It’s that time of year again everyone. Apple has released the public beta for iOS 14 overnight and it’s ready to sign up and download. But only for the brave.

A word of warning

Stressed
PSA: Running beta software can effect your marriage.

Before I get into it, I feel I need to warn anyone thinking about installing the beta. Even though I know that if you are determined to install it, you probably aren’t going to read this. Anyway, here goes.

Please remember that the public beta is still a beta. Beta software means that it’s not finished. In fact, it’s only the first beta of many before it rolls out in September/October. So you may install it and everything works fine, but next weeks update may break EVERYTHING! If you rely on your phone, and these days, who doesn’t, then it’s probably best to install it on an old phone if you have one, or wait a little later in the year as things get closer. There I said it.

So what can I download the public beta on?

In a first for public beta’s, Apple has allows the public to take part in the beta program across every device. Last year we weren’t allowed to install the beta on the watch, or the Apple TV. But this year, everything is fair game.

Public beta’s for all!

How do I enrol?

It’s very simple to enrol for the public beta, and can be done in a few minutes. Here are the steps:

1. BACKUP YOUR DEVICE!

I can’t make this any more clearer than by typing it all in caps. Seriously people, do a full backup of your device. A full encrypted backup.

Now I know that flies in the face just doing whatever the hell you want, but it’s seriously for your own good. Why you may ask? Let me give you a scenario.

Here are two people. Jim and Bob.

Intelligent guy reading book in library
This is Jim.

Jim is smart. You can tell because, well he has glasses, he’s wearing a collared shirt, and he spends time in the library walking around reading books. Clever Jim.

So Jim backs up his stuff all the time. He has local backups, cloud storage, and the knowledge that things can go wrong. So it’s best to be safe than sorry.

He is going to do a full encrypted backup before he installs the beta because he knows that if something goes wrong, he can import has backup and be right back where he started from before joining the beta program.

Be like Jim.

Here is Bob.

Man in tinfoil helmet watches TV, ufo phobia
Bob..has problems.

Bob lives in a soviet era bomb shelter, only wears knitted jumpers, and can’t afford a dunce hat, so he made one out of foil. Bob’s not having a good time.

So Bob just goes in guns blazing to everything, doesn’t think about it or have a plan should something go wrong.

He’s going to install the beta without backing up. So what happens to Bob when he installs the beta and he realises his app no longer works that he uses to count how many friends he has. His latest total is zero.

So Bob is kinda screwed. He can always download the original iOS 13.5 and install that sure. But he will lose everything that isn’t backed up in the cloud. Which he will remember, because he’s a guns blazing type.

Don’t be like Jim.

Cool story Lee. So how do I perform an encrypted backup?

It depends if you are on Windows or Mac. Apple have some pretty good articles on how to do this as it’s different if you use one over the other.

Once you connect your phone to your computer open iTunes or Finder on Mac and click on the icon for your iPhone/iPad:

Finder on Mac

On the general tab there is a backups section (second one down). Make sure you select the Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac option. Then click on the encrypt local backup. This one is important because it saves all your private data including passwords with the file. So you don’t lose them all and have to remember what you used for a password for the one website you use every 3 years.

Before you backup you’ll want to ensure you have enough room for your back on your computer. Depending on your phone size you will need at least the size of your phone backup that’s being used.

Then click the Back Up Now button aaaaaand wait. Depending on how big your phone is, it’s going to take a while. So don’t make dinner plans if you want to take your phone with you. My backup took around 45 minutes on a 256GB iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Once it’s completed though, you can go and install the beta.

My backup is done, how do I install the Beta?

It’s a simple process:

  1. Head over to beta.apple.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Select the device you’d like to install the beta on
Fill your boots.

3. Scroll down and install the profile for your device. What we are doing here is installing a file on your device that tells Apple that it can download other versions of the operating system from them. Hit the link to download the profile and it will ask permission to download it, hit yes.

4. You then need to head over to your settings app on your device and go to General > Profile and click on the iOS 14 Beta link and then install.

5. You’ll be asked to restart your device, so do that.

6. Once your device restarts head over to your settings app again and go to General > Software Update and install the Beta. It takes a while to download and install and will boot up with all the iOS 14 Goodness.

7. Don’t regret it! If something goes wrong, you can always restore. It’s worth noting that with any new OS upgrade, even beta ones, that battery life takes a massive hit in the first few days. It may settle, or just be terrible till a later beta. Or be terrible forever. Welcome to the bleeding edge!

Are you going to install the beta? Let me know in the comments below.

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