Last year, Apple had successfully launched the public beta for OS X Yosemite and based on this success, Apple plans to release public betas for the upcoming versions of its iOS operating system. Multiple sources say that the Cupertino company wants to get rid of bugs before the iOS 8.3 and iOS 9 versions are launched for the public.
This would be the first ever public beta release for the iOS because prior to this, Apple’s iOS beta versions were released only to registered developers and the general public never had access to any of the iOS beta builds. Some did manage to sell beta versions downloaded from developer accounts but their success was limited. Greg Joswiak, VP of iPhone & iOS marketing at Apple had earlier expressed concern about this unauthorized business saying that the company would fight it in future.
Apple’s iOS 8 faced several bugs and stability issues and the company has received much flak for it. This may be the reason why Apple wants to release public beta versions of iOS 8.3 and 9 so that most of the issues could be resolved before their official release. However, sources say that the public beta program would be limited to only 100,000 people in order to maintain some level of exclusivity. Apple has begun to rope in retail employees for this.
iOS 8.3 is codenamed Stowe and it was released to developers in the beginning of this month with some enhancements for Emoji keyboard, Siri, wireless CarPlay support and simpler Google services login. Second beta for it will probably be released next week. Public beta for iOS 8.3 (which will be 3rd for developers) will be out in mid-March.
iOS 9 is codenamed Monarch will supposedly focus more on bug fixes, stability and optimization and will officially debut at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Its public beta will be released in summer and it will be finally launched in the fall.