Apple today launched the first public beta of its upcoming iOS 16 software update so you can try out its new features like a customizable lock screen with widgets, granular controls for different Focus, and an improved messaging experience — for both green and blue bubbles — on your iPhone. Beta testers can also download the pre-release versions of iPadOS 16, which includes like a revamped multitasking interface and changing the display’s pixel density, and watchOS 9 with improved arterial fibrillation detection and detailed sleep tracking.
The company first announced iOS 16 last month at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), and has since launched three developer betas since. The public beta allows you to test new features without having to pay $99 for a developer account, and with (hopefully) fewer bugs than the developer beta version. If you want a more stable version of iOS for your iPhone, you’ll have to wait until it becomes available for everyone in the fall.
You should keep in mind that these are test versions and some features on your iPhone won’t work properly with this version. So you should be prepared for those anomalies if you plan to install the iOS 16 public beta.
To install the new public beta, head to the Apple Beta Software Program website, sign in with your Apple ID, and download the configuration profile for the device you want to install the test version on. Once you set up the profile on your phone, you’ll get a prompt in Settings > General > Software Update to download the iOS 16 public beta.
iO16 update comes with many new updates to look forward to with a new configurable home screen with widgets being the marquee feature. You can long-press on the lock screen and start customizing a style by picking a new photo, a font style, a filter, and a depth effect. As noted in a prior TechCrunch story last month, Apple’s default wallpaper is limited, so you will have to rely more on third-party images or your own collection.
The 3D layer effect for wallpaper is slightly inconsistent. It works well when there’s just one person or object in the image, but if there are multiple objects in the picture, the depth effect doesn’t work for every…