Why a closed beta?

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by chukwithak, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. chukwithak macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2008
    Sacramento, CA
    I've been on an iPhone since the original launch day, but something I don't understand is, what is that advantage of a closed beta? By closed, i'm referring to having your UDID registered with apple. I put the beta 4 on when it launched and non registered folk could get it signed by apple, but tried to install it tonight and looks like apple fixed the hole. Also, is it app developers that beta testing? and who else?
  2. MinEderPlayz macrumors 6502a


    Aug 3, 2013
    Hamburg, Germany
    iOS betas are for developers to test out their apps and implement new features and APIs. A non-closed beta results in a bad image: people using a buggy beta software who then claim that Apple can't do iOS right and they just released crap. Also, app developers get bad reviews because of people thinking that developers should already have updated their apps according to the new OS.

    Kik messenger received a ton of bad reviews under iOS 7 beta 1, some people expected the developers to have pushed an update 10 hours (!) after iOS 7 was introduced.
  3. mizxco macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2014
    For the purpose of constructive discussion:

    Then why the OS X beta?

    Even though they've always tend to be more stable. At least never affected my work greatly.
  4. navodwickra macrumors 6502


    Aug 24, 2013
    Leeds, UK
    Because developers can release updates for OS X before the actual public release. Unlike on iOS you can install software from third party sources and developer web sites.
  5. MacMan988 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2012
    I believe Apple had some serious difficulties in affording a good QA team for OS X. The software products were getting buggier and buggier even with minimal amount of new features implemented to updates. The poor company might have finally decided to use their user base to help themselves to spot bugs and release a less buggy software this time. My opinion.
  6. mizxco macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2014
    True, they first invited retail employees then realize they needed even more
  7. chukwithak thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2008
    Sacramento, CA
    Thanks for the reply guys. About the answer I expected, just wish it was open.
  8. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    If it was open, it would just be treated like a release by the public and would get a bad reputation. Now, lots of FOSS operating systems are conducted this way in that anyone can download and run alpha or beta versions, but they can tell people to stuff it if they whine about bugs. Apple really can't do that.
  9. PsykX macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2006
    Betas are meant for developers to test their apps and fix them only, not for consumers to report bugs and things they don't like.

    You see, bugs easily affect a company's reputation of having high-quality standards such as Apple, and we all know iOS betas are full of annoying bugs. If you don't have some sort of way to block other devices from installing betas that they're not supposed to install, at least you control this.

    Example : Since June 2, I will sometimes say things like "Sorry, I'm running an iOS 8 beta and I cannot receive phone calls for at least the next two weeks" and people will reply "See ? I told you, you should have switched for an Android". You have no idea how frustrating this is :mad:
  10. charlituna macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Apple keeps it closed because if the software craps out it could kill a phone in ways that are difficult to recover (unlike the computer which is more robust). But they want as many apps as possible ready to go when the iOS is so that means giving developers the tools to ready those updates
  11. sethlution macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2011
    Well I'm running beta on both platforms, and I can see why iOS beta is limited to developers only. iOS beta is very unstable and unpredictable. It crashes multiple times a day (beta 4 seems to be a lot better). Meanwhile OS X beta works fine aside from a few UI glitches, which is in no way affecting my daily usage.
  12. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Oct 14, 2011
    iOS and OSX betas and DP's are like fire: you have to know how to handle them or you will be burned.

    As others said, it's easier to load OSX in a separate partition or external drive. But with iOS, you can only have one version of the OS installed. And going back to live is doable, but not to your everyday joe. That's why Apple recommends installing them on developing machines.
  13. iOSaddict macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2014
    The reason why OS X has an open beta while iOS doesnt is probably due to scale of consumers. iOS devices are more widely used by non-tech savvy people, many of whom only know about software updates through mainstream news and recommendations by other people. If Apple let them update to a beta software and they encounter bugs, they will have no idea what to do and will start blaming Apple.

