You don’t have to wait till iOS 10 officially drops to explore its new features. The public beta is available for testing and feedback purposes.
Word of warning though, as this is a beta version, it’s not the most stable. In fact, Apple itself recommends that you install this on a secondary device. Read: a spare phone lying around, or one without all your important business contacts. So proceed with caution.
The main purpose of Apple making the beta open to the public is to get feedback. And if you do download the beta update, a Feedback Assistant app will appear on the second page of your Home screen. Should the public beta of iOS 10 start acting up, there’s where you’ll go to log your report.
Step 1: Sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program
You’ll have to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program to be counted. Thankfully, it's a simple enough process. Just head over to this page and sign in with your Apple ID, read and accept the Apple Beta Software Program Agreement, and you’re in.
Lucky for you, there’s no hazing ritual of any sort to prove your undying devotion to Tim Cook. Phew.
Step 2: Back up your iThing to iTunes, not iCloud
When you’re done with the simple sign-up, prep your iThing for the software facelift by backing it up. We cannot emphasize this enough. Do this so that you don’t lose any of your precious data should iOS 10 go rogue. Also, back up your iThing to iTunes and not iCloud, because the latter won’t let you restore from it fully if you return to iOS 9.3.
As usual, plug your iThing in, boot up iTunes. Click on Summary, then Back Up Now, and let iTunes do the rest of the work for you. You can use this time to read through all the exciting things that iOS 10 has in store for you.