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When can I download iOS 18? iPhone update timeline as beta and general release dates near

Apple’s next-generation iPhone operating system is already available for developers. Here are the expected dates for the rest of us.

When can I download iOS 18? iPhone update timeline as beta and general release dates near
[Source photo: Apple]

This week, Apple unveiled iOS 18, the next-generation operating system for the iPhone. The flagship feature of iOS 18 is Apple Intelligence, a layer of artificial intelligence embedded within iOS 18 itself. It will allow everything from generative image capabilities to having AI help you draft the perfect email.

But in addition to Apple Intelligence, iOS 18 is also bringing plenty of other cool features to the iPhone, including a vastly more customizable home screen, a revamped Control Center, Messages enhancements, an all-new Passwords app, and much more.

But what most people really care about is the timeline: When can you actualy download the software? The answer to that question varies depending on which version of iOS 18 you want to download. Here’s a rundown:


If you’re a registered iOS developer, you can download the iOS 18 developer beta today. Yep—no waiting; Apple is giving you iOS 18 right now.

To access the iOS 18 developer beta all you need to do is register as a developer at developer.apple.com and pay the annual $99 developer fee, then you’ll gain access to the iOS 18 developer beta.

However, a big word of warning: If you aren’t a developer, don’t try to install the developer beta even if you are willing to pay for a developer account. Developer betas are notoriously buggy (that’s why they are a beta) since all the problems and issues in the software haven’t been ironed out yet (or even completed). Sometimes bugs can be so severe they may lead to data loss or bricking your iPhone.

In other words, there is a lot of risk with using a developer beta—risks developers understand but general users generally don’t.


If you’re not a registered developer, the first chance you’ll have to get your hands on iOS 18 is next month. In July, Apple will release the public beta of the software. The iOS 18 public beta will give those general users who are curious about the software an advanced look at it.

Public betas are often still buggy and have incomplete features, but most of the most serious, data-destroying bugs have been ironed out, making it a safer beta for the average non-techie consumer to use.

The iOS 18 public beta will be free to download. However, you’ll need to register at beta.apple.com if you want to download it.

Apple hasn’t announced an exact date for the iOS 18 public beta’s release, but it will likely be at the beginning of July rather than late July.


If betas aren’t your thing, then you’ll have to wait for the general release of iOS 18. The general release is the public launch of the software that Apple makes available to users around the world.

Historically, Apple releases a new iOS every September, and we expect iOS 18 to be no different.

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Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com More

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