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Apple to launch its first ever iOS public beta program

Apple is reportedly planning to open up its beta releases of iOS to the public, in order to prevent launch day bugs which, in the past, have caused the company no small embarrassment.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple will kick things off sometime in March with a beta release of iOS 8.3, which has already been seeded to developers. The company then plans to showcase iOS 9 in June, at its Worldwide Developer Conference, before making a public beta available in the summer ahead of a general release in autumn.

Previously, beta versions of iOS have been reserved for developers (and those willing to mess with their device sufficiently to access them – without Apple’s blessing) but the last two major releases of the platform have been plagued with bugs, which required patches immediately, and it’s believed that Apple sees a full-on public test as the only sure-fire way of avoiding another disastrous launch.

The public beta program will reportedly be limited to 100,000 people, and presumably Apple will be looking to get the software out to as many different markets as possible, to test the update in all conditions, so there is likely to be a local quota system put into place when the things get underway.

The updates will be made available via the usual AppleSeed program, which is used to seed beta updates to devs.

If you’re keen to be one of Cupertino’s guinea-pigs you can keep an eye on the AppleSeed site, and sign-up for the service when it opens.


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