Apple to embrace public betas for iOS 8.3, iOS 9

Apple to embrace public betas for iOS 8.3, iOS 9One of the most widely touted benefits of the iPhone is that it “just works”, but iOS 8 tainted that reputation somewhat, frequently being described as the buggiest version of the OS to date. Oops.

In order to avoid similar shortcomings with iOS 9, Apple will roll out public betas of its operating system, starting soonish with iOS 8.3.

That’s the word over on 9to5Mac, with the self-explanatory headline Apple will fight iOS bugs with first-ever iOS Public Betas: 8.3 in March, 9 in summer. Credit goes to “multiple people briefed on the plans.”

The news comes not too long after the same publication yelled Apple’s iOS 9 to have ‘huge’ stability and optimization focus after years of feature additions.

The public iOS betas will be rolled out through the company’s AppleSeed program, limited to 100,000 people. The move follows the successful launch of the OS X Public Beta program, which kicked off last year with OS X Yosemite.

Apple has also been using a small number of retail employees to test beta builds of iOS, though obviously doing so on a larger scale will be beneficial for identifying and addressing bugs before they’re inadvertently unleashed upon the unsuspecting public.

iOS 8.3, codenamed Stowe, was first seeded to developers in mid-February. It’s thought that the public beta of iOS 8.3 will match the third beta for developers in mid-March. Features include Wireless CarPlay, an enhanced Emoji keyboard, voice improvements for Siri, and simpler logins for Google services.

Looking further ahead, iOS 9 (Monarch) will inevitably debut at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, before launching alongside the iPhone 6S in autumn. Again, the focus there will be plain old stability.

In the meantime, iOS 8.4 is tipped to introduce, finally, Apple's much-discussed music streaming service.

Read more about: iOS

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