How to Install the iPadOS 13 beta on your iPad
Updated July 8 at 6:30 p.m. ET with the release of the second version of the iPadOS 13 public beta.
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.
After weeks of its developers beta editions, Apple put out a public beta version of iPadOS on June 24. (At the same time, Apple also released the macOS 10.15 Catalina beta for the Mac - here's our guide to downloading the macOS Catalina public beta.) Apple's public beta process involves several updates that come out between now and the full version's release and the fall, and that's happening with iPadOS 13 - the second version of the public beta came out today (July 8).
Here's how to get your hands on iPadOS.
Should I download the iPadOS 13 beta?
Unlike the developer beta (made for the folks who need to build new iPadOS 13-compatible versions of apps), this version of iPadOS is more for the general public. This isn't the finished version, though, so there might be more than a few bugs. Apple uses the public beta not only to give us a taste of what's to come, but to get its users to help find and fix the flaws before that fall release.
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. Doing this in macOS Catalina? These steps will require Finder instead, as iTunes is dead on Catalina.
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?
It's here right now! While the developer beta hit on June 4, the first public beta dropped almost three weeks later, on June 24, at the same time as the iOS 13 public beta. Now we're up to public beta 2 for both iOS and iPadOS.
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?
Fortunately all you need to get the public beta is an Apple ID.
1. Go to Apple's Beta site, and sign in.
2. Tap iPadOS.
3. Tap Download profile.
4. Tap Allow.
5. Tap Install
6. Now, you'll see the option to install iPadOS's public beta, which should take a little bit of time and require a restart or two. Congrats, you've installed iPadOS!
Once you've installed the initial public beta on your iPad, getting updates is as simple as going into the Settings app on your tablet, checking for updates and following the on-screen instructions to download and install the new version.
We will update this story as additional public beta updates come out. Best of luck navigating the world of beta software! Just a heads-up, third party apps may not work as well, and their developers may not be working to patch those bugs immediately and instead wait for the fall release.