UPDATED 23:55 EDT / JUNE 26 2017


Apple’s iOS 11 public beta is out: How to install it and what features to expect

Less than a week after releasing the second developer beta of iOS 11, Apple Inc. Monday announced the public beta of its latest operating system.

Announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, iOS 11 is packed full of great features. However, because it isn’t the final version of iOS 11, which is due out in September, you could still run into bugs and issues and it is not advisable to install the OS on a device that you use every day.

If you can’t wait until September to try it out, here’s a look at how to download and install iOS 11, plus some of the new features:

Download and install iOS 11 public beta

Before you rush off to download and install the public beta of iOS 11, you will need to check that you have a supported device, you will need to backup your device and check if you are running any 32-bit iOS apps.  

Compatible devices

To download the iOS 11 public beta you will need one of the following devices:

  • iPhone: iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPhone 6s/6s Plus or iPhone 7/7 Plus
  • iPad: iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad mini 2/3/4
  • iPod touch 6th

Backup your device

If you are not installing the iOS 11 public beta on a secondary device it is important that you backup your device before installing the new OS.

To backup your device using iTunes, make sure you are using the latest version of iTunes > connect your iOS device to your computer and launch iTunes > click on Summary in the sidebar > Back Up Now > click “Encrypt Backups” to ensure all sensitive information is stored > select a password > click “Set Password.”

The backup will take place in the background. Once it’s complete you can verify it by going to Preferences > Devices. The lock icon will indicate that the backup is encrypted.

You can also backup your device using iCloud. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup > turn on iCloud Backup.

Find alternatives for your 32-bit apps

Older, 32-bit apps will not longer run on iOS 11. Before you download iOS 11 public beta you may want to check if you have any of these apps on your device.

To do this you can use the built-in checker tool (you will need to be running iOS 10.3 or later) > go to Settings > General > About > Applications. If you are running any 32-bit apps, you will see a list of them.

Enroll in the Apple Beta Software Program

If you have not enrolled before, you will need to sign up for the free Apple Beta Software Program to download the iOS 11 public beta.

On the device that you want to install iOS 11 on, go to the Apple Beta Software Program > tap the Sign up button > enter your Apple ID details > tap Sign in > agree to the terms and conditions. Select the iOS tab on the Guide for Public Betas screen > under the “Get Started” section, tap enroll your iOS device > tap the “Download profile” button > tap Allow > tap on Install and follow the prompts to install the iOS Beta Software Profile > reboot your device.

Install the iOS 11 public beta

Once you have enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program, go to the Settings app > General > Software Update > Download and Install > Install Now.

Features you will get to enjoy in iOS 11

Users will get to enjoy Do Not Disturb While Driving mode, which will automatically detect when iPhone users are driving using motion sensors or Bluetooth and automatically silence all notifications

In iOS 11, Apple now supports peer-to-peer payments with Apple Pay and QR codes. There is a customizable Control Center and improvements for Maps, the Camera app and a “Type to Siri” feature. Users will also get to enjoy a new one-sided keyboard and a redesigned App Store.

Finally, a change that is likely to make plenty of iOS users happy is the redesign of the volume indicator button. Instead of a large indicator covering your video when you adjust the volume, the indicator is discreetly tucked into the top right corner of the screen.  

Developers also get to enjoy some new features in iOS 11, including the expansion of SiriKit to new categories, access to MusicKit and ARKit, which will allow developers to bring high-quality augmented reality experiences to the iPhone and iPad.

Apple has introduced a programming framework called Core ML, which makes it easier for developers to run machine learning models on the iPhone and iPad and will be able to process the data locally rather than sending user information to the cloud.

iPad productivity features

While there are plenty of new features in iOS 11, it focuses particularly on iPad users with a range of new productivity features.

New features for iPad users includes a customizable Dock that will display automatically at the bottom of the home screen or is accessed by swiping up when using other apps. Users can customize the Dock by adding apps that they use most often to the Dock and can either enable or disable the Dock from automatically displaying the user’s most recent apps.

Apple introduces a feature similar to the Mac’s Mission Control interface to the iPad that allows users to swipe up from the Dock to see all their apps that are currently open or running in a grid view. Users will also be able to open two apps side-by-side on the iPad and use the new multi-touch drag and drop feature to move content between the apps.

IPad users also get to enjoy deeper integration with the Apple Pencil, including inline drawing, Instant Markup and Instant Notes feature. With the new document scanner in Notes, users can also write on scanned documents using Apple Pencil. All the text written with the Pencil is now searchable through machine learning and is indexed in Spotlight search results.

Image: Apple

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