You may be tempted to install the iOS 16 developer beta on your iPhone to try all the exciting new features it has to offer, but it may be a good idea to wait if you only have your personal iPhone that you use every day.
If you watched WWDC 2022, you know that Apple came up with many updates for the latest iOS. Apps like Messages, Shortcuts, and Weather are even better in iOS 16, and even the Home Screen and Lock Screen have improvements you won't want to wait for.
The general public release will happen by the end of 2022, likely in September, and the developer beta lets app makers dive in and start preparing their apps. But anyone can install the beta without being a developer.
It definitely sounds tempting, and we understand if you don't want to wait months to try the latest iOS, but there are reasons why you should wait until September — or at least until the iOS 16 public beta is out. A lot of the major issues will be fixed when Apple makes the public beta available, but that's no guarantee, and there are still many other things to consider. Here's why you shouldn't install iOS 16 just yet.
Note: The same issues below also plague the iPadOS 16 beta for iPad.
Currently, iOS 16 is only available for the members of the Apple Developer Program, and the subscription costs $99 per year. That price is definitely worth it for developers or anyone who needs to test new software for work. Otherwise, $99 is a lot of money to try out beta software.
Technically, you can install the iOS 16 developer beta without joining Apple's developer program. Some websites offer the .mobileconfig profile to install iOS 16 over the air, though you can't be sure it wasn't tampered with. The developer restore images are more secure and available directly from Apple's servers, but you need a computer to use them. Also, those files are legally only for developers, so we can't condone using them if you're not a registered developer.
If you're not a developer, the best option is to wait for the iOS 16 public beta. It's expected in July, likely early in the month if it's similar to last year's public beta, which came out 23 days after the first developer beta. We've already hit the 23-day mark, so it could be as early as July 1.
You'll always experience a few bugs when running a beta, but it's always a lot worse before Apple releases its public betas. So if you download the iOS 16 developer beta on your primary iPhone, you may notice annoying problems when doing everyday tasks. Hopping on the developer beta makes most sense if you have a secondary iPhone you can use.
Here are just a few of the known issues iOS 16 beta has to offer:
- There may be slow animations when using Zoom after leaving the Magnifier app.
- You can't stream photos and videos to Apple TV or an AirPlay 2-enabled smart TV directly from the Photos app.
- You may be unable to reinstall any of Apple's system apps when only connected to a cellular network.
- Wireless connections to CarPlay may fail.
- ARKit's body tracking may not detect people on an iPhone 12 series, iPhone 13 series, and iPhone SE (3rd gen.) models.
- You may not be able to find your App Library immediately after rebooting.
- Selecting messages in Mail can result in a blank conversation view.
- Sharing your ETA in Maps may not be sent as expected to SMS recipients.
- Maps may quit unexpectedly during navigation when waking your iPhone from the Lock Screen or ending navigation.
- Background processing in the Photos app can crash, preventing some features from being generated.
- You might be unable to use Precision Finding near many Bluetooth devices.
- Adding articles to Safari's Reading List from the share sheet might not be added as expected.
- The Stocks watchlist widget may incorrectly show "Watchlist Deleted" even if the watchlist is still in the app.
- You won't get any voicemail transcriptions in the Phone app.
- Your iPhone might stop communicating with HomePod or Home Services.
While Apple offers workarounds for a few of these issues, there are still many more bugs you'll experience. The biggest performance-related problem could be severe battery drain, which is always an issue in early beta builds. And you may experience more problems overall on older iPhone models.
- Screen recording using QuickTime Player on macOS may not always work correctly.
- You may experience considerable lag when opening the Share Sheet in an app, and it may cause your app to freeze.
If you cherish the convenience and reliability of your iPhone and don't have time to deal with these issues, it's best to wait for the public beta or official release this fall, despite all the cool new features you may be anxious to try.
If you want to install iOS 16 beta right now to mainly start using all the cool new features before everyone else, you may be disappointed to find some of them not working properly. This is a regular problem that will be resolved in time for the official iOS 16 release, so it's better to be patient and get the operating system once it's completed and working.
- You may not see the search field for the emoji Lock Screen editor.
- You may not be able to select emoji modifiers when making an emoji wallpaper.
- Maps may quit unexpectedly if you long-press the "Add Stop" button during route planning.
- If one user reorders a Shared Tab Group in Safari, they inadvertently reorder it for every user in the share.
Other beta issues include:
- The new subject-extracting cutout tool for images may not always work in Photos, Safari, and other apps.
- Tapping to restart a video in Memories from the Photos app doesn't restart the video.
- Finding images from contacts in Messages using Spotlight isn't working.
- Toggling Focus Status on or off per contact in Messages doesn't affect anything.
- It's stated everywhere, but just in case you didn't know, un-sending and editing iMessages in the Messages app won't affect the other user's conversation if they are not on the beta. That's by design, but it's still worth noting before you think about upgrading to the beta.
While most third-party apps should still function correctly on the iOS 16 beta, some may not, and some may even crash frequently. It's most likely to happen with apps that haven't offered an update in a long time, but even frequently updated apps could give you trouble, such as some banking apps.
Also, Apple has deprecated a few developer-related features; Apps that rely on those may not function properly in the iOS 16 beta.
Over the next several months, app developers will work on optimizing all of their apps for iOS 16, but you may not see any of those optimizations until the iOS 16 public beta comes out. Even then, some apps won't be fully optimized until this fall when Apple releases iOS 16 to everyone.
If you end up installing iOS 16 beta on your iPhone and find that one of your most-used apps is crashing all the time, you can always downgrade to iOS 15 as long as you saved an archived backup or sync most of your data with iCloud. Otherwise, you might have to start all over again. There's really no need to go through that if you aren't a developer.
Once you upgrade your iPhone to iOS 16 and try it for a while, you may decide you want to go back to iOS 15 and wait for the official release of the new software. There are ways to downgrade to iOS 15 from iOS 16 beta, but you may end up inadvertently deleting a lot of your data and files if you're not careful.
That's why it's crucial to create a backup while you're still using iOS 15 — before installing the iOS 16 beta upgrade. The easy way is to create a backup on iCloud, but it comes with a catch: iCloud only saves one backup at a time, and it may create a new backup once you start using iOS 16, meaning that your old backup won't be available anymore. If you make backups on your computer instead, you can run into the same issue unless you archived your last iOS 15 backup.
We talk about all of this and more in our downgrade guide, so check that out first if you plan on taking a risk on the iOS 16 beta.
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