Well, it looks like Apple has heard your complaints about iOS 8, because 8.3 is reportedly getting a public beta release next month. That means anyone who wants to can get early access to the latest version of iOS in the hopes that software will be thoroughly debugged before its official release.
iOS 8.3 includes a
few neat features, like wireless CarPlay, new emoji (!), and easier login for Google users with two-factor authentication enabled. The third public beta will be released at the same time as the third developer version, but
9to5Mac reports that only 100,000 lucky testers will get a chance to take 8.3 for an early spin. iOS 8.2, which is being readied for the Apple Watch launch, will not enter public beta, 9to5Mac notes. iOS 9 will open up a public beta program after WWDC this summer.
Apple began allowing
public beta testing of OS X when it took the wraps off Yosemite at WWDC last year. The company invited 1 million people to join the Yosemite beta program, and while those extra testers certainly found some bugs, a broader beta base doesn’t guarantee a bug-free public release (
Wi-Fi troubles, anyone?).
Why this matters: Apple is becoming more and more open about its products (aside from the secret car project, obviously), and last year Macworld detailed
exactly why this is so important. Inviting the public to test drive iOS before it’s ready for its close-up would be a sign that Apple is ready to listen—and hopefully it will make iOS better than ever.