Apple is bringing changes to Messages with iOS 14.

Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple announced iOS 14, iPadOS 14, TVOS 14 and WatchOS 7 in June and broke the news that the Mac lineup will eventually ditch Intel processors, switching to Apple’s Arm silicon, similar to the kind of chip that powers your iPhone ($699 at Apple), sometime next year. The flurry of information will perk any tech enthusiast’s ears, but as usual, Apple gave app makers a special treat — the ability to download beta software for the iPhone and iPad almost immediately.

The newest software update that will run on iPhones and iPads ($221 at Back Market) includes widgets on a more organized home screen, a new and improved Siri interface and a revamped Messages app with better group conversation features and Picture in Picture video among other new developments. 

Getting the beta up and running on your iPhone or iPad isn’t a straightforward process right now, requiring a paid developer account to even access it. Here’s everything you need to know about installing iOS 14 or iPadOS 14.

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First take: iOS 14 and all its new features


Reminder: This is an early preview for developers

There’s a reason Apple limits the first couple of preview releases to developers every year — it’s buggy. Some apps won’t work, battery life is all but guaranteed to take a hit and there will undoubtedly be random restarts and crashes. It’s all part of the process of getting an operating system ready. 

So don’t install iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 on your main phone or tablet. Instead, use a spare device if you have one; otherwise wait until, at a minimum, the first public beta. My advice? Wait even longer. The closer we get to the official release, the more reliable the experience will be. By the fourth for fifth public beta version things are usually mostly stable.

With that said, if you like living on the edge and are willing to deal with the issues, here’s how you can install iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 right now. 


The public betas for iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 will be available in July, along with updates to TVOS and WatchOS. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When is the public beta coming for everyone?

Apple announced it will once again allow nondevelopers to install iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 before their official release this fall through a public beta program. No specific launch date was announced, but Apple did say the public betas will launch in July. 


All iPad Pro models are supported by iOS 14. 

Scott Stein/CNET

Which devices are supported?

Apple is keeping the list of supported iPhone and iPad models the same as for iOS 13. Here’s the complete list:

How to install iOS 14 and iPadOS 14

For the time being, you’ll need a paid Apple developer account to gain access to the first beta releases. A paid account costs $99 a year, giving you access to publishing apps in the App Store along with all beta releases throughout the year. 

If you have a paid developer account, visit this page of the Developer website. This year, there’s on over-the-air profile that streamlines the installation process. Alternatively, you can download and manually install the update. 


You’ll need to be a developer if you want to install iOS 14 right now. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Going back to iOS 13 is possible, but…

You’ll have to factory reset your iPhone or iPad and either restore it from the last backup you created when it was running iOS 13, or start fresh. 

I suggest creating an encrypted backup using Finder on a Mac or iTunes on a PC right before you install the beta. That way you have a recent backup should there be too many bugs or issues for you to deal with. 

There was much more news coming out of Apple last month, so make sure to read through our complete WWDC 20 coverage.



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