Apple Unleashes First iOS 16 And iPadOS 16 Public Betas

Apple has started rolling out the first public beta of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 ahead of their stable release this autumn, coinciding with the debut of new iPhones and iPads. iOS 16 is compatible with the second-gen iPhone SE, the iPhone 8, all subsequent Apple smartphones launched after it.

As for the latest iteration of iPadOS, it can be installed on all iPad Pro models currently available on the market: the third-gen iPad Air (and later), the fifth-gen iPad (and successors), and the fifth-gen iPad Mini (and models launched after it). But do keep in mind that all the new features, such as Stage Manager, won't be supported across every compatible device mentioned above.

If you're looking forward to installing the latest public beta of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, head over to the Apple Beta Software Program portal, submit your Apple ID credentials to enroll in the beta testing program, and tap on the button that says "Download Profile" to download the appropriate configuration profile. After that, open the Settings app on your device, select the "Profile Downloaded" banner at the top, and hit "Install." After a restart, follow this path to download the public beta of iOS 16 or iPadOS 16: Settings > General > Software Update > Download and Install.

What's new in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

iOS 16 comes with a ton of aesthetic and functional improvements. Starting with the lock screen, it can now be customized to a photo of users' choice, fonts styles can be tweaked, and there's now even scope for multiple notification and activity widgets. Users can create multiple lock screens, each with its own combination of wallpapers and other constituent elements.

The update also brings the ability to edit sent messages, recall them, and even mark them as unread. Private Access Tokens is a new system that will save users the hassle of going through a CAPTCHA verification while web browsing. In addition, Apple Pay Later is a new service that lets users split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase in equal installments without any interest or processing fee.

As for iPadOS 16, the marquee addition is Stage Manager, but it is exclusive to iPads with an M1 chip inside. Users can now freely resize windows and juggle multiple apps with a new view that neatly stacks all the background apps on the left edge. Users can also create custom app groups to suit their needs. For those with a demanding multi-screen workflow, support for external displays has arrived for up to 6K panels, allowing file drag-and-drop using Stage Manager. These betas give us a taste of what's to come when these new operating systems get their full releases later this year, so stay tuned for more.