The first iPadOS 17 public beta release is now available — here's where to get it

iPadOS 17 widgets
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has now released the very first public beta of iPadOS 17, the next big software update for the iPad.

Apple announced iPadOS 17 during its annual WWDC event in June and it's been releasing public betas to developers since then. But with a final public ship date set for later this fall, members of the public have been unable to try the release for themselves. Until today, that is.

However, as with all beta updates, we'd suggest that people consider waiting a little while longer. The iPadOS 17 beta is a beta for a reason, and those who install it should absolutely expect issues whether it's with third-party apps or something built into the update itself. If you do go the iPadOS 17 beta route, make sure to take regular backups just in case.

Download dilemma

If you can't quite wait until this fall the iPadOS 17 public beta can be had right now. All you need to do is head to the Apple Beta Software Program website and sign up with your Apple ID.

Once installed iPad owners can expect some notable improvements from iPad 17. Those include the first time that widgets have come to the Home and Lock Screens of Apple's tablets, but that's just the start. There's also support for Live Activities for the first time as well.

Improvements to Messages, Stickers, FaceTIme, and more are all included and Apple has even finally added the Health app to the iPad.

If you've a modern iPad there's a good chance that iPadOS 17 will work just fine. But if you do need to upgrade be sure to check out our collection of the best iPad Prime Day deals before you spend a penny.

Apple is likely to release a new public beta every week from here on out, so expect a new update in around seven days.

Oliver Haslam

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.