RISKY CLICK

You can download Apple’s latest software right now—if you’re a daredevil

If you’re fine with living your digital life a little bit on the edge, you can now download the latest versions of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 11.

Apple released the operating system as public betas today (June 26), which anyone with a relatively new device and an Apple account can download.

The new operating system can be downloaded here—after you agree to yet more paperwork from Apple, and download some additional software to let your device know you’re downloading the beta software.

Apple suggests backing up your device before installing the beta software because it is, after all, still a work in progress, so it’s entirely possible there could be bugs in the code with unintended consequences. In the past, software betas have caused iPhone batteries to rapidly deplete, or even cease to function entirely.

But if you’re willing to live with the risk, here’s a quick rundown of what the new operating systems offer:

On the iPad

The iPad is reinvented: Use a new app—unsurprisingly called Files—to access your files. Once you update all your devices, Files (the app) will be synced across all of them.

A new app dock: The dock is now everywhere. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the dock, open apps, or even drag and drop files across any app in the dock. Which leads to…

Drag and drop: Hold down on a file, whatever app it’s in, and drag it into any other open app or any app on the new dock, like you would on a computer.

The Pencil gets more useful: Pull out an Apple stylus and touch it to the iPad’s screen, and it’ll automatically start writing a note. You can also now take notes by tapping the Pencil on the lock screen, draw directly in emails, and sign documents scanned into your iPad.

On the iPad and iPhone

Files access: The new app exists on the iPhone as well, but you can’t drag and drop files from it like you can on the iPad.

Augmented reality: Most of Apple’s recent mobile devices will now support augmented-reality applications. This technology was only announced at Apple’s developer conference at the start of the month, so nothing’s really out yet, but there are some prototype apps with a lot of promise:

Pay friends through text with Apple Pay: Open up a message, tap on a dollar sign, and pay a friend with the Apple Pay accounts linked to your devices. It’s as simple as Venmo.

Camera updates: Apple now uses its Live Photos function to create little videos out of the images you’ve shot that can loop forever like animated GIFs, or bounce back and forth, like an Instagram Boomerang shot, as well as long-exposure shots.

Should I download the update?

If you don’t feel like risking opening your devices up to potential bugs, the regular version of Apple’s latest operating system is expected in the fall—likely in September or October, given Apple’s past release schedule.

Correction: A previous version version of this article stated that a beta version of Apple’s latest computer operating system, macOS High Sierra, was available for download. According to the company, a beta version of High Sierra cannot yet be downloaded, but will be made available “soon.”

 


Read this next: iOS 11 turns the iPad Pro into the Apple laptop most people need

home our picks popular latest obsessions search