Apple reportedly prepping iOS public beta program

It's being rumored today that Apple will be duplicating their OS X public beta program with iOS 8.3 this spring and iOS 9 this summer. The hope, reportedly, is that a wider beta, beyond just the traditional developer program, will help improve software stability. From 9to5Mac:

Apple intends to release the upcoming iOS 8.3 as a public beta via the company's existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, according to the sources. This release will match the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers, which is planned for 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…

It's said the public betas will include the bug reporting app that shipped with early versions of the first iOS 8 beta. That app reportedly led to screeners being flooded by over a hundred thousand bug reports being sent to Apple during the first weekend, some of which contained no useful information.

If Apple does go ahead with a public beta, it'll be interesting to see how they balance resources and ensure the quality of feedback.

Either way, if Apple offered it, would you want to be part of a public beta?

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

21 Comments
  • Look forward to it.
  • Awesome. Now I dont have to use one of my friends dev accounts. Nothing to be scared about I have never had that big of an issue with any of the beta’s. My phone has always worked except a few games now and then.
  • I thought they already did that with iOS 7.0 and 8.0 (I kid, I kid)
  • Apple doing a Google. Who would've thought!!
  • What? What's wrong with you?
  • Lame Sent from the iMore App
  • I already have iOS 8.3 Beta and didn't need to register my UDID. Sent from the iMore App
  • Can't wait for everyone to complain when it breaks something, or their apps they use aren't updated and don't work right with it. Love the idea, hopefully people who will actually submit feedback and not complain will get a chance to try the betas out. Sent from the iMore App
  • How can one get signed up for this?
  • You'll need 1.21 giga watts, a Delorean and Doc Brown to travel to mid March to see if this happens and how it will work since nothing is official now.
  • I can just imagine the flood of complaints like, "Apple sucks. They broke my phone!!!" Sent from the iMore App
  • Hopefully only the people who fully understand what Beta is will join the Beta program. I wish there was some way for them to figure out who those people are so that there's lots of bug reporting going on to fix the OS before it goes public. I wouldn't mind being on Beta, but I've read that 8.3 breaks Verizon's VOLTE so that means no surfing while on the phone and that makes 8.3 beta a no go for me. :-(
  • Great news. I'll be looking forward to that. Sent from the iMore App
  • That's pretty awesome of Apple to do that. Finally we will get a larger response than the developers who get the beta preview AND the people that side load the best will shift restore or update in iTunes and install it without a udd and just the ipsw Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Cool Sent from the iMore App
  • This is cool provided Apple is able to list, organise and able to cope up with the bugs being reported as the reported number of bugs will be much higher than developers program. Sent from the iMore App
  • Not for me. I did it for iOS 7, and Mac OS X Yosemite, but won't do it again. I'll rather wait for a finished product - that is what I like on using Apple polished product. I don't want to deal with lots of problems, and bugs, and spoil my user experience. Although I know, I'll be tempted.
  • That would be fabulous! Sent from the iMore App
  • I have been a beta tester for others (Blackberry) and even PC software. I'd love to beta test iOS versions.
  • I'm using iPhone 4 and unfortunately I can't use this beta and iOS 8 but if I had a iPhone 6 I'd definitely try this beta Sent from the iMore App
  • I would certainly join a public Beta! Bring it on!
    I like squashing bugs!