For the first time, anyone can test Apple's next major software update

AppleApple revealed iOS 9 to a crowded room full of press and developers today in California.

For years, the only people who had early access to Apple’s next operating system were its developers.

But this year, for the first time ever, Apple will let anyone play around with the new mobile software before it’s officially released to the general public.

After opening up a public testing program for the Mac’s software last year, Apple is flinging the gates open for iOS 9, the forthcoming update to iPhones and iPads that brings a host of new features and improvements.

Starting in July, anyone can sign up on Apple’s website to try the beta of iOS 9. That means you’ll be able to use Apple’s enhanced version of Siri, new public transportation directions in the Maps app, a new app for Apple Pay, and more.

Apple won’t officially release iOS 9 on all iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches until later this year. The beta is an opt-in program, and it’s not meant for everyone.

“Please note that since the public beta software has not yet been commercially released by Apple, it may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as well as commercially released software,” notes the company on the program’s FAQ. “Be sure to back up your Mac using Time Machine and your iOS device with iTunes before installing beta software.”

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