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What to Expect If You Want to Install iOS 10 Public Beta

Apple launched a public beta of iOS 10 today through its Beta Software Program. It is identical to the second developer build and provides non-developers with a chance to test the upcoming software version for the first time. But given the nature of pre-release software, is it safe to install the iOS 10 public beta on your device?

If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that you use as your daily driver is your planned installation device, the short answer is no for most people. While the public beta is generally stable enough to use, dozens of popular apps such as Airbnb, Bank of America, Camera+, Facebook, and McDonald's have yet to be updated for iOS 10 and crash or have broken features as a result.

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As to be expected from beta software, iOS 10 also has a number of reported bugs affecting CarPlay, Control Center, Notification Center, Messages, Music, and general system functionality. Many users, for example, have experienced audio pausing sporadically when using apps such as Music, Spotify, and Overcast.

Another aspect to consider is battery life. iOS 10 is pre-release software without the complete performance optimizations of a final build, so expect battery life to be worse than iOS 9 -- in some cases, much worse. The good news is that battery life appears to be improved in the second developer beta, which the public beta is based upon, and should steadily improve in subsequent betas.

If you have a secondary device to install iOS 10 beta on, upgrading is a safer bet. Installing iOS 10 beta allows you to test out most of the new features, such as the overhauled iMessages app, redesigned Apple Music experience, and Lock screen widgets, but there are some caveats to keep in mind before making the jump.

First, the new iMessage features cannot be used in conversations unless the recipient is also running iOS 10. If you send animations, stickers, or invisible ink to a device running iOS 9, for instance, the other person will not see any of those elements. Meanwhile, the iMessage App Store currently has only four sticker packs from Apple: Classic Mac, Hands, Hearts, and Smileys.

Third-party extensions for Apple Maps, such as those for making dinner reservations with OpenTable or requesting an Uber without leaving the app, are also unavailable since they cannot be released on the App Store right now.

Make sure to check out our iOS 10 roundup for a summary of new features and changes, and discuss with others in our iOS 10 discussion forum. We also have several iOS 10 walkthrough videos on our YouTube channel.

Video produced by MacRumors videographer Matt Gonzalez.

Top Rated Comments

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38 months ago

I'll be waiting for the Public GM Release for the iOS 10 ... I'm currently on 9 Beta and its fine for me ..

Thanks for sharing.
Rating: 27 Votes
38 months ago
I can't wait for this year's round of poor battery life threads, followed by refusals to go back to 9.
Rating: 11 Votes
38 months ago
You sold me at Facebook and McDonald's apps are broken.
Rating: 10 Votes
38 months ago

Don't do it on your main iPhone, I installed iOS 9 beta, nightmare.

But if you can't resist - backup to iTunes - encrypted, not iCloud.

iOS 10 is nothing like 9 beta, and that's a very good thing.
Rating: 6 Votes
38 months ago

Have it on my iPad and am rather stunned that Apple released it as a public beta. Figured we'd go at least one more round.

I think it's working surprisingly well for a beta, probably why they made it public now.
Rating: 6 Votes
38 months ago

Consumers should never forget that Apple is a hardware company. Software resources within the company support ONLY THEIR NEW hardware as the highest priority, then maybe they fix other issues later. Support of older devices is WAY DOWN the priority list. Basically if you have an older device, DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER upgrading to a new iOS Major release until X.N, where N is the number of hardware "things" released off of the iOS code base at/after the major (X) release.

So for example in the case of iOS 9: X=9 (the major release), and 5 iOS related devices (6s, iPad Pro, TV, SE, 9.7" Pro) so X.N = 9.5

Maybe we can consider the 9.7" Pro minimum churn and N = 4 (and since it was released with the SE), but the poor quality of 9.0-3 so far still makes the entire major version 9 suspect. Regardless, don't upgrade older devices at least until the first non-hardware-release-tied update of 9.X.

iOS 9.0 should have been called iOS for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
iOS 9.1 should have been called iOS for iPad Pro.
And, in the mix they shipped Apple TV, which is basically iOS and "churns" the iOS code base.

I've been an active iOS developer selling apps since iOS 2. iOS 9 takes the cake for "Worst iOS Quality Ever".
My everyday devices are still on 8.4.1, and I'll probably skip 9.x altogether.

Apple is starting to slide back to the ancient era mindset (30+ years ago) when an Operating System was created solely for a piece of hardware (even general purpose computers) - Think TRS 80.

You've been warned. Yes, Apple is the new Microsoft, for this and several other reasons.....

Can you let us know what apps you develop so we know what to stay away from?
Rating: 5 Votes
38 months ago
Still going through with it. I want to go bug hunting.
Rating: 5 Votes
38 months ago
If you're not testing and not a developer. INSTALL AT YOUR OWN RISK. Don't be a fool and not back your phone up first :)
Rating: 5 Votes
38 months ago
What to expect? Crashes, some apps not working, safari doing weird things, random reboots, but nothing tremendously showstopping.
Rating: 4 Votes
38 months ago
watch ESPN app is working flawlessly. That's all I need for now :)
Watching Euro 2016 at work of course!
Rating: 3 Votes

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