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How to download and install the iOS 14, iPadOS 14 developer beta – CNET

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Apple is bringing changes to Messages with iOS 14.

Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

Did you get a chance to watch Apple’s WWDC keynote? If not, here’s a short recap: Apple on Monday announced iOS 14, iPadOS 14, TVOS 14, WatchOS 7 and that the Mac lineup will eventually ditch Intel processors, switching to Apple silicon, similar to the kind of chip that powers your iPhone ($699 at Apple) sometime next year. 

As for the latest software update that will run on iPhones and iPads ($340 at eBay), it includes widgets on the home screen, a new and improved Siri interface and a revamped Messages app with better group conversation features and Picture in Picture video among other new features

Getting the beta up and running on your iPhone or iPad isn’t a straightforward process right now, requiring a paid developer account to even access it. Here’s everything you need to know about installing iOS 14 or iPadOS 14.

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Reminder: This is an early preview for developers

There’s a reason Apple limits the first couple of preview releases to developers every year — it’s buggy. Some apps won’t work, battery life is all but guaranteed to take a hit and there will undoubtedly be random restarts and crashes. It’s all part of the process of getting an operating system ready. 

Don’t install iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 on your main phone or tablet. Instead, use a spare device if you have one, otherwise wait until, at a minimum, the first public beta. My advice? Wait even longer. The closer we get to the official release, the more reliable the experience will be. By public beta four or five things are usually mostly stable.

With that said, if you like living on the edge and are willing to deal with the issues, here’s how you can install iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 right now. 

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ios-14public-beta-july

The Public Beta for iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, along with TVOS and WatchOS will be available in July. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When is the public beta coming for everyone?

Apple announced it will once again allow non-developers to install iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 before its official release this fall through a public beta program. No specific launch date was announced, but Apple did say the public beta will launch in July. 

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All iPad Pro models are supported by iOS 14. 

Scott Stein/CNET

Which devices are supported?

Apple is keeping the list of supported iPhone and iPad models the same as iOS 13. Here’s the complete list:

How to install iOS 14 and iPadOS 14

For the time being, you’ll need a paid Apple developer account to gain access to the first beta releases. A paid account costs $99 a year, giving you access to publishing apps in the App Store along with all beta releases throughout the year. 

If you have a paid developer account, visit this page of the Developer website. This year, there’s on over-the-air profile that streamlines the installation process. Alternatively, you can download and manually install the update. 

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You’ll need to be a developer if you want to install iOS 14 right now. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Going back to iOS 13 is possible, but…

You’ll have to factory reset your iPhone or iPad and either restore it from the last backup you created when it was running iOS 13, or start fresh. 

I suggest creating an encrypted backup using Finder on a Mac or iTunes on a PC right before you install the beta. That way you have a recent backup should there be too many bugs or issues for you to deal with. 

There’s so much more news coming out of Apple this week, make sure to read through our complete WWDC 20 coverage.

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