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I installed all the WWDC21 betas on my personal devices – AMA

Wwdc
Wwdc (Image credit: Apple)

I took all of the betas Apple released just after WWDC21 and I installed them on my go-to, day-to-day devices. I know, I'm a madman and it goes against everything I've been telling other people for years. But hey, do as I say, not as I do, OK?

My situation is a little different from most because I kinda need to be able to talk about all of the new betas and the best way to do that is to use them. I have one or two spare iPhones and iPads in drawers, but they're old and frankly, the best way to learn about software updates is to live them 24/7 – so that's what I've been doing.

So far I've installed:

Yes, I need to get around to tvOS 15.

So far, so good. And yes, I'm touching three different kinds of wood as I type that.

Realistically, Apple's beta 1 releases aren't as bad as they used to be. There were times where early iOS betas were very much to be avoided. Some ate iCloud data. Some duplicated it. Others took an iPhone's battery, chewed it up, and spat it out like some sort of rabid dog. I even remember one beta doing some particularly nasty things to my iCloud Photo Library. That's why I make lots of backups, but that's a story for another day.

And still, so far, so good.

That isn't to say there aren't issues. I've one app in particular that refuses to stay running for more than ten minutes on macOS Monterey. My iPhone battery isn't quite as good as it once was. The fancy new iOS 15 notifications still need some work before they're where they need to be.

But these are betas and so far, so good.

Am I keen to see what beta 2 has to offer all of these releases? Absolutely, but that brings its own problems. Apple isn't beyond taking something that worked in beta 1 and breaking it in beta 2. Or just removing it completely. I'll be doing the backup dance before updating anything next week, just to be sure. Assuming Apple sticks to its usual two-weekly release cycle, that is.

I'll be tweeting how things go down and you can follow me there to be the first to learn when everything goes horribly wrong. That brings me to perhaps the most important part of this post – please don't do what I'm doing. I'll have only myself to blame when things go awry and all hell breaks loose.

You can just sit back and be the one that laughs at me when it does.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • Hi, I want to install the beta but it doesn't show up on the Discover -> macOS -> Download page. Do I need a paid dev account to access it at this time? Cheers, thanks
  • At this point, yes. You need to wait until you hear the Public Betas are out. Generally the 1st Public one comes out about when the 2nd developer one does. After that, seems like about a week between developer and public. I personally have had super little issues with Apple Public betas, though YMMV.