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How to turn on iOS beta updates in Settings

Apple is introducing a notable change in how to get its developer and public beta updates on iPhone with iOS 16.4 and beyond. Follow along for a look at how to turn on iOS beta updates in Settings as well as some pros and cons that come with the change.

In the release notes for the first iOS 16.4 developer beta, here’s how Apple describes the change:

“Beginning with iOS & iPadOS 16.4 beta, members of the Apple Developer Program will see a new option to enable developer betas directly from Software Update in Settings. This new option will be automatically enabled on devices already enrolled in the program that update to the latest beta release. Your iPhone or iPad must be signed in with the same Apple ID you used to enroll in the Apple Developer Program in order to see this option in Settings. In future iOS and iPadOS releases, this new setting will be the way to enable developer betas and configuration profiles will no longer grant access.”

Interestingly, the option was set to “off” by default on my iPhone in the first developer build of iOS 16.4 and it also includes a button for public beta testers.

How to turn on iOS beta updates in Settings with 16.4 and later

Note: You’ll need to be running the iOS 16.4 beta to see the new option or wait for the iOS 16.4 public release. Check out our guide for how to install the beta.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 16.4
  2. Tap General > Software Update
  3. Choose the new Beta Updates button (it may take a moment to appear)
  4. Now choose the Developer Beta or Public Beta
  5. The Apple ID you’re signed into your iPhone with needs to be the same as what you’re using for your Apple Developer account or Apple Public Beta program
How to turn on iOS beta updates in Settings 1

After choosing the iOS 16 Developer Beta option in Settings, the iOS 16 Beta configuration profile is still showing for me in iOS 16.4 b1.

The good and bad

The main advantage of the change is it will be faster and easier to install either of the iOS betas on your iPhone or iPad with the ability to toggle it on in Settings. It should also be faster to switch between the public release and a beta release for those who may need to go back and forth.

However, the main downside is that with configuration profiles going away as a method to install future betas, developers won’t be able to share them with others. It could also be a headache in situations where developers need to run the beta but aren’t signed in with the same Apple ID on an iPhone or iPad as their Apple Developer account.

The full removal of configuration profiles may not happen immediately as Apple vaguely said “In future iOS and iPadOS releases” instead of giving a specific version or date.

iOS 16.4 also includes more features like new emoji, new Safari/browser capabilities, 5G Standalone support, fresh Apple Music animations, and more.

More on iOS 16.4:

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