Don't brick your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch by installing developer betas

iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac stack
iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac stack (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

This is our yearly reminder, folks: Unless you're a developer with a secondary iPhone or Mac, we strongly, strongly urge you to consider not installing developer betas on your devices.

It's not because we don't want you to have fun: iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, tvOS 14, and macOS Big Sur have some phenomenal features coming this Fall. But they're beta seeds for a reason: These features are not fully baked, may crash at will, and probably will slow down or crash your third-party applications.

If you're a developer, researcher, or otherwise need the beta on a device for day one, please back up the phone, tablet, or Mac first; preferably, that device should be an auxiliary model you have lying around. (Older iPhone and iPads make great test devices.)

In short: Be smart. The public beta period for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 (new this year!), and macOS Big Sur is coming in July, and that seed will likely be much more stable. And if you must install the betas, proceed with caution, and ideally do it on a secondary device.

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Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.