Earlier today, developers could receive beta updates for iPhones and iPads: Apple seeded second betas for iOS 17.3 and for iPadOS 17.3, courtesy of the Apple Beta Software Program, which lets users try out its pre-release software.
Unfortunately, not long after the betas were posted and downloaded, reports appeared on Apple-related forums of the betas causing problems on some devices. In fact, some reported that the software was bricking some phones, according to MacRumors. It’s why Apple quickly took down the updates that they had posted in the Developer Centre so that it was no longer possible to download and install either beta.
It appears that according to some app developers, the “iOS 17.3 beta 2 boot loop is caused by a crash in backboardd. Based on the crash log, it’s more likely to happen for those who have the 'Back Tap' feature enabled."
Apple also posted the following statement: "iOS and iPadOS 17.3 beta 2 have been withdrawn temporarily due to an issue that prevented a small number of devices from starting up. If your device is in this state, you can recover it by entering Recovery Mode and restoring a previous version of iOS. Instructions can be found at https://support.apple.com/HT201263."
Have you ever had a serious problem with downloading or loading an Apple beta?
If you go to Apple’s FAQ, you’ll find the following statement, which is part of the answer to the question "What is the Apple Beta Software Program?":
“Please note that since the beta software has not yet been commercially released by Apple, it may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as well as commercially released software. Be sure to back up your iPhone or iPad and your Mac using Time Machine before installing beta software.”
So, while the software program might be safe, overall, there’s always a chance that an unexpected software bug could damage your system, or disable it until a solution is found. In other words, proceed with caution when installing a beta, and make sure you’ve backed up your device before installing it.
Any software update could conceivably produce a similar bug, and there have been instances in the past where Apple released a problematic update. For instance, in November, 2021, some people reported that “installing macOS Monterey is causing their Macs to refuse to start.” It also affected both portable and desktop Macs.
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Terry Sullivan has tested and reported on many different types of consumer electronics and technology services, including cameras, action cams, mobile devices, streaming music services, wireless speakers, headphones, smart-home devices, and mobile apps. He has also written extensively on various trends in the worlds of technology, multimedia, and the arts. For more than 10 years, his articles and blog posts have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including The New York Times, Consumer Reports, PCMag, Worth magazine, Popular Science, Tom’s Guide, and Artnews. He is also a musician, photographer, artist, and teacher.