Apple originally said the public beta of the new iOS 13 would come in July, but it has surprised us by releasing it early.
Registered developers have been playing with the mobile OS for weeks, but now regular folks can register their device and get the same version developers have been using.
The highlights of the new OS include a “dark mode,” an improved Shortcuts apps that automates groups of tasks, improvements to the Photos and Maps apps, and a hundred other smaller things.
The iOS 13 beta will be sent via an over-the-air update. If you’d like to try it you’ll need to sign up at Apple’s beta software program site. Once you’ve done that, you can also access betas for Apple’s new macOS, tvOS, and iPadOS.
Apple this year split off the version of iOS that runs on iPads into a separate OS called iPadOS. iPad OS is very, very similar to iOS 13 but includes some special multitasking features that exploit the iPad’s larger screen.
Finally, remember to back up your device before downloading any beta. Betas can be buggy and betas can crash. However, I’ve been using the iOS 13 developer beta for a week now and have experienced only minor issues.