Yes You Can Install iOS 12 Beta Right Now, But Don’t
The anticipation for iOS 12 is high for many iPhone and iPad owners, and with iOS 12 developer beta out in the wild, many people may be tempted to install iOS 12 beta onto their devices right now.
Installing the iOS 12 developer beta is possible, but ultimately you shouldn’t. If you’re that interested in running beta system software, you should at least wait a while.
Installing iOS 12 Beta Right Now is Possible but…
It turns out that anyone can install iOS 12 beta right now through one of two means; signing up for an Apple Developer account, or by obtaining the iOS 12 developer beta profile. There’s no need to register a device UDID or anything else, all is needed is the beta profile and an iOS 12 supported device.
The first method requiring an Apple Developer account is just a matter of signing up and paying for the membership here at developer.apple.com. But the Developer program is intended for developers, not casual users, so this is really not a good idea unless you’re actually a developer of some sort.
The second method utilizes the iOS 12 developer beta configuration profile, which is a small file .mobileconfig file that installs onto an iPhone or iPad and then allows that device to access the iOS 12 beta system software through Software Update. The “iOS_12_Beta_Profile.mobileconfig” files can be found to download in a variety of places on the web, or perhaps from a colleague or friend with a developer account. While the beta profile can technically be installed onto any device, it is still not a good idea to do so for various reasons. One, it’s possible the beta profile .mobileconfig file is from a sketchy source and not actually legitimate or from Apple, in which case it’d be a very bad idea to install a random profile onto any iPhone or iPad. And second, even if the beta profile is legitimate and from Apple, the iOS 12 developer beta software is buggy and it will not be a good experience for most users. It’s even possible that permanent data loss could occur if the device runs into an issue with the iOS 12 developer beta system software builds. Just don’t take the risk, it’s not worth it.
Don’t Install the iOS 12 Developer Beta, Wait Instead
Early developer beta software is notoriously unreliable and is about as buggy as beta system software releases get. Thus, even if you get ahold of the iOS 12 beta profile yourself from the developer center or through a friend or elsewhere, you should fight the urge to install the early beta versions and just wait.
But I Want to Install and Beta Test iOS 12! What Should I Do?
If you really do want to beta test iOS 12, then you should wait for the iOS 12 public beta, which will start soon. The public beta builds of iOS 12 will be a bit further refined and should perform notably better than the early developer beta releases. Apple specifically created the public beta testing program to fit this desire of many users who like to explore and experiment with future system software.
You can sign up for the iOS 12 public beta program here at beta.apple.com.
It’s worth remembering that even though the public beta is open to anyone with an iOS 12 compatible iPhone or iPad, it is still best reserved for more advanced users who have a spare iPhone or iPad to explore the beta operating system on. You’ll want to go through the full backup process of course as well, so that you can restore the device in case something goes wrong.
If you find yourself in a bind and are currently running iOS 12 beta but regret it, don’t forget you can always downgrade iOS 12 beta back to revert back to a stable build of iOS 11.x if you need to, though you’ll want to be sure you have sufficient backups handy so that you can avoid total data loss.
Ultimately, the vast majority of iPhone and iPad users should never install beta system software at all – be it a developer beta or public beta – and instead most people are better off only installing and running the final versions of iOS when they are made available to the general public. For iOS 12, the final version will be available sometime this fall. Just have a little patience.