How to join iOS or Android beta programs

We are now in the middle of the beta season. If you’re like me, you might see all the cool new features coming to iOS and Android and be dying to try them out for yourself.

The good news is that both Apple and Google are making it relatively easy to participate in the betas. It’s easier than ever to participate in beta programs and test new software before it’s officially launched. And we’ll show you how to do it below.

But first, a warning: beta software is inherently buggy. As new features and changes may still be a work in progress, expect something to go wrong. And with that in mind, it’s best to install the beta software on a secondary device rather than your daily driver, especially if you’re unfamiliar with troubleshooting and fixing issues.

Additionally, in this article we focus on smartphone betas, although some of the information is applicable to betas for other platforms as well.

With that all said, let’s dive in.

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Testing a new iOS version is easy. All you have to do is sign in to the Apple Beta Software Program with your Apple ID. If you have an iPhone that you want to test beta software on, chances are you already have an Apple ID. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free here.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to go to the iPhone you want to install the beta software on. Make sure you’re signed in with the same Apple ID that you used to enroll in the Beta Software Program, then go to Settings > General > Software Update > Beta Updates. You should see a list of available beta versions for your device. Just tap on the beta version you want to install, then return to the Software Update page to start the download and installation.

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That’s really all there is to the process. However, I would strongly advise you not to install the developer betas unless you know what you’re doing (and if you did, you probably wouldn’t be reading this). Wait for the public betas, which are usually closer to the final product and more stable.

At the time of writing, iOS 17 is the next major update for iPhones, and the iOS 17 public beta is expected to be released in July.

Finally, the above process should work for any software from Apple. Whether you want to try a new version of macOS, watchOS, or tvOS, you can access all of them through the beta software program.


Installing a beta of an upcoming Android release is just as easy as iOS, but unfortunately a bit limited. If you really want to test Android beta versions, using a Pixel phone is your best bet. Other smartphone brands sometimes get access to the beta, but not always. And some manufacturers like Samsung run their own beta programs instead. However, for this guide, we’re going to focus on the Android beta program and Pixel phones.

First, visit the Android Beta Program website and sign in to your Google account (if you’re not already signed in). Read the information, then scroll down to the Android Devices section. You should see a list of your eligible devices, i.e. all Pixel phones signed into the same Google Account that you signed into on the Android Beta Program website.

Then simply click the Sign Up button on the phone you wish to install the beta software on. From there, wait for the OTA update to be available on your smartphone. It is displayed like any other update via the system update menu. However, note that this is beta software and comes with some warnings.

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Note that once you install a beta update, you can’t go back without wiping your phone. So make sure you create a backup beforehand. Once the stable version is released, you can exit the beta program without wiping your phone. With the next update on your Android device, you will return to the stable Android version. For example, if you sign up for the Android 14 beta, you can opt out of the beta once Android 14 is released to the public. The next stable Android 14 update will revert your phone back to stable software.

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