• Apple released the public beta version of iOS 12 on Monday.
  • Anyone with a recent iPhone or iPad can try out the new features, including a performance boost for old phones. 
  • However, it's pre-release software and users should back their phones up first — betas often come with glitches and other oddities.  
  • iOS 12 officially comes out this fall.

Want to check out all of the new features that Apple has added to iOS, the operating system for iPhones and iPads? 

Starting Monday, you can. Apple has released the public beta version of iOS 12

All you have to do is sign up with Apple to download it onto your phone. 

You can sign up to test the iOS 12 beta here. After enrolling your device in the program, you can download a simple configuration profile from Apple, and then your phone will update to the beta software just like a typical update. 

Before you install the iOS 12 public beta, you should be aware that it's pre-release software. There's a chance it could mess up your phone. There will be bugs and other errors — part of the reason that Apple releases public beta software is so that people using their phones in real life can find and help squash bugs before the official release comes out.

Thusly, there's always a chance, however slim, that you could lose your data or your phone might not work properly. If you're going to install this beta, you should back up your iPhone first.

Or, if you're nervous, you could wait until September, which is when the official release of iOS 12 is expected to come out

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to install the public beta early. The new iOS has a lot of performance improvements, according to Apple, so it might make your old phone run faster.

Here are some other banner features

  • An improved notification tray with stacked alerts.
  • A much smarter Siri that can integrate with third-party apps.
  • A suite of features for controlling the amount of time you use your phone called Screen Time
  • Group FaceTime calls.
  • A safety tweak that will provide location data to authorities when an iPhone calls 911. 
  • A new app called Measure. 
  • Improved Photos app.
  • Redesigned Stocks and News apps. 
  • Memoji, or customized avatars that mimic your facial expressions. 

According to Apple, these iPhones will be able to run iOS 12: 

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s

Receive a single email every morning with all our latest news: Sign up here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: