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.


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

mgmusicman94 Avatar
69 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.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr_Brightside_@ Avatar
69 months ago
I can't wait for this year's round of poor battery life threads, followed by refusals to go back to 9.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4jasontv Avatar
69 months ago
You sold me at Facebook and McDonald's apps are broken.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mostlydave Avatar
69 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Paradoxally Avatar
69 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pwhitehead Avatar
69 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 :)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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