Apple reportedly launching iOS Public Beta program next month

According to sources of 9to5Mac, Apple will be launching the first-ever public beta program for iOS in March this year with the release of iOS 8.3 to a limited number of users.

It was only last year that Apple had launched a public beta program for OS X with Yosemite. Since then, Apple has continuously provided these users with early access to upcoming versions of OS X 10.10 to test out new features and to report any bugs they come across.

“Apple then expects to debut iOS 9 at its June Worldwide Developer Conference, with a public beta release during the summer, and final release in the fall,” Gurman wrote. Public iOS betas will include a tool to report bugs.

He added that the iOS Public Beta program will be initially limited to 100,000 people in order to “maintain a higher level of exclusivity.”

“Apple is also working on iOS 8.4, codenamed Copper, that bundles Apple’s all new streaming music service,” reads the article.

The Cupertino firm typically tests unreleased software internally for a few weeks ahead of launch. But as it’s been stretching itself too thin lately, and given the numerous bugs in iOS 8, Apple began seeding a select group of retail employees with iOS betas for minor releases in January.

If Gurman is right, a small subset of the general public may soon have a chance to sample work-in-progress code of future iOS releases. I have no doubt in my mind that the iOS Beta Program is around the corner.

Major bugs that have been plaguing both iOS 7 and iOS 8 have hurt customer satisfaction and tarnished Apple’s brand. The “it just works” mantra no longer applies to Apple’s latest software releases to the extent it used to.

If the firm is to restore public confidence in its software prowess, the least it could do is let us download iOS betas without restriction so the general public could get an early look into upcoming releases and help improve Apple’s quality control.


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