How to Join Apple's iOS 10 and macOS Sierra Public Beta Program

If you love rushing in where angels fear to tread, or just want to start playing with iOS 10 and macOS Sierra before they're officially available this fall, it's time to sign up for Apple's public beta program. You'll get access to pre-release versions come July, but keep in mind "beta" means "not ready for daily use on mission-critical devices."

Signing up for Apple's iOS 10 and macOS Sierra public betas is easySigning up for Apple's iOS 10 and macOS Sierra public betas is easy

Getting in on the public betas isn't hard; just head on over to Apple's public beta website and sign up. You'll sign in to the beta software website with your Apple ID, then choose to to enroll devices in the macOS or iOS betas. For now, you'll get access to the OS X El Capitan and iOS 9 public betas, but once mac OS Sierra and iOS 10 are available Apple will send you and email letting you know you can install those betas as well.

You'll need a Mac or iOS device capable of running the new operating system versions, and when they're available you can find them in software update option in the App Store app on the Mac, and in Settings > General > Software Update on your iOS device.

Apple showed off iOS 10 and macOS Sierra (formerly Mac OS X) Monday morning during its annual Worldwide Developer Conference keynote event. Both are loaded with new features such as a more capable Siri on iOS with support for third-party apps, and for the first time Siri support on the Mac.

Jumping into the beta program is a great way to try out the upcoming versions of iOS and macOS ahead of their official release, and it's an easy way to give Apple your feedback on what isn't working right. You do that through the the Feedback Assistant app, so you don't have to make trips to the Apple Developer website.

Since iOS 10 and macOS Sierra are betas, be sure to back up your devices before upgrading. Also, don't install the betas on devices you rely on daily—like your openly iPhone—because features will break and you could lose critical data, too.