Apple's next operating system for iPhones and iPads doesn't arrive until the fall. But you can actually start tinkering with iOS 11 right now.
On Monday, Apple launched the public beta for iOS 11, allowing users to get an early taste of the upcoming features on their iPhone or iPad.
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Apple had unveiled iOS 11 during its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month. The update introduces several big changes to the iPad, including the ability to store data in Files, and a dock for frequently used apps. Apple is also adding support for augmented reality apps.
If you want to take the plunge and use iOS 11 this summer, here's how:
You Can Join the Apple Beta Software Program
Users who enroll here basically become Apple's free beta testers, checking out early versions of iOS 11 and providing feedback through a separate app. As long as you have a valid Apple ID, you can participate.
What Should I Do To Prepare?
As with any software update, you should back up your smartphone or tablet. You can use iCloud to back up the device wirelessly, or plug your device into a computer to back up through iTunes.
Should I Worry About A Bricked Device?
Because it's a pre-release version of iOS, there's always the chance it can "brick" your device, making it unusable. It happened to many users enrolled in the iOS 10 beta. If that's the case, you may need to put the phone in recovery mode.
Even better, if you worry about using it on your main device, it might not hurt to enter an older iPhone or iPad into the beta program to be safe.