Now that iOS 13 beta 1 and iPadOS beta 1 are in the wild for developers to test, an increasing number of curious users are seeking out ways to download and install the latest beta system software onto their iPhones and iPads to try out all the fancy new features.
Technically, anyone can install the developer beta of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 onto their devices right now just by using the proper IPSW files for their particular iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 compatible device. But that doesn’t mean you should.
Why is running beta iOS 13 or iPadOS a bad idea?
Running developer beta system software is just not a good idea for the average iPhone or iPad user.
Initial beta builds of any new operating system are notoriously buggy, slow, and prone to problems that will not exist in later releases of the operating system, and iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 are not any different.
Many users who have installed the iOS 13 beta onto an iPhone or iPadOS beta onto an iPad have already discovered that the software crashes often, battery drains rapidly, some apps are incompatible or don’t work as expected, there are quirks with iCloud, notes may disappear or reappear after being deleted, and many other problems may be encountered that just won’t be apparent in the final release of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 when it is released this fall.
Perhaps worst of all, running beta system software can lead to permanent data loss from the device being run on, or even lead to a ‘bricked’ device that must be restored through more complex mechanisms than what the average iPhone or iPad user is ready to perform.
Who are these developer beta builds of iOS and iPadOS for then?
So who should be running these early builds of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13? The answer is fairly obvious; developers!
If you are a developer or someone who needs to test the latest upcoming software builds for some other reason, then by all means head on over to the Apple Developer page, join the annual membership program for the $99 fee, and download and install the betas of iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and MacOS Catalina.
But I can download iOS 13 IPSW files now!
Unless the source of the IPSW files is Apple, you should ignore it. You should never download anything from an untrusted source.
In this case, the only trusted source for legitimate iOS 13 IPSW or iPadOS IPSW would be Apple and the developer download page at https://developer.apple.com/download/
Do not download anything claiming to be iOS 13 or iPadOS from anywhere other than Apple.
Want to Beta Test iOS 13 & iPadOS? Wait for the Public Beta of iOS 13, iPadOS 13, macOS Catalina
For non-developers, the more casually curious, and those who simply want to tinker with and beta test out an upcoming system software release, a much better solution is to wait for the iOS 13 public beta, iPadOS 13 public beta, and MacOS Catalina public beta.
When does the iOS 13 public beta start? How do I participate?
Apple has said that public beta testing for the new iOS, ipadOS, and macOS releases will start in July.
Participating in the public beta for iOS 13, iPadOS, and MacOS Catalina is free.
While the public beta builds will still be buggy and prone to issues that final builds of system software won’t be, they’ll be notably further along in the development process than the current developer builds of beta system software, and will offer a much better beta experience.
Furthermore, the iOS public beta, ipadOS public beta, and macOS public beta programs are specifically intended for broader beta testing, which is why they’re called a public beta, whereas the developer beta is truly only intended for developers.
So despite drooling over the features of iOS 13 and iPadOS, and MacOS Catalina, if you feel the urge to install the beta software now, just wait for now, the public beta is not far off, and the final stable builds will be released this fall.