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iOS 18 release date: here’s when your iPhone will get the update

Someone holding an iPhone 14 with the display turned on.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 keynote, the company revealed the next major iteration of iOS 18 for your iPhone. This is one of the biggest updates to the software in years, and it has cool new features like more home screen and control center customizations, RCS support in Messages, scheduled messages, and a slew of features powered by Apple Intelligence.

But are you wondering when you can get iOS 18 to try it out yourself? Here are all the details about when you can get iOS 18 on your compatible iPhone.

iOS 18 developer beta release date

The iOS 18 logo against a blue and pink background.
Digital Trends

The first iOS 18 developer beta came out shortly after the WWDC 2024 keynote. The developer beta is typically used for developers to test and build applications.

For years, the only way to get access to the developer beta was to sign up for the $99-per-year Apple Developer program. Thankfully, Apple changed course starting with the first iOS 17 beta last year, making the developer beta available to anyone who simply registered for a free Apple Developer account. This means you can also get the iOS 18 developer beta right now, as long as you have a free Apple Developer account.

However, though you can download the iOS 18 developer beta right now, you should remember that it’s still a beta and a very early one at that. This means you may encounter numerous bugs or issues with your apps, so it is also recommended to install the beta on a spare device that isn’t your primary one.

Some important things to note if you do install the developer beta right now is that not all third-party apps may work and battery life is not yet optimized this early.

Plus, Apple will not service any devices that are running on beta software, even if the problem is hardware related. So if you need to take in your iPhone to the Apple Store for a repair, you’ll need to wipe it and revert back to the latest public release of iOS 17.

Apple typically releases developer betas first before the public betas. And lastly, Apple tends to release new beta versions every couple of weeks.

iOS 18 public beta release date

Examples of how iOS 18's home screen can be customized.

As of now, Apple has only released the developer beta for iOS 18. However, we should expect the first public beta to drop four to five weeks after the first developer beta.

Historically, the first public beta has arrived sometime between late June and early July. Though Apple has not yet said anything about the iOS 18 public beta, we should expect a similar timeline to years past.

The public beta is available to anyone who signs up for the free Apple Beta Software program. While the developer beta is for developers to test and build applications, the public beta is for anyone who wants to test and provide feedback on the beta versions to Apple before the final release.

Again, it’s similar to the developer beta in that you should really only install the public beta on a spare device. Even though it’s the public beta release, it’s still beta software, so you may encounter issues, incompatible apps, and poor battery life. Again, Apple won’t service your device with a beta.

iOS 18 release date

An iPhone home screen with iOS 18.

The final public release of iOS 18 should hit in the fall, typically around mid- to late September.

Typically, Apple releases the new iOS version in-between the iPhone announcement and launch day. With the iPhone 16, we’re expecting to see it in September, with the announcement in the first half of the month, perhaps September 9-17. If that’s the case, then iOS 18 should launch around September 16-23, a few days before the iPhone 16 hits store shelves.

Though iOS 18 will be available for iPhone models as far back as the iPhone XS, the Apple Intelligence features will only be available on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max due to hardware requirements.

And before you install iOS 18, whether it’s a beta or the final release coming later this year, make sure you back up your iPhone first!

Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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