Apple just released the first iOS 11 beta to everyone

I had a chance to test the beta version of iOS 11, and can say that if it's any indication of what the final iteration is going to look like when it launches this fall, it's going to transform Apple's tablets into much more capable work computers.

The moment many of you have been waiting for is finally here: iOS 11 public beta 1 has been released, which means you can finally install it on your iPhone or iPad.

To join the Public Beta Program, you'll need to head to Apple's dedicate site here.

Before you install the beta, though, you have to understand that this is pre-release software. Please note that since the public beta software has not yet been commercially released by Apple, it may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as well as commercially released software.

Of course, it's always wise to make an iTunes back up of the device first and not to run the beta on your primary iPhone or iPad. Available to the public in autumn and as a developer preview today, iOS 11 improves the Photos app by adding the ability to loop Live Photos, and to create long-exposure pictures as well as implementing a new compression method known as HEIF that offers higher quality images at half the storage size on devices.

Visit the Apple Beta Program website and click the sign up button.

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As expected, Apple's new software update for the iPhone and iPad is full of deceptively minor changes that make a powerful collective difference.

What is the iOS 11 public beta? Accept the agreement, navigate to the iOS tab, and download the iOS 11 software. It requires erasing your device first, so you better believe you'll need a backup.

That's just a glimpse of what's in store for the iPad with iOS 11. It's now possible to revert back to iOS 10, if your experiment with iOS 11 is too bug-riddled, but it's not exactly easy. The former shows the files you've opened most recently, while the latter lets you peruse files kept in apps like Google Drive, Box and Dropbox, as well as those stored on the iPad.

There are also some photo editing improvements.

How do you provide feedback to Apple? (We at Macworld don't know what Apple's plans are for this year, so we're just estimating based on past release dates.) When the final version drops, people running the public beta will be able to upgrade to it and shouldn't lose any data-especially if they've backed everything up just in case, which I'm sure you're sick of hearing me tell you by now.