Apple is reportedly planning to launch the first ever public beta program for iOS, according to 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, who has an excellent track record with reporting upcoming Apple products and announcements.
This would mean any iPhone user, regardless of whether or not you’re a developer, will be able to give Apple’s unreleased iPhone software a test run before its final release.
The move is part of Apple’s efforts to eliminate bugs within iOS, Gurman reports.
Usually, Apple’s beta versions of iOS are only accessible to developers. But, following the success of Apple’s public beta for OS X Yosemite, the company is considering doing the same for its mobile software, iOS.
Apple will reportedly release iOS 8.3 as a public beta in March, and iOS 9 could enter its public beta stage in the summer after Apple unveils it at WWDC in June. The program will be restricted to 100,000 people, according to Gurman, and some Apple retail employees have been playing with minor unreleased iOS updates since January.
iOS 9 will be Apple’s next major iteration of its iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch software, but early reports suggest it will focus on stability rather than adding new features. iOS 8.3, comparatively, is a smaller update that’s expected to bring minor improvements like an updated Emoji keyboard and an enhanced version of Siri. At the same time, Gurman reports that Apple is working on another iOS 8.4 update that may add Apple’s rumored music streaming service to iOS devices.