Every year, Apple releases beta versions of its iOS, macOS, iPadOS, and watchOS software. Accessible to anyone with an Apple ID, these beta programs allow users to try out new features before the software is officially released. It also allows users like you and me to help Apple improve software.
Without doing any research first, downloading Apple’s beta software may seem like a no-brainer. After all, who wouldn’t want to try everything before the full release?
Take a closer look, however, and the picture isn’t that clear. In this article, we are going to show you the main advantages and disadvantages of downloading beta versions of Apple software.
The benefits of downloading beta versions of Apple software
Before we analyze the disadvantages, we will take a look at the advantages of installing beta versions of Apple software. Below, you’ll find four of the main reasons to download the beta software available for your device.
You can give Apple valuable feedback
The main reason Apple is releasing beta versions of its software updates is to receive feedback before the full launch. And while you can perform hundreds of tests in controlled environments, the best way to experience software ease of use is to let customers try it.
When using Apple’s beta software, you have the option to give your opinion on what works and what doesn’t. With your help, you will help everyone get the most out of the full version when it is released.
Beta Updates install a Feedback app on your devices, making it very easy to provide feedback to Apple.
You can try new cool features
With every iOS update, iPadOS update, macOS update, and more, Apple introduces a variety of cool features to help you get more out of your life. So, naturally, the company includes these features in its beta versions.
When you download beta software from Apple, you can try out the latest Apple features before your friends and family use them. By the time the full version goes live, you’ll already know how to use everything, which will make the upgrade a lot smoother.
Apple’s beta software is free
Apple is releasing two beta versions: one for developers and one for the public. To use Apple’s Developer Beta, you need a $ 99 per year developer program subscription. But for the public beta, you don’t need to pay a dime.
The differences between developer and public beta are minimal, which means you won’t miss out on anything drastic. While downloading the beta is risky in other ways, that’s not the case when it’s all about money.
You can always downgrade if you wish
When using Apple’s beta software, not everyone benefits from a smooth transition. Often times, there are several issues with the update that need to be addressed before the full version can be released to the public.
If you download this software and have problems, you can always revert to the current operating system. And since this will be the last full edition, you don’t have to worry about security issues.
The cons of downloading beta versions of Apple software
Okay, so you have a better idea of the main benefits of downloading beta versions of Apple software. Don’t be fooled into thinking that everything is sun and rainbow, because the reality is sometimes very different.
Below, you’ll find four reasons why you might want to reconsider downloading beta versions of Apple software.
You could lose everything on your device
When you download Apple’s beta software, you must remember that this is not the full version. Due to this, you might encounter several important issues including losing all data from your device.
Before downloading the operating system you are trying, it is essential that you back everything up. Back up your important folders to an external drive or to your iCloud storage and make sure that you can revert your computer to the current state if needed.
If you feel like backing up your device is taking too much effort, downloading the beta software to a spare iPhone, Mac, or iPad is a brilliant idea. Otherwise, you’d better wait a few months until the full, more stable version is released.
Some apps may not work
As Apple rolls out its developer beta updates, developers will work hard to make sure their apps are compatible with these changes. But when the public beta releases, some apps might not work with this upgrade yet.
If you find that an app you use regularly isn’t working with your device, you’re in big trouble. This is another reason why it is good to use beta software on a spare device that you don’t use for work.
Apple’s beta software often has performance issues
While you might not have any issues with Apple’s beta software, it’s also a good idea to expect the worst. Even with decades of experience, the company continues to learn about its new software during the beta phase.
When you download the latest version of iOS and the like, you will often experience performance issues before Apple fixes them in the first few weeks. By extension, you will likely encounter similar issues with the beta edition.
If your device isn’t performing as well after downloading the beta software, you may want to consider upgrading to the latest full version for now.
Apple’s beta software could have security issues
Since beta software is not yet fully developed, it is important to remember that it can leave your device exposed to security threats.
In extreme cases, using the beta version of Apple’s operating system can cause viruses and other malicious malware to spread to your smartphone or computer. Likewise, you cannot rule out the possibility that hackers will break in and steal your personal information.
Should you download Apple’s beta software?
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you want to download Apple’s beta software. But if you decide to do it, you need to understand the risks associated with it.
Of course, there are lots of cool new features you can try out ahead of time. But at the same time, you might lose everything on your device. Additionally, performance issues can impact your productivity.
If you have an aftermarket device that supports the next OS update, downloading the beta won’t cause too much damage. Giving Apple feedback is also essential, so if that’s you, or if you work in a field like IT, go for it. Otherwise, you might want to wait for the official launch.
Here’s how to install iOS 15 beta on your iPhone to try the latest version now (and uninstall it if you’re not happy).
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