iPhone X iOS 12 beta software program

Apple iOS 12 public beta: Here's how to download the software

The first beta version of Apple's latest mobile OS is ready to install

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Apple finally dropped the public beta version of its latest mobile operating system, iOS 12. Developers have been able to play with their own version for the past month — but now those who have already signed up to beta test the software can try the OS as well. If you're not already part of the Apple Beta Software Program, you can here.

Apple announced details about iOS 12 at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California earlier this month. Plans are to release a finished version of the software this fall. That means features testing now in both the developers' and the beta version may not make it into the final iOS.

Note that testing a beta version of any software means you should expect hiccups — and that's precisely what Apple wants. Getting a first taste of the latest iOS, macOS and tvOS means you're also telling Apple how things are —and are not— working.

Still, there are big jumps in how fast certain features work with iOS 12 —including the camera — along with features that may change how we actually use, or don't use, our iPhones.

Before testing any beta software — including iOS 12 — it's crucial to make sure you have a backup of your phone before downloading the OS.

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