iOS 9, with a plethora of exciting features is coming this fall, but you don’t have to wait till leaves shed to try them out. Apple has rolled out an iOS 9 public beta programme, which allows everyone with an iPhone and iPad to try out its new operating system a little early.
What’s New with iOS 9?
iOS 9 is full of subtle changes to features features that you won’t see at a glance. Unlike iOS 7, this isn’t a full revamp, nor is as feature-rich as iOS 8.
Among the changes noticeable are the Spotlight Search menu which now lies to the left of the home screens. You can enable new Siri suggestions, attractions at nearby locations and news items.
Though it is unclear whether it is out in this beta, Siri was supposed to be smarter. She would now learn and adapt to your behaviour. She would now suggest tracks with a matching genre to play at times. Or an app that you regularly use at a certain time of day. Yes, she can now put up reminders by reading your email.
A new app called Apple News is an addition to iOS 9. It more or less like Flipboard. Select topics and publications based on your likes and get news delivered in a stylish format.
Is My Device Compatible?
iOS 9 is compatible with all Apple devices launched since 2011. iOS 9 doesn’t axe support for devices supporting iOS 8, including the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and even the iPod Touch 5G. If your iDevice runs iOS 8, it will also run iOS 9.
Before you fiddle
Beta is still a beta. Because you never know what can go awry with pre-release software that might brick your device, it’s very important that you backup your device before installing the iOS 9. If something goes wrong, you can always restore it later.
Remember, it is you who shall be responsible for any brick of device. Apple clearly states not to install this on your secondary iDevice, not the one you store your mission-critical data in.
- Connect your device to your computer and open iTunes if it doesn’t automatically launch. It is advisable to use a Lighting cable instead of Wi-Fi as the former is much baster.
- There is a “Backup” pane in the middle of iTunes iPhone page. Select the destination to “This computer” instead of iCloud to make things fast.
- Press the “Backup Now” button on the right to start backup your software. Optionally you can back up all the apps on your device.
- After backup is complete, Archive it to isolate these files so that they are not replaced by future backup runs. Go to “File > Preferences > Devices” tab and right click on the latest backup and select “Archive”.
Install the beta profile
Apple requires you to download and install an iOS 9 beta profile in order to install the iOS 9 beta update.
- On your device’s Safari browser, visit beta.apple.com/profile and select “Download Profile”. Note that it will work on Safari browser only and not in any other browser from the App Store such as Chrome.
- Login in your Apple account if you need to. From the “Choose a Device” menu, select “iPhone or iPad”.
- Select “Install and enter your device’s passcode. Read through the consent form, (though we know you won’t anyway, just scroll away) and hit “Install”.
- A devices restart is necessary for the changes. Select restart. Now you are ready to install iOS 9 public beta on your device.
Download iOS 9 Public Beta
After the restart, it still looks the same – and that’s because it is still running iOS 8. iOS 9 is just clicks away.
- In Settings, select “General > Software Update”. You shall find an “iOS 9 Public Beta 1”. This is a 1.4 GB download that shall bring the iOS 9 update.
- Clicking this will prompt your passcode once more and will present the Terms and Conditions,(which most will blindly agree to). Read through them and “Agree”.
- You shall see “Update Requested…” and your download will begin shortly after it. It might take a while to begin, depending on load times.
Install iOS 9 Public Beta
Upon completion of the download, your device shall prompt you to install the update. It will automatically do so if you don’t select any action. The download will be verified for file-transfer errors and shortly be installed hereafter. The installation will take a while and your device will restart on completion. During installation, you shall be presented with the familiar white iOS update screen. Grab a coffee and sit back. This will take a while – may be a good 30 minutes.
And you are done! iOS 9 has now been successfully installed to your device. Sign in with your Apple ID and start exploring.
Nags and Hiccups!
Beta is like always a beta. There is always a few nags while putting not-so-polished pre-release software to run. While installing iOS 9 Public Beta, you might run into some of those. Here are some that have been reported widely.
The “update requested…” notification might stay for something that would seem like forever. Don’t worry, it’s due to high load on Apple’s servers. It will take a while to deliver you the update. Trying on off-peak hours shall greatly alleviate it too.
Don’t fret if verification fails on the first attempt to install. Just retry after a moment. (Seemingly strange but it reportedly works!)
And yes, the iOS 9 itself may not be that smooth. But a small crash a while is all about using beta.