Apple releases iOS 16 Public beta: Lock screen customization galore

Apple has just released the iOS 16 public beta. Days after the developer beta 3 made the rounds to all developers and impatient souls, the public beta is now available to just about anyone with a compatible device to dive in and test all the new features ahead of time. 

How to enroll in the iOS 16 public beta?

In order to opt in the iOS 16 public beta, first you need to navigate to this web page and sign in with your Apple ID. After successfully authenticating, you will be presented with all the available beta programs, which at the moment constitute iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, tvOS, watchOS 9, and HomePod Software. Navigating to the iOS section will ultimately require you to enroll your device in the public beta program
Important: Before you continue, it’s extremely advisable to ensure you have an up-to-date iCloud or iTunes backup laying around, with Apple recommending backing up using your Mac’s Finder for the most seamless experience. 
Now that you’ve enrolled your phone and have a backed up your device, you need to navigate to from the iOS device you’ve enrolled and want to install the beta on. After your device has successfully downloaded the configuration profile, you will be promptly notified. 
From there on, go into the Settings app, tap the profile you just downloaded (it will be right near the top of the menu), and tap Install on the next screen that pops up. Follow any further instructions that may pop up, but ultimately, you have to go to Settings > General > Software Update and install the software update that will be available. From then on, it’s supposed to be smooth sailing, with your device rebooting once or twice, and you should be running the iOS 16 public beta in no time. 

What devices are eligible for iOS 16?

So, iOS 16 will be available on the following phones:

  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14 series

What’s new in iOS 16?

iOS 16 is quite an intriguing update, as it overhauls the lock screen and allows users to fully customize the looks and feel of the lock screen, as well as adds widgets, a new media widget, and yet another (this time excellent) paradigm shift to the way notifications look and feel. You can read more about all of these in our dedicated iOS 16 hub
  • Lock screen customization with widgets, multi-layered photos, notifications lists
  • More filters for Focus Mode
  • Face ID improvements
  • Edit and Undo Send, Mark as Unread in iMessage
  • SharePlay in iMessage
  • Improved voice dictation
  • Quick Actions with text captured from the camera
  • Enhanced visual lookup
  • Live Text from video
  • Share digital keys in Wallet
  • Apple Pay Later
  • Apple Maps redesign to more areas
  • iCloud Shared Photo Library
  • Lockdown mode
  • etc.

Is iOS 16 public beta stable?

Admittedly, the first developer beta was quite buggy and had rather disappointing performance, with battery life taking a rather serious hit. Now, the second and third betas were widely received as much more stable and suitable to be installed on your daily driver, and considering that the public beta is the same as developer beta 3, it could be said for certain that it’s stable enough to install. 

Surely, some users might encounter issues with the iOS 16 public beta (it’s a beta, after all, so bugs are expected), but overall, you shouldn’t expect severe bugs and shortcomings. It’s advisable to give Apple feedback about any problems and bugs you may encounter during your day-to-day use of iOS 16, as this will help the company improve the software for everyone. 

When is iOS 16 officially coming out?

iOS is usually released shortly after Apple holds its big iPhone announcement event in early September. This year, the event will likely take place on September 13, giving us the iPhone 14 Series and the Apple Watch Series 8, so we should all expect iOS 16 right about then. The same applies to the new versions of macOS, iPad OS, and watchOS 9.


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