How to Install the iPadOS 13 beta on your iPad
Apple packed a lot of iPac-centric changes into the latest version of its mobile operating system — so many, in fact, that it's spinning off the iPad version into a new entity called iPadOS. If you want to experience the changes, which include a new home screen, upgraded multitasking feature, cursor support, and numerous other improvements, you'll need to download the iPadOS 13 beta.
Apple has put out a beta version of iPadOS, but at the moment, it's only available to registered developers. Note that in order to get the iPadOS beta, you'll also need to be running the macOS 10.15 Catalina beta on your Mac - here's our guide to downloading the macOS Catalina developer beta.
Here's how to get your hands on iPadOS — and why you probably should just wait for the public beta to come out next month.
Should I download the iPadOS 13 beta?
Unless you're a developer who needs to get their hands on the new version of the operating system to update your apps, probably not. This version of iPadOS is primarily aimed at helping developers ready their apps for the OS's fall release. As a result, not every feature is ready for prime time, and there might be more than a few bugs. Apple is also counting on developers to help iron out those less-than-polished features.
That's a lot for regular iPad users to have to weather,especially on a device you rely on every day. So if you are inclined to give the first iPadOS beta a try, make sure it's on a spare iPad. And even seasoned developers should make an archive backup of their iPad before they install the beta, just in case they have to roll things back to the current version of iOS.
Here's how to make an archived backup.
1. With your iPad plugged into your computer, launch iTunes, and click the iOS device icon to select your iPad.
2. It's time to backup your iPad. Make sure you're saving the backup to your computer, and then click on Back Up Now.
3. Go to Preferences in iTunes and select Devices. You'll see your most recent iPad backup there.
4. Control-click on that backup and select Archive from the menu that appears. Now, your backed-up file won't be written over by subsequent backups.
What iPads can run the iPadOS 13 beta?
If you've got an iPad Pro, you're set — all versions of that model support iPadOS 13. Other supported iPads include the iPad Air 2 and 3rd-generation iPad Air, the iPad mini 4 and 5th-generation mini, and the 5th-generation iPad and later.
The iPad mini 2 and original iPad Air could both run iOS 12, but they're on the outside looking in with the shift to iPadOS.
When will the iPadOS 13 beta be available?
If you're a developer, you can install the beta now. For the rest of us, a public beta will arrive in July, likely at the same time as the iOS 13 public beta.
Apple's been making public betas of its operating systems available for a few years now, so the drill with iPadOS will likely be the same as past iOS betas. After the initial public beta comes out in July, you can expect a series of updates as Apple fine-tunes iPadOS 13. The full version of the OS will debut in fall, likely right after Apple's iPhone launch event.
How can I get the iPadOS 13 beta?
Until the public beta comes out, your first step is to become a registered Apple developer so that you can get the developer build of iPadOS 13. Then follow these steps.
1. Go to Apple's developer site, and sign in.
2. Tap on Discover in the developer site's menu.
3. Select iOS from the menu of OS options.
4. On the next page, tap download.
On the subsequent page, you'll need to find the profile for your specific iPad model. Apple is requiring you to install this first build through iTunes (and on a machine running the macOS Catalina beta). From this point, follow Apple's instructions to complete the installation.
We'll update these instructions with how to install the public beta of iPadOS 13 once that becomes available next month.