iOS 13.1: Apple makes public beta 1 available, weeks before iOS 13 release Credit: Jason CrossIDGIDG
Business Management

iOS 13.1: Apple makes public beta 1 available, weeks before iOS 13 release

We’re still weeks away from the release of iOS 13, and Apple has started beta testing iOS 13.1. It’s a highly unusual move; we can’t recall Apple ever starting external beta tests of its iOS point releases well before the the prior version is finished.

This first major update to iOS 13 will bring several features that appear not to be in the initial iOS 13 release. The early timing makes us think that iOS 13.1 will be release relatively quickly after iOS 13, perhaps even by late September when the new iPhones are expected to release.

What’s new in iOS 13.1

Several of the iOS 13 features announced at WWDC in June are probably going to be missing from the initial release, and iOS 13.1 picks up some of the scraps. Here’s what it brings to the table, based on what beta testers have found so far.

Shortcuts Automations: A huge upgrade to the Shortcuts feature in iOS, Automations lets your Shortcuts run automatically when certain conditions are met, instead of triggering them manually. Make your workout playlist play when you start a workout on your Apple Watch, or turn on all your lights when you arrive home, all hands-free. 

Share ETA in Maps: When following directions in Maps, you can quickly share your estimated time of arrival with contacts.

Dynamic Wallpapers: Colors and designs of dynamic wallpapers have been tweaked, and are available on more devices.

Volume slider icons: The new volume slider shows icons of the type of device connected, such as AirPods, Powerbeats Pro, or HomePod.

HomeKit icons: There are new, more detailed icons for many HomeKit devices in the Home app.

Other tweaks: iOS 13.1 brings a number of other minor tweaks and changes as well, including better iPad mouse support, alpha channel support for HEVC video, changes to adding fonts, and more.

How to install the iOS 13.1 beta

Apple will beta test the new release with both developers and the public. Those with an active developer account can visit developer.apple.com/download on the device they want to install the iOS or iPadOS beta on, and install the beta profile. 

Public Beta releases typically follow on within a day or so of the Developer Beta. If you’re interested in running it on your iPhone or iPad, head to beta.apple.com on the device you want to install the beta on. Sign in, agree to the terms, and download the beta profile. Then head to Settings > General > Profile and make sure the profile is installed and active.

Installing the iOS 13.1 beta is then just like updating to any new release of iOS. Head to Settings > General > Software Update to begin the download and installation. Please note that iOS betas, while exciting, often have bugs, performance problems, stability problems, and poor battery life. It’s not recommended that you install it on your primary device.

When will iOS 13.1 be released?

For the last several years, the x.1 release of iOS has been released around the end of October. The first external beta tests for those usually begin right around the time of the official, finished main release (in mid-September). This year is different. Apple is starting external tests for developers and the public of iOS 13.1 weeks before iOS 13 is expected to be released.

That may represent a big shift in the typical timetable. We could see iOS 13.1 release early in October, or possibly even late September, around the time when we expect the new iPhones to ship to customers and stores.

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