iOS 8 teaser 001

“Multiple people briefed on the plans” told 9to5Mac’s well-connected Mark Gurman that Apple could soon launch the first-ever public beta program for its mobile operating system in an effort to help eradicate bugs that have traditionally plagued major iOS releases, especially iOS 8.

Tim Cook & Co. are said to release upcoming iOS 8.3 code-named Stowe as a public beta through the existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, matching the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers expected to release the same week.

“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.

As a reminder, OS X Yosemite’s release last year also marked the launch of the OS X Public Beta program, giving the first one million people who registered their interest online a chance to download Yosemite betas.

Before the launch of the program, only Apple’s registered developers were permitted to download OS X betas.

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.

Source: 9to5Mac

  • Chang in Charge

    I really don’t see how releasing betas to the public is going to restore public confidence in the software as being super reliable.

    • The public will tell Apple the bugs and they’ll be able to fix them before the final version of the software is released.

      • Chang in Charge

        So the public will be exposed to more bugs and this will help change public perception?

      • joostiphone

        Well, then you should not join the program if your afraid of that. Now Apple says: “you can help us to make a super stable version of a non-beta iOS. If you don’t want an iOS version with bugs, don’t use the public beta version, but use the version which is a final version”.

      • Chang in Charge

        I’m not talking about my personal preference for joining the program. I’m talking about whether this will actually help to shift public perception that Apple software has become buggier. As a jailbreaker I have a beta state of mind so I have patience for dealing with problems. I enjoy figuring out why things aren’t working to a certain degree. But I don’t think or see how exposing an even more unpolished version of iOS to the masses will change the perception back to Apple software “just working.”

      • Fanboy 

        It will change the public perception because the final versions (which is released to the public) will be way more stable. What you have to realize is that for the most part, a lot of iDevice users wont even be aware that this public beta was released (only us techy people who read blogs are aware of this). As far as they will be concerned, when iOS 9 is released in the Fall and they install it they will be happy because of how bug free it is. Meanwhile 100,000 people (relatively small compared to the MILLIONS of iDevice owners) will have tested it out and reported bugs that all iDevice users will benefit from unknowingly.

      • Chang in Charge

        I dig it … guess we’ll see.

      • Mickey

        Well said. The average apple consumer often doesn’t even know when the next phone or iOS is out. The finished product and is all they see.

      • Chindavon

        Only for those that want to help. This is a great approach to making the OS better. If you don’t want to participate, then you don’t have to.

      • Chang in Charge

        Again this is not about my personal desire to participate.

      • Chindavon

        So what’s the argument here? How does this hurt consumers perception? What I think consumers will see is that Apple wants to make the most stable OS as possible and they are taking steps like this to do so. What other company does that?

      • @dongiuj

        In a way I think it’s a good idea because the public are always complaining about the bugs which apple says it had no idea about. But don’t you think that a $700 billion tech company should be able to do this themselves without relying on the public to do the work for them and still be charged a massive amount money for the handsets? Surely there should be compensation for the people that help do this.

      • Joostiphone

        Feedback from a tech minded customer (one who would participate in a public beta) is priceless. It doesn’t matter how big and how wealthy the company is, direct customer feedback is the best thing a company can happen and therefore Apple will help the end-user even more. I think there is nothing wrong with this. Also note that a lot of users are emailing like hell, just to let Apple know how they think about it. A platform like this gives Apple and the techy user the ability to do this structurally.

      • @dongiuj

        And I agree with everything you said 100%. I just think that the beta testers giving the company all the feedback should be compensated for their work helping that company become even richer. They’re working for the company. Workers should get paid. Especially for a $700 billion company. Don’t you think so? Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, it’s something I’d like to hear. It will be interesting to hear if apple rewards them and not just by giving everyone what could hopefully be a smoother running OS.

      • Don’t forget, even NASA asks for help. They opened up their telescope and radios to the public so they can help in the search for other worlds.

        Regardless of the value of the company, they just don’t have enough people to report of every possible issue.

      • @dongiuj

        Isn’t NASA based on fundings? If so then they obviously need the help.
        Apple is a $700 billion tech company that made its huge profits from manufacturing with overworked underpaid Asian dudes and selling at high prices. The least it can do is try to do everything itself on the programming side of things. After all that’s its business and anyone involved on any side of a business should be rewarded financially in someway for helping to improve consumer satisfaction and improve that company’s profits.
        If it’s for science I understand but to improve the profits of a company I believe that’s just wrong from the consumer side of things.
        If it’s developers only that will participate in it then that’s understandable because they will be doing it for they’re own profits too.
        I’m sorry if I sound “negative” but it’s just my opinion on doing things for a company making huge profits from selling things to the consumer.

      • mp

        Touché again. You’re on the right track with your thinking. A few steps ahead of the general average consensus with a lateral style of thinking. Also with common sense not blinded by the shiny apple in your eyes.

      • @dongiuj

        That’s all I try to be. Just some people refuse to see this and perceive me as a “negative” person as I don’t make pro-apple comments. Then some people make dumb A$$ comments like “why are you here then?” (Because it’s not restricted to apple information only) or “what have you done that’s so great?”. The latter makes me laugh because they have no idea who I am nor what I do for a living. I just let these people continue making assumptions/presumptions about me because it makes me chuckle and just shows what kind of people they really are.

      • mp

        Touché

  • Alfu™

    Is there any new iOS 8 beta available for developers at the moment?

    • Ángel Javier Esquivel

      Yes, iOS 8.3 Beta 2

      • Alfu™

        Thanks mate.

      • James G

        Beta 2 of 8.3 is out??

      • Ángel Javier Esquivel

        Your Welcome 🙂

      • James G

        I just checked the Dev Center and it’s still showing the Feb 9 build of iOS 8.3 beta 1.

        Still no new Yosemite build since Feb 5 as well.

      • Ángel Javier Esquivel

        I guess you are a registered developer…

      • James G

        Correct.

    • Chocolope Jailbreakush

      I mean I’m not a dev. I’m currently running iOS 8.3 beta 1 on my i5. Should be able to find it on the net.

      • Alfu™

        cheers… you right. I got it on the net as well without a dev account…

      • askep3

        How did you two get it online? I’ve tried before but I don’t understand how to do it, doesn’t Apple check ur UUID?

      • ericesque

        Any comment on the stability of 3rd party keyboards on 8.3? I love Fleksy but can’t handle Messages flipping out constantly…

      • Shawn

        It’s better

  • Jonathan

    I think this is a wise idea. The Yosemite beta has been praised about. I installed the first iOS 7 beta the day it came out (I’m not a dev though) and wished Apple made it available to the public even thought it was extremely buggy. I think it would have increased performance tremendously. Same for iOS 8.
    So, the fact that they’re doing this, it’s great. I for one am willing to take most of the bugs to try out the new OS.

  • Guest

    yay dont need to pay £10 to get my UDID registered.

  • James G

    This sounds awful. It will create more people complaining about bugs on Internet forums not submitting tickets to apple. There is enough talk about what the bugs are, Apple just needs to improve how they handle them.

    Also, I don’t see how carriers could be thrilled about this.

  • James G

    Yosemite went public beta and still had plenty of bugs.

  • Pretty awesome

  • Dante Arellano

    How apple is looking many ways of spend money and they cant detect the fellure of transpass secure code presing diferents bottons betas betas betas int see any better in ios but the only ting is fuccking the jailbreak thats all!

    • Niclas

      Come again?

  • Nice, now someone suggest they make Cydia part of iOS.