Rumor: Apple may open iOS pre-releases to average consumers in expanded public beta program [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2015
After an apparently successful public beta program for OS X Yosemite, Apple is rumored to be considering an expansion of that initiative that would see forthcoming versions of its mobile operating system -- beginning with iOS 9 -- subjected to the same assessment.




Adding iOS to the public beta program would represent another step in the recent trend toward openness for Apple, which has seen the company slowly bring its software projects out of the darkness. During the second reign of late cofounder Steve Jobs, Apple applied much the same level of secrecy to software that it did to hardware, with the notable exception of the Mac OS X public beta in 2000.

That changed with the public beta of OS X Yosemite, and iOS 9 could receive the same treatment, according to 9to5Mac. Apple allowed just one million members of the public to sign up for a chance to test Yosemite, and might follow the same approach with iOS 9.

Similar changes may also be afoot for iOS 8.3, preview versions of which have already been released to developers. That update is though to be headed for the existing AppleSeed program, under which Apple customers are selected to test pre-release software based on the needs of the engineering teams.

While iOS 9 is unlikely to see the light of day until Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference this summer, development is well underway. Traffic to AppleInsider servers from devices running early builds of the new operating system has steadily risen throughout December and January, indicating the ramp-up of internal testing processes.

Update: A follow-up report from Re/code claims sources have confirmed the rumor, saying the upcoming iOS public beta will hit AppleSeed sometime in mid-March.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    Good! I'll be willing to put up with some bugs to get a better experience in the end. iOS 8, to me, is probably the worst version of iOS ever from a reliability standpoint. So many stupid little bugs.
  • Reply 2 of 57
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Good! I'll be willing to put up with some bugs to get a better experience in the end. iOS 8, to me, is probably the worst version of iOS ever. So many stupid little bugs.

    Makes one wonder what the hell happened. Many of the bugs I encounter seemingly have nothing to do with the new features added in IOS 8. Like copy/paste in Safari.
  • Reply 3 of 57
    Hope this only happens with an ironclad legal protection for Apple in place to protect against class-action lawsuits for whatever ills befall clueless beta testers.
  • Reply 4 of 57
    rogifan wrote: »
    Makes one wonder what the hell happened. Many of the bugs I encounter seemingly have nothing to do with the new features added in IOS 8. Like copy/paste in Safari.

    I agree. Even the phone app crashed a few times. Never happened before.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    If they follow the Mac OS X public betas from last year, they will only get the iOS public betas once they are deemed fairly stable by Apple, so I suspect these will be popular. I hope they let people know that they won't be able to downgrade at some future point, the way they can with Mac OS X.

    Good! I'll be willing to put up with some bugs to get a better experience in the end. iOS 8, to me, is probably the worst version of iOS ever from a reliability standpoint. So many stupid little bugs.
    I agree. Even the phone app crashed a few times. Never happened before.

    Then you either have never used iOS 2.0-2.2 or have forgotten about the major bugs that plagued that system.

    rogifan wrote: »
    Makes one wonder what the hell happened. Many of the bugs I encounter seemingly have nothing to do with the new features added in IOS 8. Like copy/paste in Safari.

    What copy/paste issues in Safari? The only issues I have are with AI's mobile site, and that predated iOS 8.
  • Reply 6 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    wow.  never had a single problem with iOS8




    Let's see, it took until 8.1.3 to get the multifinger gestures fixed. Text selection in the Safari URL bar is still wonky, it's like the hit box is all messed up. iMessage frequently locks up when I send a picture or video, and hangs for about five minutes before it sends (not a network issue), but only on my iPhone. (I can grab my iPad on the same network and send all the messages I want...to the same person even!) Copy/Paste still isn't reliable. Dynamic Perspective messes up at times, and I'll have all the icons off center and have to lock/unlock the phone to reset them. I'll do "Take Photo" on my iPad in Messages and the keyboard often won't go away. When I put the 'collapse' button, the iMessage text entry field is still there, blocking controls. Lately in Messages it'll also have centering issues, and the most recent ones will hide below the bezel. When I pull them up I can see them, but letting the page go springs it back to the wrong place.

     

    Shall I go on? This is an unacceptable state of software from Apple.

  • Reply 7 of 57
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    Then you either have never used iOS 2.0-2.2 or have forgotten about the major bugs that plagued that system.

     

    I used iOS from 1.1.3. I downloaded 2.0 the day it came out (once the iPocalypse ended...) iOS 8 is buggier. It's random bugs too, which is the most annoying.

  • Reply 8 of 57

    What a horrible idea. Imagine the idiocy of the people stealing the beta now, times 1,000.

     

    At least the morons selling UDIDs would be out of business.

  • Reply 9 of 57
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    I used iOS from 1.1.3. I downloaded 2.0 the day it came out (once the iPocalypse ended...) iOS 8 is buggier. It's random bugs too, which is the most annoying.


     

    Buggier than IOS 4 that quasi bricked the Iphone 3G and made my 3GS feel like it had cement in its cogwheels People have so lttle memory. Of course, if a phone is bricked, it doesn't have more than one "bug" ;-).

