Apple launches public iOS 9 beta

As promised at WWDC in June, Apple has launched a public version of its iOS 9 beta for, if not regular users, then early-adopter non-developers looking to try the latest features.

Though lacking the boundary-pushing features found in iOS 8, and the aesthetic overhaul of iOS 7, iOS 9 will nevertheless offer a significant number of improvements, least of which is a new emphasis on context. With iOS 9, Apple plans to launch context-aware search and suggestions, accessible from a new panel on the far left side of the homescreen. A new low-power mode lets iOS users extend the uptime of their devices, but even without it Apple promises an extra hour of battery life for the average iPhone user.

The update also introduces multitasking on the iPad, including side-by-side apps on the iPad Air 2.

In order to sign up for the beta, users must login to Apple’s dedicated portal with their iCloud addresses, which will switch on access to the new build on all their devices. Unlike the developer beta builds, the public betas will also be upgradeable to the final version of iOS 9 later this year.

Apple has also put together an FAQ for those interested in learning more about the limitations of the new build.

The move comes on the same day Apple launches a public beta for OS X El Capitan.

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