Using Apple Beta Software

Beta software, including previews and seeds, refers to a prerelease version of software that is not public and is still under development. As a developer, you can use beta software to start integrating the latest Apple technologies into your apps so that your apps are up-to-date once the software becomes available to the public.

Downloading

Xcode

Beta versions of Xcode include the latest toolset and SDKs for creating apps that run on upcoming releases of an OS, and are available to all developers on the download page. Apple Developer Program membership is not required.

Operating Systems

Follow the link below to find the latest OS release for Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. To download, you'll need to sign in with your Apple ID associated with your Apple Developer Program membership.

Safari

Anyone can download the latest release of Safari Technology Preview to see upcoming web technologies in macOS and iOS.

Installing and Updating

Beta OS software should be installed only on devices and systems used for development and testing. Attempting to install beta software in an unauthorized manner violates Apple policy and could render your device unusable. Make sure to install on devices and systems that you are prepared to erase if necessary.

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Before you install beta software, back up your device in iTunes, then archive the backup. You won’t be able to use an iCloud backup or one you didn’t archive if you need to go back to the current version of iOS. To get a shipping release of iOS device, you can simply install the final version of the software you are testing when it appears in Software Update. If you need to re-install a previously released version, you can restore your device from your previously saved iTunes backup.

Mac

Always back up your Mac computer before installing beta software. To get a shipping release of macOS on your Mac, you can simply install the final version of the software you are testing when it appears in the Mac App Store. If you need to go back to a previously released version, you must first erase the beta software, then re-install the latest shipping version of macOS, and finally restore from your Time Machine backup.

Testing

You can use TestFlight in iTunes Connect to invite users to test your app running on a beta release of iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. TestFlight makes it simple to invite testers using just their email address and lets beta testers easily provide valuable feedback within the TestFlight app. For information and best practices on testing with beta software, see Testing your app on beta OS releases.

Documentation

Documentation provided by Apple may contain preliminary information about a beta version of an API or technology in development. This information is subject to change, and your software implemented according to this documentation should be tested with final operating system software. For the most up-to-date information, be sure to read the release notes for the version of software that you are using.

Reporting Bugs

If you encounter any problems with beta software or if you would like to request enhancements to frameworks or API, please submit a report through Apple Bug Reporter. Make sure to include the build number in the bug title and description so your issue can be processed quickly. You can also find information or post about issues you encounter with your app's code on the Apple Developer Forums.

Submitting Apps

Apps that are created using beta versions of Xcode or that are built for beta versions of an OS will not be accepted on the App Store. Apps that you submit should be developed using the most up-to-date version of Xcode from the Mac App Store and should be built for publicly available versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS — except when GM seeds are available. When a GM Seed of Xcode becomes available, use it to develop your app for submission. When GM seeds of iOS, macOS, watchOS, or tvOS become available, build your app for these versions.