How to Beta Test Apples New OS Updates from WWDC 2020

Screenshot: David Murphy

I enjoy an excellent beta. And while I would not suggest that you install a designer beta of Apples just-announced operating systems on your primary devices, simply in case something goes catastrophically incorrect, the desire to play with new functions is difficult to ignore.

Longtime Lifehacker readers know where Im opting for this one, however Im going to say it anyhow since this is an excellent trick that every Apple fan should keep in their back pockets. The finest method to get your hands on operating system betas you would not normally be able to gain access to is great ol Beta Profiles.
The caveat? Youll want to visit that site using the internet browser on the gadget youre looking to update– save for watchOS, which youll wish to do on your linked iPhone or iPad, or tvOS, which needs a small workaround on your Apple TELEVISION. Likewise, that web browser must be Safari, for conveniences sake.

You dont have to be a developer to do it, nor must you feel likely to pay Apple $99 for the privilege if all you care about is beta software. Thats a good 10 meals or so at Chipotle, as far as Im worried.

G/O Media might get a commission

Otherwise, installing a developer beta is simple. For instance, when youve filled the site in Safari on your iPhone, youll tap the “Download” link for the iOS Beta Profile for iOS 14 beta 1. Youll then tap “Allow” to install the configuration profile on your iPhone (or iPad).

Screenshot: David Murphy

Next, youll bring up the Settings app, tap on “Profile Downloaded,” and set up the profile. From there, tap on “Software Update” to get the beta. Get stired.

Screenshot: David Murphy

The procedure is similar for macOS; youll download a little energy, install the beta profile, then update your Mac like you generally would for any kind of system upgrade. Apple TV is the only gadget that takes a strange approach, as Beta Profiles notes:

Betas can be frightening and might lead to efficiency problems with your gadget (or the apps you love and know), however thats the trade-off for early gain access to. If youre concerned, wait for next months public beta, which is generally more steady than the seat-of-the-pants designer variation.

Its easier if you install the file from your Apple TV instead. To do that, follow the instructions listed below:
1. Open the Settings app and move to General – Privacy – Send Apple TELEVISION Analytics.
2. Do not click on it when you have Share Apple TELEVISION Analytics chosen. Instead, press the Play/Pause button on the remote and it will open the Add Profile menu, press Play/Pause button again on this option.
3. In the text field that turns up, type https://bit.ly/tvos14 (This is a brief link, its entirely safe), then click Done and select Install.
4. When you are triggered to reboot do so.
5. Make sure Settings – System – Software Update – Get public beta updates set to OFF.
When this is done, you can upgrade tvOS 14 beta in Settings – System – Software Update. In addition, you can still download the file to your computer for manual installation.

You do not have to be a developer to do it, nor should you feel likely to pay Apple $99 for the privilege if all you care about is beta software. Otherwise, installing a developer beta is basic. Once youve loaded the website in Safari on your iPhone, youll tap the “Download” link for the iOS Beta Profile for iOS 14 beta 1. From there, tap on “Software Update” to grab the beta. Betas can be frightening and may lead to performance concerns with your gadget (or the apps you love and understand), but thats the compromise for early access.