Apple introduced its upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 releases back at its WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) last month, and ever since, it has sown a few pre-release builds for developers. From today, however, you can also participate in the test of the upcoming releases, as the public beta program is now live for iOS 16 and iPadOS 16.
This means that if you have a compatible iPhone or iPad, you can now quite simply sign it up for the beta program, and you will receive the first public beta later today as a wireless software update. From that point on, you will also get subsequent public beta builds as software updates, all the way until the final release hits the streets this fall. Once you have installed it, you will be off the beta track.
Since this is the first public beta, you should not expect it to be error-free – far from it, in fact. There will probably be lots of issues with it and annoying errors, so it’s not really advisable to rock it on your primary phone or tablet.
iOS 16 has a lock screen that can be customized with wallpapers, clocks and widgets, while notifications now scroll in from scratch. Multiple lock screens are also supported and can be connected to focus modes.
The Messages app has also received some updates, including support for editing, deleting and marking messages as unread, while SharePlay is no longer limited to FaceTime, so you can use Messages to communicate with the people you share content with. Speaking of FaceTime, calls can be forwarded from one device to another, while the Health app now tracks the medication you take – if you want it, of course.
There are many more interesting new things packed inside this release that you can play with – for example, the iPad gets a Weather app and a new multitasking system called Stage Manager.