Going straight into iOS 15 is probably not the best idea. We’ll tell you why.

Sarah Tew / CNET

This story is part of WWDC 2021. The latest coverage from Apple’s annual developer conference.

The first public beta of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 is here. This is the software that is used by millions of iPhones and iPads when Apple releases the final version in the fall. But you don’t have to wait that long Sign up for and install the iOS 15 beta. Yes, this gives you an early glimpse into new features like Live text, FaceTime on Android and new Data protection functions. But when you’re on the fence, let me give you some advice: wait.

Yes, that Installation process just a few taps on the screen of your iPhone. And yes, You can go back to iOS 14 anytime, but before jumping on the iOS 15 beta train there are a few important things to know – especially if you “only” have an iPhone or iPad.

This is what makes me pause: Bugs. Bad battery life. Possibly broken apps. You will experience one or more of these factors as the beta program continues. If you are looking to install iOS 15 on your primary Apple device, here are some important things you need to know.

Currently running:
Look at that:

Install (and uninstall) Apple’s public beta of iOS 15


Some iOS 15 bugs will be too much to deal with

A beta is so named because it’s not finished yet and there will inevitably be problems. For example the second beta of iOS 14.7 contains an issue that results in some iPhones not recognizing the SIM card in the phone. Without a SIM card, your phone can also be an iPod Touch.

Such bugs and issues are sure to show up in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. And even if they don’t completely stop you from using your iPhone or iPad, the bugs are still annoying and can make the difference between getting the job done and getting the job done, messaging reliably and having a paperweight.


Every new developer preview contains a few bugs before it’s ready for prime time.

Scott Stein / CNET

It’s inevitable: some apps won’t work

Whenever Apple makes major changes to the operating system and the underlying APIs that developers use to create new features and services, it usually means that older developer tools are removed or how they work. Even a small change can cause an app to stop working at all.

I tested an iOS beta a few years ago and couldn’t use my bank’s app. It would open and then immediately force quit. Fortunately, the developers were able to release an update that addressed the issue, but that’s not always the case.

And just because all of your apps are working just fine during Beta 1 doesn’t mean Beta 3 won’t break them. If there are apps that you rely on on a daily basis, it’s better to wait until just before the official release before joining the beta.

iphone battery health

How healthy is the battery of your iPhone?

Jason Cipriani / CNET

The battery life almost always suffers

Even if you’re lucky enough not to have apps that won’t run in beta or missed a high profile bug like the iOS 14.7 SIM bug, almost no one is immune from the blow that battery life will take during the iOS beta -Season.

One of the last things Apple does during beta programs is tweaking the apps, features, and services for battery efficiency. Or at least that’s what it feels like. In previous beta programs, I would often look for a charger in the middle of the day, even with minimal usage. The same goes for the first beta of iOS 15. I always had to leave my phone on a charger when I was at my desk to get through the evening. The battery life always suffers.

Fortunately, Apple has released a battery case for its current generation iPhones in the past that has helped, but this year the company hasn’t released anything for the iPhone 12 range.

If you are installing the iOS 15 beta, you should carry a wall adapter and cable with you. You will need it.

My advice? Wait until August when we are usually about a month away from the official release of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 and issues will be resolved. And that’s usually when you find that the battery life is slowly improving.

If you decide to try iOS 15, Here’s what you need to know about the installation. Participating in the beta is not a permanent decision. You can go back, but it will take some work. Be sure to check out ours WWDC summary for an easy way to find everything else Apple announced at WWDC 21.

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