iOS 11 public beta just launched for you to test

Apple's iOS 11 public beta is now available for everyone to test out on their iPhone and iPad, if you're willing to wade through some bugs.

It's iOS 11 Public Beta 1, according to the official release notes, and installing it changes the iPad dramatically while giving the iPhone a worthy update, too.

The official iOS 11 release date isn't until autumn, but Apple is giving its newest operating system version a thorough test almost three months in advance.

We expect to see iOS 11 launch alongside the new iPhone 8 update that's rumored to give the new iPhone sort of 10th anniversary update.

iOS 11 changes iPad Pro in a big way

iOS 11 gives your iPhone meaningful new features, including iMessages backed up by iCloud, augmented reality developer tools and a new Control Center design.

But it's the iPad Pro that sees the radical changes in the form of multitasking, and it's enough to make it a laptop replacement – for some people.

There's a new apps dock and multitasking menu that's laid out in a grid. We also get very handy drag and drop capabilities in the split-screen mode.

Apple Pencil has been enhanced, too. Here are four big changes:

  • Instant Markup lets you draw on PDFs and photos (no, you couldn't do that easily beforehand).
  • Instant Notes lets you make notes (and save them) right on the lockscreen
  • Text moves out of the way when you start drawing in the Notes app
  • Document Scanner lets you avoid scanning thanks to the iPad camera (maybe the first valid excuse to use a tablet camera)

The best new addition to the iOS 11 update for iPad may just be the new keyboard shortcut mechanic for accessing numbers, symbols and punctuation.

Instead of having to toggle back and forth between the two keyboard menus, you can simple swipe down on letters that share these symbols.

That alone with is worth downloading the iOS 11 public beta, even in its somewhat risky early stage.

Matt Swider