Following two developer betas for its milestone operating systems, Apple on Thursday has moved on to offer its first public beta builds for iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and tvOS 14.
The first public beta builds can be acquired from the Apple Beta Software Program website, after signing up to take part in the initiative. Public betas typically arrive a short time after their developer counterparts, but for major releases, the lead time between developer and public beta variants is usually increased to a matter of days.
This is the first set of public beta builds for the milestone releases, and follows after two rounds of developer beta testing. The first developer beta took place on June 22, following the WWDC keynote, while the second batch arrived on July 7.
The incoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 offer many new features, including updates to the Home screen and app interface, Siri, Messages, Safari, and Maps, along with Sound Recognition alerts and the introduction of CarKey, among other alterations.
Public beta versions for macOS Big Sur and watchOS 7 have not currently been released, but Apple says they are coming soon. macOS Big Sur is a major update that will lay the groundwork for the shift over to Apple Silicon. watchOS 7 introduces new features such as sleep tracking, new watch faces and additional workout options.
Thursday's public beta builds are generally expected to include the vast majority of functions and features that appear in the developer versions, but are generally believed to be more stable and resilient for use by the public.
Even so, AppleInsider, and Apple itself, strongly recommend users don't install the betas on to "mission-critical" or primary devices, as there is the remote possibility of data loss or other issues. Instead, testers should install betas onto secondary or non-essential devices, and to make sure there are sufficient backups of important data before updating.