How to Download iOS 9 and El Capitan Public Betas

Apple launched a public beta program for iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan Thursday. Announced during June's World Wide Developer Conference, the public beta allows we, the people, to test drive iOS 9 and El Capitan so that Apple can see how they are working in real world circumstances.

To download either or both OSes, visit the Apple Beta Software Program webpage, which is performing very slowly on this first day of operations. There, you can sign up or sign in, depending on whether you've been involved in past beta programs.

Apple Software Beta Program Signup Page

Signing in to the Apple Software Beta Program Requires a Verification Code

Once you are signed in, you are taken to a Guide for Public Betas that lets you get information on both El Capitan and iOS 9. In that Guide is a link to enroll your Mac, iPhone, or iPad into the program.

Guide for Public Betas Webpage

Guide for Public Betas

Once you have enrolled your device, you can then download the beta operating systems as well as future updates.

Enroll Your Device to Get Public Beta Software Webpage

Enroll Your Devices to Get Public Beta Software

Note that while I was taking these screenshots, the top of each page referred to iOS 9 and El Capitan, but the Enroll Your Devices Page actually referred to betas of iOS 8.4 and Yosemite. Apple will likely get that sorted out sooner, rather than later.



I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that running beta software—ESPECIALLY BETA OPERATING SYSTEMS—on your device is risky. It's even more so on mission critical devices. In fact, I don't recommend running these betas on your mission critical devices or for doing mission critical work. Or work of consequence. Or anything you care about. It's just not a good idea.

Beta releases tend to get much more stable closer to release, and there's nothing wrong with letting fools rush in where you, dear angel, fear to tread.

Your Experience

Caveats and warnings laid out for all to see, we very much want to know your experience with these new releases. Drop a note in the comments below with your installation and run observations.