Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 31 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals
7 comments

Apple Opens Public Betas for macOS 12 Monterey, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15

Apple has released public betas for macOS 12 Monterey, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15, so you can test out new features like SharePlay and Focus.

As always, while Apple makes these betas available for everyone, you would be foolish to install one on devices that you rely on for, well, anything. Apple has improved its development processes so even early betas are more stable than in the past, but you’re guaranteed to run into bugs, incompatibilities, and possibly even data corruption.

Not only should you relegate these betas to dedicated test devices, but we also recommend that you avoid connecting your main iCloud account with the betas in case some bug causes upstream problems. You wouldn’t want a wonky Photos beta to delete all your custom albums, for instance. Although we always recommend making backups before you install a new version of an operating system, much less a beta, you shouldn’t install these betas on anything that you can’t erase at the drop of a hat without fear of data loss.

Unless you’re a watchOS developer, we suggest that you avoid watchOS betas. While Macs, iPhones, iPads, and even Apple TVs provide methods you can employ to recover from a corrupted install, the Apple Watch does not. If you get into certain types of trouble, you’ll have to get Apple’s help to restore your Apple Watch.

To try one or more of the betas, go to Apple’s public beta page, choose your operating system, and follow the instructions, which usually involve installing a special profile on your device and then updating its operating system through Software Update.

Finally, remember that the main reason to test public betas is so you can report bugs, so be sure to revisit David Shayer’s advice in “How to Report Bugs to Apple So They Get Fixed” (17 June 2020).

Subscribe today so you don’t miss any TidBITS articles!

Every week you’ll get tech tips, in-depth reviews, and insightful news analysis for discerning Apple users. For 29 years, we’ve published professional, member-supported tech journalism that makes you smarter.

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

Comments About Apple Opens Public Betas for macOS 12 Monterey, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15

Notable Replies

  1. Thanks! I’m downloading Monterey right now.

  2. Ken

    With iPadOS no bugs so far, but some complaints. Changing icon size isn’t in same place as before or is not available at all. Safari is a mess.

  3. Ken

    Apparently, I’m not alone in my thoughts on Safari, although it has got better as I used it more. There will be changes in a future beta.

  4. They redesigned it again in beta 3 and people still aren’t happy. I’m currently drafting the iOS 15 book and I’ve decided to save any more work on the Safari chapter until the last minute because they’ll doubtlessly change it again.

  5. Ken

    I only have the betas on an iPad, so haven’t seen it yet. I’m amazed that Apple still gets into a mess with interface design, given that it is what makes them successful.

  6. The alternative view is that Apple is experimenting with new ideas and iterating based on feedback. I don’t like the Safari interface that was presented at WWDC and appeared in beta 1. But if Apple is going to evolve their designs through the beta process based on feedback, I see that as a good thing.

  7. Ken

    It is not a good thing. Beta is beta. All the user design should be done in the early stages of development. Apple has lots of employees with NDAs and they would be letting selected ones have access to the software to get feedback. They also probably use focus groups. They may even have run it under iOS 14. That way everything is tied down by preferably the alpha stage. The problem with introducing major changes at the beta stage is that bugs may remain. The point of beta is to find those bugs. I expect the problem is that it has been awful since early in the development cycle, and they have been making changes but it hasn’t improved enough.

Join the discussion in the TidBITS Discourse forum

Participants