Apple is expected to, as usual, make some major announcements about the newest iPhone models and more at its big event in September. But if you'd like to try something new the company will be offering now, that's possible by joining the iOS 13 beta, which is open to the public. This way, you can try the new system and leave feedback on it for Apple.
Before we get into how to join the beta, though, you should know that joining a beta operating system is not for the faint of heart. As explained by CNET, in a beta OS, "Apps are going to break, battery life is going to be horrible and frequent random restarts aren't unheard of." But, if you're into technology — specifically, Apple technology — and want to help out the brand and other iPhone users, downloading the beta and doing some troubleshooting on your own could be for you.
In order to download the beta, you'll need to head to the Apple Beta Software Program site and click "Sign up." You'll then be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password.
Now, before actually enrolling it is important to back up your phone. One, because you're going into somewhat uncharted territory and don't want to lose valuable information. And two, because, as CNET explains, it is possible to go back to iOS 12 from the beta, but you cannot restore the phone from a backup made while in the iOS 13 beta. CNET suggests making a backup using iTunes. Apple's FAQ suggests Time Machine.
Next, as explained by CNET, you'll download the beta profile, which will then show up in "Settings" on your phone. Clicking "Profile Downloaded" will lead to prompts about installing the profile, including a consent agreement. The phone will restart, and then the last step is to install the beta the same way any software update is installed by going to "Settings", then "General", then "Software Update".
Those who try out iOS 13 will get to check out updates like Dark Mode, which is meant to decrease the blue light that phones emit and reduce eye strain, as well as a number of added security features. On iOS 13 it will also be easier to silence calls from unknown numbers and stop apps from tracking your location. Of course, these features won't all be in their final forms just yet, which is important to keep in mind.
The beta program will work with a bunch of different iPhones, ranging from the iPhone 6S to the iPhone XS. (The full list can be seen here.) There are also beta tests currently available for iPadOS, macOS Catalina and tvOS 13.
If you do decide to try out the beta program, be sure to do your research first, such as reading Apple's FAQ page and finding out what it takes to go back to iOS 12 should you need to. Remember, this update is in all likelihood coming out next month in a finalized form. For most people, it's probably better to wait.