UPDATE: The iOS 9 Public Beta 1 update is now available. To grab it, you need to head to the Apple Beta Software Program site, log in with your Apple ID, and then enroll your iOS device by navigating to a specific page on the phone or tablet and downloading a special profile.
Earlier this year, Apple gave the public the chance to try out beta iOS software for the first time with iOS 8.3. Today marks the first time that public beta program users are getting a major iOS update, though, with the release of iOS 9.
Apple will release the first public beta version of iOS 9 today, just one day after it pushed iOS 9 beta 3 to developers that are registered with its $99 per year iOS development program. In order to take part in the public beta, you’ll need to sign up with the Apple Beta Software Program website.
iOS 9 brings several major new features to Apple’s mobile operating system. There’s a Proactive Assistant feature that’s a bit like Apple’s version of Google Now in that it aims to perform functions and offer information before you actually search for it. For example, Proactive Assistant can learn that you use a specific app every morning when you wake up, and then offer a quick link to that app at that time every day. Proactive Assistant to the left of the iOS home screen.
Other goodies included with iOS 9 are a new Apple News app, split-screen multitasking on the iPad, a new task switcher, an updated Notes app, public transit info in Maps, an updated system font, and more. iOS 9 is compatible with all iOS 8 devices.
It’s worth noting that even though this is a public beta, it’s still a beta, and so you should only install it if you’re ok with dealing with some bugs. If you’d rather wait until the full iOS 9 release this fall before trying the new software out, you can get a peek at it in action by watching our iOS 9 hands-on video at the top of this post.
If you do decide to install the public iOS 9 beta, be sure to let us know how it works for you!