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iOS 18 public beta is probably coming soon to an iPhone near you

Published Jun 24th, 2024 9:33AM EDT
iPhone mirroring in macOS Sequoia
Image: Apple Inc.

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I was wrong to think iOS 18 wouldn’t be worth trying out while in beta without Apple Intelligence features. In fact, WWDC 2024 gave me plenty of reasons to install iOS 18 beta 1 on my iPhone 14 Pro. It also confirmed that my hardware isn’t good enough to run Apple’s AI, though Apple Intelligence isn’t available at this time in the iOS 18 beta.

I was expecting the usual issues with the first beta releases, but I was ready to take one for the team. After all, bugs and battery life degradation would likely be ironed out by the time iOS 18 public beta 1 made its way to more iPhone users. But I was wrong again because iOS 18 is incredibly stable. I haven’t encountered any serious bugs, and battery life hasn’t much of a major hit.

I’m comfortable recommending iOS 18 beta 1 to anyone looking to test Apple’s new mobile OS. Then again, if you want an even more stable version of iOS 18, you can wait for the iOS 18 public beta 1. It appears as though the public release should be available very soon since Apple already confirmed that iOS 18 beta 2 is rolling out on Monday.

Apple shared the news on Friday as part of the revelation that several exciting iOS 18 features won’t be available in the European Union at launch. These include Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing.

That’s something that will directly impact me. While I expect Apple to bring these features to the EU in due time, I won’t be able to experience them in September because I live in Europe. There’s no telling how long I’ll have to wait.

How is this related to the iOS 18 public beta 1 release schedule? It has nothing to do with it. That’s the context Apple used a few days ago to drop the news that iPhone Mirroring and SharePlay Screen Sharing are coming to iOS 18 beta on Monday via a new beta release.

An Apple spokesperson told The Verge that the two features will roll out in a developer beta on Monday. Apple also confirmed that some new AI features will be available for testing later this summer. That only applies to people with an iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max on hand.

This confirmation implies that iOS 18 beta 2 will be available to download just two weeks after the WWDC keynote. Apple released iOS 18 beta 1 right after the event ended. It’s unclear what other features iOS 18 beta 2 will deliver. But given Apple’s comments on the iOS 18 features that won’t be available in the EU initially, I know I won’t be able to test iPhone Mirroring and SharePlay Screen Sharing.

Apple should fix bugs and further improve the performance of iOS 18, of course.

iPhone users who are more comfortable trying the public beta rather than the developer one will not have long to wait. I expect Apple to release iOS 18 public beta 1 in the coming weeks. The first public beta usually comes out in July.

The best-case scenario would be getting the public beta alongside iOS 18 beta 2 on Monday. Again, the iOS 18 beta is very stable, so this wouldn’t be too surprising. The experience feels more like a public beta than a developer one. But that might be just wishful thinking.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.