Apple extends its public beta program to iOS

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iOS 8.2 dropped on Monday—you might have noticed an undeleteable Apple Watch app installed on your iPhone 5 or later—but as a wise Milwaukee native once sang, “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.” So true, and so do software updates. And if you are bold, brave person who’s cool with betas, the future of iOS is now.

Thursday, Apple announced a public beta program for iOS. Once you sign up at the Apple Seed website, you can get immediate access to the OS X Yosemite Public Beta program (the current seed of OS X 10.10.3 gives you early access to Photos, for example). A link to join the iOS beta may appear.

If it doesn’t, check back later. 9to5Mac reported that the program is just starting to roll out, so Apple isn’t inviting everyone who visits the page immediately.

Once you do see a link to join the iOS beta, you’ll be instructed to back up your device to iTunes (which you should always do before upgrading anyway, beta or not), then you’ll visit the Apple Seed website on that iOS device and download a configuration profile. Once that’s done, the beta of iOS 8.3 should appear in Settings > General > Software Update.

Developers have iOS 8.3 beta 3 already, so this rollout to beta customers who aren’t developers signals that it’ll likely be ready for the masses soon. As a reminder, iOS 8.3 will include more diverse emoji and wireless CarPlay, among other tweaks.

Are you going to take the plunge and try for the beta, or just wait until iOS 8.3 is released for everyone?

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