  • Reply 10 of 57
    When Apple releases a beta of iOS, they tell developers to not use on any device they actually use. That's good advice because you don't want to find out your data was trashed or your phone locks up. Unfortunately that also means that there are few people testing iOS for many common uses before it is released. With a period of open beta, Apple is simply formalizing a process that already exists. The first few release versions of iOS have many bugs. Users know this which is why so many people put off upgrading to iOS 8 for a revision or three after it was released. With iOS 9, the first few release candidate versions will now be an open beta allowing interested users to try a fairly stable version of the new OS on their mobile devices before the release. That means that the GM version will be more stable for everyone. This is a really great plan and I commend Apple for doing it.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    I used iOS from 1.1.3. I downloaded 2.0 the day it came out (once the iPocalypse ended...) iOS 8 is buggier. It's random bugs too, which is the most annoying.

    I can only speak anecdotally, but I very rarely ever suffer any issues with iOS 8 and my apps aren't stalling and crashing on me constantly. This was the rampant experiences being reported with iOS 2.0 up to 2.2. It was a long and horrible time for iOS users when you were even sure if Safari wasn't going to crash on you at any moment while trying to open or even read a webpage.
  • Reply 12 of 57
    This isn't news: Apple has publicly tested iOS betas, under the guise of General Availability. /s
  • Reply 13 of 57
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    If they follow the Mac OS X public betas from last year, they will only get the iOS public betas once they are deemed fairly stable by Apple, so I suspect these will be popular. I hope they let people know that they won't be able to downgrade at some future point, the way they can with Mac OS X.

    Then you either have never used iOS 2.0-2.2 or have forgotten about the major bugs that plagued that system.
    What copy/paste issues in Safari? The only issues I have are with AI's mobile site, and that predated iOS 8.

    I have so many issues with copy/paste especially text selection which is incredibly wonky. And if I try and paste something when composing a message on this site I often times have to long press 5 or 6 times to get the menu to pop up and stay up to where I can tap on 'paste'. Also prior to IOS 8 you used to be able to long press on an image and copy the image URL. Now most sites, outside of maybe Twitter, when you long press on an image the only thing you can do is save it to photos. I had none of those problems with IOS 7.
  • Reply 14 of 57
    sog35 wrote: »
    never had any of those problems.  half those stuff i don't do.

    I haven't had any of those issues either. I'm curious what sort of troubleshooting steps [@]TheWhiteFalcon[/@] has done, like starting from a fresh installation WITHOUT using any saved backup to restore settings or trying this with a different device.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    rogifan wrote: »
    And if I try and paste something when composing a message on this site I often times have to long press 5 or 6 times to get the menu to pop up and stay up to where I can tap on 'paste'.

    AI needs to fix that, but the way to get around it is to move the text window around a little and then try to long-hold to cut/copy/paste.

    They're entire mobile site is inefficient. They have this incredibly small text window and oddly have only a bold button option when there is plenty of space for italics, underlined and others. And this isn't new to iOS 8. I think it comes down to them not caring about how people interact with their site.
  • Reply 16 of 57
    I've never had any problems with iOS 8. Mac OS Yosemite however has all the issues of wifi that drive anyone crazy. I really expect Apple to apologize for that mess.
  • Reply 17 of 57
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,819member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    wow.  never had a single problem with iOS8


    Me neither.

  • Reply 18 of 57
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,590member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    I have so many issues with copy/paste especially text selection which is incredibly wonky. And if I try and paste something when composing a message on this site I often times have to long press 5 or 6 times to get the menu to pop up and stay up to where I can tap on 'paste'. Also prior to IOS 8 you used to be able to long press on an image and copy the image URL. Now most sites, outside of maybe Twitter, when you long press on an image the only thing you can do is save it to photos. I had none of those problems with IOS 7.



    This site should not be a measure of either IOS or OS X. Unbelievably the Appleinsider site does not play well with Apple devices. It probably doesn't play well with Windows and Android devices either, I wouldn't know. Generally speaking it is as if AI doesn't know what 'usability' means.

  • Reply 19 of 57
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    As long as they disable app reviews in iTunes and the App Store, I'm OK with this. I don't want end users complaining that my apps crash before iOS/OSX n+1 is stable.

  • Reply 20 of 57
    I used iOS from 1.1.3. I downloaded 2.0 the day it came out (once the iPocalypse ended...) iOS 8 is buggier. It's random bugs too, which is the most annoying.

    iOS 2 or 3 (I don't remember which) had a runaway CPU issue that would cause the original iPhone to get incredibly hot to the touch, and drain the battery at an alarming rate. Kind of like an old Windows laptop running Firefox and Flash. ;)

    The iOS 8 bugs I saw are mostly UI glitches, but the absolute worst was a bug that caused Apple Maps to immediately crash after launch, and any app that used Maps data such as adding an event to your calendar would cause that app to also crash. The solution (via Apple's foruns) was to reset the iPhone (not reboot, but essentially wipe all your plist files out), causing your iPhone to go back to the day you turned it on for the first time (the "Hello" screen). Your data and apps are intact, but you have to go through and set up your iPhone again, register your fingerprints and re-add/re-authorize your Apple Pay credit cards again, as well as sign on you iTunes, iCloud, Visual Voicemail etc. Really not convenient. If I wanted to put up with that kind of shitty DIY user experience, I can always switch to Android, or punch myself in the face.
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