Apple has released public betas for macOS 13 Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, tvOS 16, and HomePod Software 16 so you can test out new features like Lock screen customization and Stage Manager (remember, on the iPad, it’s only available for M1 models; see “The Real System Requirements for Apple’s 2022 Operating Systems,” 9 June 2022).
As always, while Apple makes these betas available for everyone, you would be foolish to install one on a device 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 restrict these betas to dedicated test devices, but we also recommend that you avoid connecting your main iCloud account with the betas to avoid some bug causing an upstream problem. For instance, you wouldn’t want a wonky Photos beta to delete all your custom albums. Although we always recommend making backups before you install a new version of any operating system, 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.
Also, if you want to try out the HomePod Software 16 beta, be aware that it supports only the HomePod mini, not the original HomePod. Don’t panic if you’re still using a full-size HomePod, as the official release is supposed to support it later this year.
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).