iOS 18 beta 2 is out now—here’s how to get it

Apple unveiled iOS 18 at WWDC on June 10, and it’s coming to all our iPhones later this year (typically in September). But you don’t have to wait to try it now if you don’t mind some bugs. Apple always runs an iOS beta-testing program throughout the summer in order to produce a more polished release at launch and to give developers a chance to test and update their apps.

If you want to try out iOS 18 before its release, you can download the developer beta or public beta—the developer beta is released first, with the public beta coming in July. Just know that you can expect significant problems. There will be crashes, some apps may not work, battery life may be poor, and so on.

If you are a beta tester you will continue to receive beta updates even after the final version launches. Development of iOS will continue after the September release with a number of “point releases” (e.g. iOS 18.1, iOS 18.2, etc.) that add additional features that weren’t available at launch and fix bugs/address security flaws. If you don’t want to continue to get the beta we cover that here: How to remove iOS beta.

Updated June 24: The second beta is out now for registered developers. The first public beta will probably come in a couple weeks.

iOS 18 beta release date and latest version

The first version of the developer beta of iOS 18 arrived on the day of the WWDC 2024 keynote on June 10, 2024. It is normal for Apple to release the first beta following the keynote so that developers can immediately start testing to make sure their apps work.

The public beta will start a few weeks later, at the beginning of July. This usually corresponds to the 3rd or 4th developer release.

The Developer Beta used to be tied to a paid-for developer account (which costs $99/£79 a year). However, in 2023 Apple changed its policy so that if you have any developer account, even the free one, you can get the developer beta of iOS.

To enroll in the Apple Developer Program and get access to the developer beta, head the the Apple Developer enrollment page. Once registered, you’ll see a developer beta option in Settings > General > Software Updates.

However, we don’t recommend you install the developer beta if you aren’t a developer. The Public Beta, while not bug-free, is less problematic.

iOS 18 public beta release date and latest version

The first public beta version of iOS 18 will likely be released in the first half of July. To enroll in the public beta, head to to sign up for access. Once registered, you’ll see a public beta option in Settings > General > Software Updates after the beta begins.

How to get the iOS 18 beta

If you are keen to try out the new features, we recommend waiting for the public beta—the first developer beta releases tend to be quite buggy and unreliable. Just beware that any beta, public or developer, is likely to be buggy and cause issues with your iPhone, so our advice is not to run it on a secondary iPhone or have some backup plan in place. If you do want to revert back to iOS 17 read: How to remove an iOS beta from your iPhone.

Anyone with an Apple developer account can get access to the developer beta—it is no longer necessary to be a paid-up member of the Apple Developer Program. You can join Apple’s beta programs on Apple’s website. Read this for more information: How to become an Apple beta tester.

Here are the various ways to get the iOS 18 beta on your iPhone:

How to install the iOS 18 Developer Beta

Each stage of iOS’s development cycle is rolled out to developers first, and then to public beta testers afterwards. If you’re a developer and need to test your apps against the most up-to-date version of iOS possible, this is the version to run.

You no longer need a paid developer account to run the beta (just to publish apps to the App Store)—any Apple Developer account will do. You can create a free Apple Developer account using your Apple ID.

How to get a sign up for an Apple Developer account

If you want a free Apple Developer account so you can access the developer beta you can get this via Xcode, the Apple Developer app on iOS, or the Apple Developer enrollment site. Here’s how to do it via the Apple Developer app:

  1. Download the Apple Developer App from the App Store.
  2. Open the app.
  3. Tap on Account.
  4. Sign in using your usual Apple ID. 

If you want to sell applications to the App Store and sell them you’ll need to pay $99/£79 per year for a paid account. Sign up for the Apple Developer Program (here) or through Apple’s Developer App. You can register as an individual or a company. You will be required to add various bits of information and agree to the program license agreement, then enter your payment details (it’s an annual subscription that you can end up to a day before it renews). It can take a few days to verify you and make the account live.

You can compare the free and paid accounts here.

All set with your Apple developer account? Okay! Here’s how to install the iOS developer beta:

  1. Back up your iPhone (because this is a beta you are testing!)
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Tap Software Update.
  5. In the Beta Updates section, select the iOS Developer Beta.
  6. Now wait a while while the beta installs.


Developers can choose to get the Public Beta instead by selecting iOS Public Beta in the Software Update screen.

Prior to iOS 16.4, it was necessary to download and activate a beta profile on your device. From iOS 16.4 onwards, Apple will simply check to see if your Apple ID is a registered developer and provide access in the Software Update menu. You may need to restart your iPhone for the option to appear.

How to install the iOS 18 Public Beta

The developer beta is, as the name suggests, intended for developers only, but Apple does offer a beta testing program for members of the public who would like to try out new features and find bugs. Beginning with iOS 16.4, you no longer need to download and activate a profile to get the beta. You simply need to enroll and select the beta from the software updates section in Settings.

You can install the iOS public beta using the following instructions.

  1. Click Sign Up on the Apple Beta page and register with your Apple ID.
  2. Log in to the Beta Software Program.
  3. Click Enroll your iOS device.
  4. Open the Settings app, tap General, then Software Update.
  5. In the Beta Updates section, select the iOS Public Beta.

If you want to uninstall the beta and stop receiving beta updates read this: How to remove an iOS beta from your iPhone.

The beta will include a Feedback app that you can use to submit bug reports and broken features. Make use of it! It’s the best way for Apple to get well-documented, reproducible bug reports directly to developers, along with things like telemetry and screenshots that make it easy for them to figure out what’s wrong. Using the Feedback app every time you encounter a problem is the best way to make sure the final release of iOS 18 is a smooth upgrade for everyone.

What’s a beta?

Betas are pre-release testing versions. Nearly every iOS update goes through the beta phase before it’s officially launched, from small tweaks such as 15.5 to full-version game-changers like iOS 16.

There are developer betas (for registered software developers only), and public betas. Both types go through multiple versions—probably half a dozen—before a major launch.

Risks and precautions

Note first of all that betas are test versions of upcoming software. They are by definition unfinished, and while they should include most or all of the features in the finished product, there will be cosmetic differences and, inevitably, some glitches and problems that will need to be fixed. The glitches and problems are why Apple bothers to beta-test iOS in the first place.

In other words, don’t expect a perfect user experience. In particular, don’t expect existing apps (including ones that you may rely on) to work perfectly with the new version. In extreme cases, you may even find that your device is bricked by the beta, and cannot be used until the next beta comes along and hopefully fixes the problem. It’s not uncommon for early beta software to exhibit excessive battery drain, too.

The closer we get to the final launch, the more polished and feature-complete the betas become. The counter to that, of course, is there will be less time left to wait for the official launch, so you won’t gain much by installing a beta.

Assuming you decide to go ahead, we can’t stress enough how important it is to back up your iPhone before you install an iOS beta, or better still, use a secondary device rather than your main iPhone. You won’t lose everything if something goes wrong while the beta is installing, and you’ll be able to go back to the last version should you find that you don’t like the new software after all, or that it’s too buggy.

Source : Macworld