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  • Kyle Chua

Apple Releases Public Betas for iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura and watchOS 9

Apple has released public betas for the latest versions of its devices’ operating systems ahead of their official rollout in a few months, which includes iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura and WatchOS 9.

If you can’t wait for what these updates will bring, you can already try them out today. It’s worth noting, however, that they're still in beta, meaning you could run into some bugs. So download and install them on your devices at your own risk. Create backups for your important data first if you must.

iOS 16

Credit: Apple

iOS 16 debuts a number of customisation options and nifty features for iPhones. At the centre of it is the overhauled lock screen, which gives you the ability to add widgets, choose between different fonts and colours and assign different focus modes, among others. Lock screen notifications additionally benefit from some changes: they no longer pile up and instead roll in at the bottom.

Messages also feature some major improvements, which include the ability to "unsend" sent messages or edit typos out of them. Plus, you can now mark message threads as unread in case you want to come back to them later on.

Other useful features include Live Text for videos, multi-stop routing for Apple Maps, "Pay Later" for Apple Pay and shared iCloud libraries, to name a few examples.

Supported devices:

  • iPhone 13 series

  • iPhone 12 series

  • iPhone 11 series

  • iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

  • iPhone X and iPhone XR

  • iPhone 8 series

  • iPhone SE (second generation and later)

iPadOS 16

Credit: Apple

iPadOS 16 boasts a number of substantial improvements over the previous iterations, most of which expand the iPad's multitasking capabilities. The coolest new feature is perhaps Stage Manager, a new interface that lets windows be dragged and stacked in an organised sidebar of sorts. Moreover, you can now connect an external display to your iPad and have up to eight apps displayed simultaneously. These functionalities, however, are only available on M1-equipped iPads.

Outside of Stage Manager, the update will also have a new whiteboard app called Freeform coming later this year, a rebuilt Home platform, support for Passkeys in Safari and more.

Supported devices:

  • iPad Pro (all models)

  • iPad Air (third generation and later)

  • iPad (fifth generation and later)

  • iPad mini (fifth generation and later)

macOS Ventura

Credit: Apple

macOS Ventura, like iPad OS 16, also benefits from multitasking improvements, including the addition of the aforementioned Stage Manager. But the highlight of this software update seems to be the upgraded Continuity Camera feature, which now lets you use your iPhone to serve as your Mac's webcam. Many users have long been complaining about the image quality of the Mac webcams, so this is a welcome solution for anyone who already owns an iPhone.

Other features include an improved Mail app and faster Spotlight searches, among a number of others.

Supported devices:

  • iMac (2017 and later)

  • ‌iMac‌ Pro

  • MacBook Air (2018 and later)

  • Macbook Pro (2017 and later)

  • Mac Pro (2019 and later)

  • Mac mini (2018 and later)

  • Macbook (2017 and later)

watchOS 9

Credit: Apple

Finally, watchOS 9, as with almost every iteration, adds more health- and fitness-tracking metrics, including running data, heart rate zones during workouts and sleep stages for the Sleep app. The update also features four new Apple Watch faces to choose from, along with some nice facelifts for the Dock and the Calendar app.

Supported devices:

  • Apple Watch 7

  • Apple Watch 6

  • Apple Watch SE

  • Apple Watch 5

  • Apple Watch 4

You can try any of the public betas listed above by signing up for Apple's Beta Software Program here.

  • Apple has released public betas for the latest versions of its devices’ operating systems, which includes iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura and WatchOS 9.

  • Participating in this beta program lets you try out new features that come with these updates before they're officially rolled out.

  • Because they're still in beta, however, you might run into some bugs. So download and install them at your own risk.

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