Your iPhone is getting tons of fun new features this fall, but you can try them now — here's how

Key Points
  • The iOS 14 public beta has tons of new features and totally changes your home screen.
  • It's easy to test if you want to try it on your phone, though you might want to try it on an older phone if you're afraid of bugs.
  • Here's how to install the iOS 14 public beta.
Widgets in iOS 14

Apple released the public beta for iOS 14 on Thursday, and anyone can install it on their iPhone, so long as it's an iPhone 6s or newer.

It's a test version of the full software that will roll out to all iPhones this fall, and it includes a lot of fun new features.

There are widgets on the home screen, for example, so you can see little windows that show the weather, photos, music controls and more. And it automatically organizes all of your apps for you. Plus, Siri has a new look and doesn't take over the whole screen.

I've been running the early beta on my iPhone for the past few weeks and it works pretty well. I haven't run into many problems. If you're OK with some relatively minor bugs — sometimes the weather widget doesn't load for me — or just have an old iPhone lying around and want to test out the new features to see what they're like, it's really easy to run the public beta of iOS 14.

Here's how to try the iOS 14 public beta.

How to install the iOS 14 public beta on your iPhone

Users can now place widgets on the iOS 14 home screen.
Kif Leswing/CNBC
  • Visit Apple's beta software program website from your iPhone.
  • Click "Sign up."
  • Enter in the email and password associated with your Apple account.
  • Accept the agreement terms (Apple recommends you don't use this on a primary device, so keep that in mind.)
  • Click the iOS 14 option.
  • Choose "enroll your device."
  • Install the beta profile.
  • Open Settings > General > Software update.
  • Your device will download and install iOS 14.

That's it! Now you have the iOS 14 beta installed. Apple typically updates it with changes, including new features and bug fixes, every few weeks until the final version launches in the fall. So be sure to keep updating your device until then.

Apple announces major new software and hardware upgrades for iPhones and computers