The release of a public beta version of iOS always generates lots of excitement.
People, including myself, just can’t wait to see what’s coming in the next version. Of course, beta software is not the finished final product, it will have bugs, unfinished elements and possible unforeseen issues, but this is the reason why it’s a beta release – although it acts as a sneak peak for those of us who can’t wait to try new features, the release is rolled out so people can report anything wrong. The public beta program is vital in making sure the final release of iOS is as bug free and stable as possible.
What are the risks?
As mentioned above, beta software is not the end product; the potential bugs could result in a wide range of problems, from random device restarts, rapid battery drain, apps not opening or running correctly and, worst case scenario, data loss or an unresponsive device.
If you rely on your iPhone or iPad daily, then it’s probably best to avoid the beta program. However if the opening sentence of this paragraph didn’t frighten you away, and you feel confident that you can deal with any possible issues that arise, or maybe you have a spare device you don’t mind using as a guinea pig, then read on.
Before you start anything, make sure you backup your device, either via iTunes or iCloud. Having an up-to-date backup of your device means that if anything goes awry, you can restore from backup, and be up-and-running again as though nothing happened.
If you are not sure how to backup your device, then I would probably recommend staying clear of the beta program. Also, if you need to restore your device to the previous, non-beta version of iOS, you will need a computer, either Windows or Mac and the latest version of iTunes.
Go Hunt Those Bugs!
If you’re ready to become a beta tester, here’s a how-to feature guiding you through the steps necessary to not only install the public beta of iOS but also restore your device if you encounter any problems.
Good luck, and don’t forget to report any bugs you find back to Apple using the Feedback app which you’ll find in the beta version.
Co-host & audio producer on the Double Tap Canada radio show. Occasional contributor to Double Tap TV, full time shed resident.