A Thought on Beta Software

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by mariusignorello, Aug 5, 2015.


Have public betas of iOS, OS X and watchOS increased quality of Apple's software?

Poll closed Aug 6, 2015.
  1. Yes

    7 vote(s)
  2. Somewhat

    19 vote(s)
  3. No

    11 vote(s)
  1. mariusignorello macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2013
    I just wanted to take some time to talk about beta software in general (yeah it's in the iOS 9 beta forum), due to the abundance of comments being fired back and forth about complaining, bugs, etc.

    Beta software is unique. It allows us to perfect and evolve our applications to make an excellent user experience possible. Without it, developers would be releasing half baked garbage for users to be disappointed with. Beta software is a critical, and under appreciated piece of the development process. Apple seeds anywhere between 4-8 builds of its next-generation operating system in the summer months in hope of perfecting the user experience. It recently opened up betas to the public in hopes of getting meaningful and informative feedback. Apple was relying on the very users of their OSes to help iOS, OS X and watchOS evolve. Apple is becoming more open, for better or for worse. Personally I like the top-secret version of Apple, it's more intriguing and exciting. Point is, we as developers or casual users cannot fail Apple. We cannot ignore their welcoming to feedback. Because I'm sure they'd be happy to not read thousands of bug reports per day, some of which are complete garbage. Apple is giving this opportunity and we need to take it to our full advantage. Please, if you install that beta configuration profile on your device, use the Feedback Assistant. It's a direct pipeline to engineering. Or use Apple's online bug reporter (Radar). Engineering will actually personally respond to your issue if they need assistance reproducing it, and they want to resolve bugs, just as much as you do. It doesn't matter how much technical experience you have. Don't be afraid to find workarounds. There is often more than one way to solve a problem, but there's always one way. Don't be afraid to see error messages that look impossible to decode. Someone can help you find the solution, only, and only if you speak up. The forum whining is not speaking up. And yes, I've whined too, don't you worry, finger pointers.

    From here on out, let's get our priorities straight and make use of the development time we have. Let's use beta software for the right reasons (not to impress friends) and let's make it a decent experience. It's not easy but it's 100% possible with effort.

    The weekly "where art thou beta X" threads are funny but let's have them for the right reasons.

    If you actually read this entire post, you're already on the right track. If you went to the comments to rant, well I wasted my breath. Or finger energy rather.
  2. techspin macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2014
    I don't think you should lose any sleep over "failing" Apple.
  3. Shirasaki macrumors 604


    May 16, 2015
    There would always be the first time for everything, because we can never do the same thing twice.

    Apple is trying to open itself, from Swift open source, to such a huge scale public beta program, across Mac OS X and iOS. (maybe not Watch OS yet because I don't have one for now)

    Trying out beta Mac software is also the thing I begin doing at very first time.

    So, we may need a little bit more patience.
  4. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Don't think here have been public betas for warchOS.
  5. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Public beta hasn't been around long enough as an option to tell. And we'll never know how closely any engineers pays attention to feedback.

    But I'm gonna be the optimist and say, yes.
  6. batting1000 macrumors 604

    Sep 4, 2011
    This will be the first major x.0 release of iOS that had a public beta (the others were 8.3 and 8.4). I wanna say the public beta process has helped, but the iOS 9 betas so far don't seem vastly better or worse than past x.0 betas.
  7. Vundu macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    Cannot tell any increase in quality yet but public betas have not been around long enough.

    It has got to help though as long as people use the feedback app and not just moan on Internet forums.
  8. WordMasterRice macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2010
    Upstate NY
    I really don't understand this viewpoint at all. This isn't even your job and yet you are on macrumors talking about Apple stuff. Do you think that Apple employees all just live in a bubble and have no access to the outside world beyond whatever comes in on the feedback app? That is simply ridiculous.

    The other thing is that the issue with iOS 8 never really seemed to be finding the bugs, developers knew about the bugs well before the GM dropped, and yet it still came out. The issue is if Apple has the time to actually polish everything up and still stick to their schedule.
  9. mariusignorello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2013
    Have you ever filed a bug report with Apple? Through Radar? If so, you may have gotten that yellow banner, the one saying that your bug has been marked a duplicate of another one. That's a good thing, and the more people who report these bugs, duplicate or not, the more attention Apple will pay to those issues if they are widespread. Sure they don't have all the time in the world and sure they shouldn't have to lock themselves in a room all summer trying to kill bugs one by one, but quality has been going down, and quality is an Apple characteristic.

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