Apple launched its first ever public beta for its upcoming iOS update, allowing customers to get their hands on an in-development version of iOS 8.3.
Users will be able to try out the operating system for themselves, and provide feedback if they stumble upon bugs. Apple is hoping that giving users early access will help them resolve any issues before the final version of the software launches later this year.
Interested customers can sign up to be a part of the beta via the Apple Seed website. You can sign up with your Apple ID, then install the beta software and start using it. If you find any bugs or issues, you can report them immediately with the built-in Feedback Assistant application. Those signing up are warned to back up their device to iTunes, just in case.
Apple says that the iOS 8.3 beta includes, “improved performance, increased stability, bug fixes, and a redesigned Emoji keyboard. This release also supports additional language and country support for Siri: English (India, New Zealand), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (turkey). This is beta software that is still in development, which means some applications and services may not work as expected. Follow the instructions below to enroll any iOS devices to receive beta updates.”
If you download the beta, but later decide to roll back your OS, you will need to take some precautions. Apple says, “Always back up your iOS device before installing beta software. To get a shipping release of iOS on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can simply install the final version of the software you are testing when it appears in Software Update. If you would like to go back to a previously released version, you must first erase the beta software, then re-install the latest shipping version of iOS, and finally restore from your previously saved iTunes backup.”
This is the first time that Apple is making an iOS update available to non-developers before release. If you’d like to be part of the testing process, sign up via the Apple Beta Software Program website.