You can now try Apple's next big update for the iPhone -- here's how to get it

The public beta for iOS 9, Apple’s next major update for iPhones and iPads, is now available for anyone to try.

Since it’s a beta, that means it’s a very early version of the software — so there will likely be a few bugs and it’s not going to be as polished as the version you’ll see released in the fall.

To get the beta on your iPhone or iPad, head over to the website for Apple’s beta program. Then, log in with your Apple ID to get started.

This is the first time Apple has ever released the beta for its next iPhone operating systems to the public ahead of its official release. Usually, you’d have to wait until the update officially launches to get an idea of what it’s going to be like.

Opening it up to the public also gives Apple a bigger opportunity to spot bugs before the software officially goes live. If more people are using it, there’s more of a chance they will spot issues so that Apple can take care of them before the software makes its real debut.

If you are planning to install the public beta of iOS 9 on your Apple device, there are two things you should know:

  • You should definitely back up your device before installing the software. If something goes wrong, you can just restore your iPhone or iPad to your most recent backup so that you don’t lose any data.
  • Be aware that it’s not a stable release, so be prepared to encounter bugs. We’d suggest installing it on a secondary device, like an old iPhone or an iPad, rather than your main phone.

iOS 9 brings a few noticeable new features to the iPhone and iPad. Apple is launching its own news curation app called Apple News, which pulls in stories from various publications and packages them into a digital magazine.

Apple is also adding public transit directions to Apple Maps, and Siri is getting a major upgrade. Siri is going to be a lot more contextual, meaning she’ll learn more about you and your habits and will be able to communicate with other apps to make suggestions for you.

The final version of iOS 9 is set to launch in the fall, likely around the same time Apple’s new iPhone will be released.

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