In a bid to identify and remove as many bugs as possible, Apple has this week made it possible for registered developers to beta-test pre-release versions of the software for AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

Beta-testing programmes are always popular; Apple fans love to have access to the latest features before they're released to the general public. Unfortunately, however, installing the beta is difficult (to say the least) at present, which is clear from MacRumors' instructions.

There are also notable risks to bear in mind. Firstly, it's not possible to downgrade to an earlier version of the software even if you want to. And secondly - and more alarmingly - there is a risk that installing the beta software will cause your AirPods to stop working completely, particularly if you install the beta in an unauthorised way. If you're curious about becoming a beta tester, give these factors due consideration.

Final public versions of the software should be installed automatically. If you want to check which version is installed on your AirPods right now, go to Settings > Bluetooth on the companion iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, then tap the little i next to your AirPods. The firmware running on the earbuds is indicated in the Version field.

(If you'd like more detail on the process, here's how to update AirPods software.)

We expect new AirPods to launch this year; you can keep up with the latest rumours with our new AirPods hub. Alternatively, pick up a bargain on the current range with our guide to the best AirPods deals.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation and additional reporting by David Price.