st generation)
- iPhone SE (second generation)
- iPod touch (7th generation)
And here is the list of iPads compatible with iPadOS 15:
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th generation)
- 11-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (4th generation)
- 11-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation)
- 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st generation)
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad (8th generation)
- iPad (7th generation)
- iPad (6th generation)
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad Air (4th generation)
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- iPad Air 2
I have written professionally about technology for my entire adult professional life, over 20 years. I like to find out how complicated technology works and explain it in a way that anyone can understand.