The public betas are aimed at removing as many bugs as possible from iOS firmware updates before they get pushed to all devices. The beta firmware will be distributed through the AppleSeed program starting in mid-March, say sources. The first public beta should match the third beta of iOS 8.3 seeded to developers.
As expected, Apple is planning to unveil iOS 9 during its June Worldwide Developer Conference, the public beta of iOS 9 is expected to follow sometime during the summer.
Codenamed Stowe, iOS 8.3 was first seeded to developers in early February with several enhancements. The updated software includes support for Wireless CarPlay, an upgraded Emoji keyboard, an enhanced voice for Siri, and simpler login for Google services. A second 8.3 beta is expected next week. iOS 9, codenamed Monarch, will include fixes and performance enhancements as headline features. Apple is also working on iOS 8.4, codenamed Copper, that bundles Apple’s all new streaming music service. Like the early iOS 8 developers builds, the public betas will include a dedicated app that allows users to report bugs to Apple.
When Apple announced the public beta program for OS X Yosemite, it was limited to the first 1,000,000 people to sign up. With iOS, Apple is reportedly planning to limit the beta program to just 100,000 people. So, once the program is announced you will need to act quickly to ensure a spot on the list.
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