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Should you install the iOS 18 beta?

The iOS 18 beta is out now! It’s tempting to rush out and download it. Now that you don’t even need a paid developer account to grab the Developer Beta, there’s nothing but a couple minutes of filling out forms standing between you and an early look at the big iOS update coming this fall.

But you may not want to rush out and grab it right away. Running beta operating systems always carries some risk, and early iOS betas especially so. Plus, all the features you may want to try out aren’t in it yet.

Here’s what you need to know to decide whether to try out the iOS 18 beta or not, based on the best available current information. We’ll update this article throughout the beta test as the situation changes.

Current version and features

The current version of the iOS 18 beta is: Developer Beta 1

This version has a lot of the new features, like the new home screen customization and Control Center, but it’s missing a lot of the things you may want to run iOS 18 for.

Notably, none of the Apple Intelligence features are present, and that includes the new Mail app categorization, Notification summaries, text tools, Image Playground app, and so on.

Some of the other hot features, like RCS messaging, are not present yet either. Odds are, a lot of the features you’re dying to try aren’t yet in the beta.

Bugs and problems

It’s not uncommon for iOS betas–especially early developer betas–to be full of bugs. That’s the point of beta-testing after all.

Compared to some years, this initial Developer Beta 1 release is actually pretty stable, but that’s not to say it is anything close to bug-free. There are occasional crashes when running everyday apps like Apple Music, Control Center’s layout sometimes freaks out, and we’ve seen the typical reports of increased battery drain.

Several apps, like some that connect to your car, either free up upon loading or think the iPhone is jailbroken and refuses to load for security reasons. There’s a decent chance that at least one of the apps you rely on may become unusable until it is updated.

Macworld recommends: Wait for a later release

We always think it’s a good idea to run an iOS beta release on a secondary device, or at least have a secondary device up-to-date with the latest iOS 17 release and all your apps so you can use it to access anything you may need.

But in the case of iOS 18, it’s probably not worth running the beta at all right now unless you’re a developer who needs to start testing your app or working on an update to use new frameworks and APIs.

The best features aren’t there yet, and the features that are there are buggy enough to cause plenty of frustration. We think even adventurous users should wait for a later release.