Apple is reportedly planning to publicly test future iOS builds with a limited number of participants, similar to what Cupertino did with OS X last year. The iPhone-maker will kick off its plans by opening the iOS 8.3 beta in mid-March, and the iOS 9
beta in the summer, ahead of a fall release with the next iPhone.
With the first iOS public betas, Apple
is said to be trying to avoid the bug-laden
that was iOS 8, as per a 9to5Mac report that cites
multiple people with knowledge of the matter. Apple traditionally offers beta builds only to developers, who pay an annual fee for that and other privileges. With the move, Apple is also said to be trying to crack down on the betas 'alternate economy' wherein developers add regular users to the beta program for a fee.
This is not the first time the company has offered a public beta build in the recent past however, with the Cupertino giant providing 1 million people
a chance to try out OS X Yosemite
ahead of its launch last year. Apple has since offered public betas to these users for minor OS X updates as well.
This time around though, Apple is said to be opening the iOS public beta builds to the first 100,000 users who sign up, in order to maintain "exclusivity". The iOS beta will be made available via the existing AppleSeed program.
Users who manage to sign up will be offered a dedicated bug-reporting app alongside, similar to what developers and OS X public beta build users have been given in the past.
Apple started offering beta builds of iOS 8.3, codenamed 'Stowe', to developers earlier this month. It has been tipped to bring Wireless CarPlay, a new and improved Emoji keyboard, an improved voice for Siri, apart from an easier login process for Google services.
Meanwhile, as reports previously tipped, iOS 9, codenamed 'Monarch', is said to be focused more upon stability
improvements and bug fixes. iOS users have recently become disconcerted
by the numerous glitches and stability problems they've had to face with iOS 8.
iOS 9, due to be unveiled at WWDC in June, is also tipped to bring features such as transit directions and indoor modes to the mapping service. iOS 8.4 in the meanwhile, is likely to bring its as-yet-unnamed music streaming service
, leveraging the Beats Music ecosystem.