Recently a listener posed an interesting question and it dawned on me that several others might be interested in trying out BETA software offerings. Before we go too far, let us make sure we all understand what is meant by BETA software:
BETA Software is defined as pre-release software given out to a large group of people so they may test it out under real-world conditions. Companies like Apple and Microsoft do these releases so the tech-savvy and tech-curious can put the programs through real-world scenarios. In return, they request honest feedback so they can make corrections/improvements before release to the public-at-large. While this can be rather cool, as you get to try out new features before others…it is not without its drawbacks. Many times the BETA software can be unreliable or buggy as they are preparing it for release. After all, they ARE giving it to you to help identify problems!
On the recent show, I mentioned I was “test-driving” the new operating system for my iPhone, IOS 11. While I am indeed enjoying some of the new features (especially the “Auto-Reply While Driving” feature), it has had plenty of drawbacks as well. On several occasions, I have had the mail and messages applications freeze and require closing and reopening. While not the end of the world, these can be annoying. I do not mention these to deter you from trying it out…I just want you to have a proper expectation.
Participating in the Apple IOS BETA is a rather simple process. However, before you take that leap let me remind you of one all-important step: BACK UP YOUR DEVICE! There is NO guarantee there will not be issues, so if you need to return to the latest stable release, that backup will be your lifeline. Below are some links to help get you on your way:
Playing with BETA software can be a lot of fun. Personally, I like figuring out those bells and whistles and sharing them with you on Everyday Tech. Let us know in the comments section what you think of it…and especially if you have any success, or horror, stories on a BETA experience!