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Apple has restarted the beta process once more, with developers provided the first builds of iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and watchOS 9.2.
The latest builds can be downloaded by developers taking part in the beta-testing program via the Apple Developer Center, or as an over-the-air update for any hardware that’s already running the beta builds. Public beta versions of the releases generally arrive a short while after their developer counterparts, available through the Apple Beta Software Program website.
The first iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 betas have build number 20C5032e, replacing the last of iOS and iPadOS 16.1, 20B79. The first beta of watchOS 9.2 has build number 20S5331e, taking over from the previous one, number 20S75.
While tvOS usually accompanies the other three betas, it has yet to be issued by Apple.
Early impressions of the betas indicate Apple has included Freeform, a cross-platform collaboration tool introduced during WWDC 2022 that’s useful for brainstorming sessions as a group.
Both AppleInsider and Apple itself strongly advise users don’t install beta operating systems, or beta software in general, on to “mission-critical” or primary devices, as there is the chance of issues that could result in the loss of data. Testers should instead use secondary or non-essential hardware, and to make sure they have sufficient backups of their important data at all times.