    OS X users, on the other hand, are more tech savvy as a crowd, and mostly know about OS updates through tech sites such as macrumours. They know what to do better. And plus, like someone has mentioned before, Apple's resources on OS X is probably thinner than those on iOS, understandably so due to different sizes of revenues they bring in. They need more people to test out softwares for them. iOS wouldn't have any problem getting developers to test, while presumably there would be fewer developers for OS X.
  14. clevins macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2014
    OS X is different from iOS in a couple of ways that make doing a public beta more supportable:

    1) You can reinstall the previous version fairly easily. Yes, you can revert to 7.1.2 if yo know what you're doing but by definition a public beta is going to have less technical people involved in it.

    2) You can install OS X betas on a different partition, not so for iOS.

    3) People can install OS X on a spare machine and not risk their main machine. Most people don't have a spare phone lying around, making the risk greater.
  15. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Asking people to reset their device to test out a beta is asking for too much. Most of us aren't glued to our iOS devices 24/7 either, and when we are, it's within apps and media. You're going to have a hard time getting people to see whether adding and removing Notification Widgets works correctly when all they want to do is send messages in Snapchat and browse Facebook. We're not all power users.

    The OS X beta makes sense because our Macs aren't just a window to the internet. Most of us interact with our menubar, Notification Center, Launchpad, the Dock, System Preferences, Safari, Mail, Calendar, Preview, etc.

    The operating system is important on a computer, whereas the ecosystem matters more on the smartphone and tablet. And the whole point of the iOS beta is to test apps against new APIs, not so much seeing what runs and what doesn't.
  16. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    Following up on the that even with computers, if you are not a developer running early betas is at your own risk.

    I had to do some pretty complicated restores when an early beta didn't play well with a previous bootcamp install. Most users would have simpley been out of a laptop or would have to pay to get thier system restored.
  17. eastamherstbias macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2012
    If it was an open beta, people would be flooding the apple store with an array of issues.

    Chaos in the streets, dogs and cats living together. Mass Hysteria
  18. AxoNeuron macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2012
    The Left Coast
    A lot of really dumb people out there go out and download the beta (through shady websites) and put it on their phone. Then Candy Crush won't open up and they immediately whine that it's Apple's fault.

    Those people are why we can't have public iOS betas.

    Your average Mac user, on average, tends to be a bit more invested and knowledgeable about the platform, and even though there are rare exceptions, they won't blame Apple when they have issues with a beta.
  19. pickaxe macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2012
    Because the Yosemite beta is a strategic move. Sure, with the large amount of interface changes they do need a lot of user input (which they haven't had much of in iOS 7 and they've been slammed by a lot of news publications upon release) but they also want:
    1) free media exposure every time they release a new beta (check out how Apple orchestrated the Beta 1 previews on every major tech site)
    2) casual users to not be 'shocked' when Yosemite drops with a 'new' interface
  20. MinEderPlayz macrumors 6502a


    Aug 3, 2013
    Hamburg, Germany
    Also, you can hop straight from OS X beta channel back to public release.
    An iOS user must know how to go through DFU back to the release channel.
  21. litley macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2014
    This is exactly it, plus the publicity move.
  22. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    One other add - Apple's servers get hammered enough when an official build comes out, and they'd get swamped if so many people OTAd and DLed FW images over and over again. Sometimes the activation service acts up during this phase as well and we just need to wait until, well, when the activation of each device is approved.

    Submitting a bug, I don't hear back from Apple Engineering for days or weeks. I've submitted a bug in Maps that started in the iOS 6 betas that we're still working on, and I'd hate to experience being in a much longer queue for resolution...
  23. CutterSlade, Aug 3, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014

    CutterSlade macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2014
    Istanbul, Turkey
    Why would they have an open beta? So that thousands of people who barely know how to use their devices submit bug reports for things that aren't bugs to Apple or to the developers of an app? Remember that iOS is a platform targeting the most basic users and you can't even guess what kind of feedback you would get if you make the betas public.

    Having a developer only beta is useful for 2 reasons:

    1- As mentioned by others above, devs need to have access to the latest version of the OS before everyone else because they have to make modifications to their apps so that they can run properly when the new version gets released.

    2- Devs submit much better and meaningful bug reports because they are software developers themselves and therefore can guess a lot of things about a problem a normal user can't.

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