UPDATE: Today is the official release of iOS 11 for iPad and iPhone. Anyone with a recent Apple tablet or phone can go to Settings > General > Software Update to begin the over-the-air installation process. Alternatively, the iOS device can be connected to a computer running iTunes.
The official release date for iOS 11 is Wednesday, but anyone who just can’t wait can install it now, thanks to a simple trick: Apple’s beta program is already distributing the new version that brings significant changes to iPad.
The new iOS version offers better side-by-side multitasking as well as drag-and-drop editing between two open applications. The dock from MacOS is also migrating to iOS, and better file management tools have been added as well.
Apple’s beta program lets anyone who is interested test early versions of iOS before they are released. After working through about a dozen betas, this process has gotten to the Golden Master–the one that will be distributed to the general public on Sept. 20. So all that’s necessary to get this version is to join the public beta program.
Here’s how to install iOS 11 beta onto an iPad — it’s easy and free.
First off, A supported tablet is required. Fortunately, the list is long, and contains all Apple’s recent iPads:
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2015)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2017)
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- iPad (2017)
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Air
- iPad mini 4
- iPad mini 3
- iPad mini 2
The tablets not on this list have 32-bit processors and will never be able to install iOS 11, which requires a 64-bit CPU.
Next, it’s highly recommended the data on the iPad be backed up, either with iTunes or with iCloud. Sometimes things go wrong when installing an updated operating system.
Then go to the page for Apple’s Beta Software Program on the iPad and tap on “Sign Up”. Entering one’s Apple ID and password is required. The process require enrolling the iOS device, then downloading a profile. Doing so makes the tablet part of the beta program. Once the profile has been installed, the tablet should be restarted.
The user can then go to Settings > General > Software Update, where they’ll see the next version of iOS ready to be installed.
Alternatively, one can wait until Wednesday, when iOS 11 can be installed without the hassles of signing up for Apple’s beta program.