Apple Has 4 Million Users Beta Testing its Software

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has been allowing developers and members of the public to test beta versions of new iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS releases for quite some time now, and during today's earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook provided insight into just how many people try out new software ahead when it's officially released.

    At the current time, Apple has "over 4 million users" participating in its OS beta programs, according to Cook.


    Public beta testers have access to iOS 12, macOS Mojave, and tvOS 12, three operating system updates that will be rolling out this fall after an extended beta testing period, while developers have access to iOS 12, macOS Mojave, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5. watchOS 5, a new software update for the Apple Watch, is limited to developers because it's not possible to downgrade the software on an Apple Watch.

    Public beta testers and developers are tasked with testing Apple's software to help the company suss out bugs and improve features ahead of a public launch.

    Apple did not break out how many users participate in each of its beta programs, nor what percentage of those users are developers or public beta testers, but it's probably safe to say that iOS gets the lion's share of interest.

    Despite Apple's robust beta testing process, there are still major bugs that slip through on occasion, but Apple offers frequent fixes and updates for all of its operating systems.

    Article Link: Apple Has 4 Million Users Beta Testing its Software
  2. CerebralX macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2013
    Looking for a place of freedom and rationality
    Pretty smart. Saving them a lot of money.
  3. JosephAW macrumors 68020


    May 14, 2012
    I wish I could but there's no broadband where I live. Everything has to pass through the cellphone data plan.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 31, 2018 ---
    That speaks poorly then of beta users. Look at the security fiascos of High Sierra. Nobody caught them before version 1.0? Either that or Apple completely ignores the feedback from beta users.
  4. Swampthing Suspended


    Mar 5, 2004
    I'm willing to bet close to 80% don't report any bugs at all, and are simply in the program to get access to the latest software... that's the way it usually goes with all betas. In other words, those numbers are meaningless unless they correlate with the same amount of reports.
  5. Ultramove69 macrumors member


    Dec 23, 2017
    Columbus Ohio, USA
    Unable to check for update - An error occurred while checking for a software update. Hope I can install today’s update soon. Yeah it’s my daily driver but meh, it’s just a phone. Betas are fun.
  6. drumcat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 28, 2008
    Otautahi, Aotearoa
    It’s unfortunate that this level of “test” isn’t resulting in better quality. Might be due to having about 3,950,000 too many testers. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Just call it an Early Access Program. It ain’t “beta” any more than Gmail was “beta”. It’s just a corporate built-in excuse PR mechanism.
  7. groovyd Suspended


    Jun 24, 2013
    yet they still release it with a boatload of bugs
  8. thadoggfather macrumors G4


    Oct 1, 2007
    Not disagreeing, and this isn’t the culprit or end all be all by any means but it is fair to point out there are an insane amount of beta testers that don’t submit feedback And just “consume” betas. That was me when I used to beta test iOS
  9. M2M macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2009
  10. scrapesleon macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2017
    Maybe it’s because 80% of them aren’t even developers
  11. artfossil macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2015
    Even if a relatively small percentage actually submit feedback, this is a commendable level of crowdsourcing for the evaluation of new software.
  12. dominiongamma macrumors 68000

    Oct 19, 2014
    Tempe, Arizona
    people have to actually report the bugs instead of just playing with the latest and greatest
  13. isomorphic macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2010
    As opposed to Microsoft, who has all of its users in OS beta-testing.
  14. pizzzle macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2015
    I certainly want to “play” with the latest beta, but I also submit bug reports when I encounter them and when they interfere with my particular life workflow. And, Apple usually fixes them, sooner or later...
  15. nortonandreev, Jul 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018

    nortonandreev macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2016
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    To be honest, I think that, unfortunately, the feedback from beta testers is not a priority for Apple, so it's not really a beta testing in the way it should be.
  16. Bin Cook macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2018
    Careful, the stock holders will be after you for that. But yes, pretty embarrassing to boast about all these beta testers and still manage to ship the crap they have been lately.
  17. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    Maybe force all crashes in betas to be reported to Apple rather than be a choice? As others have said I doubt many beta testers contributes back.
  18. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    If only 1/2 of them would report their issues rather than complain on MacRumors about them. Apple doesn't fix them if they don't know about them and they don't browse the forums here to find them.

    Please use the Feedback app. It only takes a minute but it's huge for getting problems fixed. DON'T JUST ASSUME SOMEONE ELSE WILL REPORT IT. Apple prioritizes what they fixed based on the volume of feedback. If you choose to not report a problem, that's one less report. Everyone assumes someone else reports a problem and it results in countless less reports so even bigger issues can appear smaller and not take priority.

    Help the whole community and report every issue you find. Don't rely on others to do so.
  19. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    Prescott Valley, AZ
    It isn't smart if it isn't effective.
  20. 1applerules1 macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2015
    And probably 100 of those 4 million are actually giving feedback.
  21. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
    Could be most “beta testers” are just people who want the latest and greatest and have no interest in reporting bugs. These would be your people who only use iMessage, instagram, Facebook, Safari and occasionally the phone app.

    Some clues to this can be found in forum post after Apple release a public beta.
  22. CerebralX macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2013
    Looking for a place of freedom and rationality
    Even if 99% of the developers don't provide any feedback that means that 40,000 people did provide feedback. 40,000 people is a LOT.

    I understand that these people aren't spending 8 hours a day checking for bugs in the betas, but imagine if they had all of those 40,000 testers on pay roll. At $55,000 per year per person. That's $2.2 billion per year saved!

    But seriously, Apple knows that the public always find quirky ways to find obscure bugs that need fixing. I think 4 million is impressive.
  23. bluecoast, Jul 31, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018

    bluecoast macrumors 65816

    Nov 7, 2017
    I guess though, many will still have analytics turned on and that’ll provide useful data about app crashes and general performance across each model.
  24. artfossil macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2015
    Indeed it is. And it’s a really smart way to invoke a highly diverse group of testers.
  25. pat500000 Suspended


    Jun 3, 2015
    I wonder if apple take beta testers seriously.

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