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How to get the iPadOS 15 developer beta on your iPad

You'll need special access to download the beta – here's how to get it

WWDC 2021 screenshot
(Image: © Apple)

WWDC 2021 gave us an intriguing look at the new tablet tools coming to iPadOS 15, including widgets and multi-tasking windows. With the iPadOS public beta not due out until July, the only way to test it today is through the Apple Developer Program.

Assuming you have an iPadOS 15–compatible iPad, you can download the beta from the Apple Developer site to your iPad. Tablets as old as the 2015 iPad Pro and 2015 iPad Mini 4 are compatible, and most other tablets sold in the last half-decade will also get the new OS.

At the same time, anyone with a compatible iPhone or Apple Watch can also download the iOS 15 beta, the watchOS 8 beta or the macOS 12 beta. An updated iPhone or MacBook will let you test the new Universal Control feature with your iPad.

Unfortunately, you must have a paid developer account to access any of these betas. Anyone unwilling to shell out a hundred bucks to register as an official app developer will have to remain patient and wait for the public beta – or the official release this fall alongside the new 10.2-inch iPad.

For those would-be iPad developers or die-hard Apple fans with cash to spare, here's how to download the iPadOS 15 developer beta.

WWDC 2021 screenshot

All the new iPadOS 15 features announced at WWDC 2021 (Image credit: Apple)

How to install the iPadOS 15 beta on your phone (developers only)

If you're not already enrolled in the Apple Developer program, go to the enrollment page (otherwise, skip to the next paragraph) and click 'Start your enrollment'. Sign in to your Apple ID – you'll need to have two-factor authentication activated – then input your bio and payment info to sign up.

Once you're an official developer, go to the Apple Developer site on your iPad, log into your Apple ID, and agree to any terms & conditions that appear. Then navigate to the Downloads page. If you joined the program properly, developer beta downloads should appear for iPadOS 15, iOS 15 and other new software; if not, you'll only see non-exclusive programs like Xcode 13.

Tap 'Download' next to the iPadOS 15 beta, then go to Settings > General > Software Update. The dev beta download should appear there automatically; once it shows up, tap Install. 

Now you can sit back and wait for iPadOS 15 to appear on your tablet! Just be ready for the operating system to have potentially serious bugs that Apple still needs to solve.