Now that iOS 16 has been released, the focus is shifting to iOS 16.1. As expected, the initial release of iOS 16 didn’t include all of the features Apple initially announced at WWDC this summer. Some will come in updates throughout the rest of 2022, and we expect at least a few to appear in iOS 16.1.
Apple released the first beta version of iOS 16.1 just two days after the release of iOS 16 on Monday, September 12. Normally iOS betas are released to developers first and then to public beta testers within a day or so.
What’s New in iOS 16.1?
This is the first major update after iOS 16 and will likely include some of the features that weren’t present in that initial release. We are waiting for features like Matter support in the Home app, iCloud Shared Photo Library and Live Activities. We will update this article as the specific features of this release are discovered.
When will iOS 16.1 be released?
Apple skips the iPadOS 16.0 release, with the first release of this operating system for iPads as iPadOS 16.1. We think iOS 16.1 will release at the same time, probably in October. So expect the iOS 16.1 beta to last about a month, a week or more. There may be minor bug fix releases (e.g. iOS 16.0.1) in the meantime.
How to install iOS 16 public beta
This is the version of iOS 16 that most of us will be using before launch, as the developer beta, as the name suggests, is for developers only. But the public betas always lag behind the developer’s and start significantly later: the first public beta has not yet been released and won’t be released until July 2022.
When the iOS 16 public beta comes out, you can install it using the following instructions.
- Click Sign In on the Apple Beta page and register with your Apple ID.
- Log in to the Beta Software Program.
- Click Enroll your iOS device. (If you signed up for the beta of an earlier version last year, you may need to delete the profile for that and then re-enroll in the new one.)
- Go to beta.apple.com/profile on your iOS device.
- Download and install the configuration profile.
- You may need to jump to Settings to enable the profile. Go to General > VPN and Device Management and tap there on the iOS 16 beta profile.
- That makes the beta version available in the Settings app, under General > Software update.
How to Install the iOS 16 Developer Beta
Each stage of the iOS 16 development cycle is rolled out first to developers and then to public beta testers. If you’re a developer and need to test your apps with the most up-to-date OS version possible, this is the version to run.
First check if your device is compatible. Quickly read which iPhones can get iOS 16? (It’s actually the iPhone 8 and later.)
You must be registered as an Apple developer. Joining the Apple Developer Program costs $99 per year.
All done? Okay! Here’s how to install iOS 16 developer beta in eight easy steps:
- In Safari on your iPhone, go to developer.apple.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
- Go to the Downloads section (you’ll find it in the left menu), scroll down to iOS 16 beta and tap Install profilethen To accept.
- Open the Settings app. You should see Profile downloaded at the top of the main screen – tap this. If you can’t see it, go to General > VPN and Device Management and tap there on the iOS 16 beta profile.
- Tap to install in the top right corner to install iOS 16 beta profile.
- Read the developer consent form and (assuming you are happy with the terms) give your consent.
- Restart your iPhone.
- Go to Settings > General > Software update, where you should see the iOS 16 beta available. Tap Download and install.
- Wait for your iPhone to finish downloading the update, then tap to install if requested.
And if everything worked as it should, your iPhone is now running iOS 16 beta.
Risks and Precautions
First of all, note that betas are test versions of upcoming software. They are unfinished by definition, and while they should include most or all of the features in the final product, there will be cosmetic differences and, inevitably, some glitches and issues that need to be resolved. The glitches and issues are why Apple bothers testing iOS beta in the first place.
In other words, don’t expect a perfect user experience. Above all, don’t expect existing apps (including those you can rely on) to work perfectly with the new version. In extreme cases, you may even find that your device has been bricked by the beta and cannot be used until the next beta comes and hopefully fixes the problem. It’s not uncommon for early beta software to also have issues such as excessive battery drain.
The closer we get to the final launch of iOS 16, the more polished and complete we can expect the available betas to become. Conversely, of course, there’s less time left to wait for the official launch, so you won’t gain as much by installing a beta.
Assuming you decide to proceed, we cannot stress enough the importance of backing up your iPhone before installing an iOS beta, or better yet, using a secondary device instead of your main iPhone. You won’t lose everything if something goes wrong while the beta is installing, and you can roll back to the latest version if you find you don’t like the new software anyway, or it has too many bugs.