Apple releases beta versions of important software updates for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and iPadOS every year. These tests allow the company to find out how their updates work in the real world, and you can join the program too. All you need is an Apple ID and a device for testing.

Apple's beta versions can cause download problems. They are not always stable and some users have reported compatibility issues such as: B. that certain apps do not work.

However, the release of these beta updates is critical to Apple for several reasons. Let's look at the top reasons Apple is releasing beta versions of its software and why they're so important.

Why is Apple releasing beta versions of its software?

Photo of a person using their iPhone outdoors

Before we look at why Apple's beta software releases are so important, it's worth taking a look at why the company is announcing these releases in the first place.

We've listed the top three reasons Apple is launching its iOS, macOS, iPadOS, and watchOS betas.

1. To test the functionality of the software in a controlled external environment

Before Apple releases the full version of a new operating system update, the company must test the software beforehand. The former takes place internally, of course.

But after these internal tests, Apple needs to figure out how these updates work in real life. The best way to do this is to get those who will be using the software – the general public and app developers – to try it out on their devices.

By volunteering users to sign up for beta software releases, Apple can better understand how the upcoming updates work in practice. At the same time, the company can ensure that it has enough time to make adjustments if necessary.

2. To get feedback

No product or service is perfect to start with, and Apple's software versions are no different. However, Apple can mitigate the blow of bad software by soliciting feedback from its customers before going public.

Apple's beta software updates are the best way to understand what users are doing and not doing with the new software. Apple can then use this feedback to troubleshoot performance issues and more, and to ensure the full version is as ready as possible on the day of release.

3. To identify potential loopholes that can be closed with future releases

Apple does not release a single operating system update per year and then goes into hibernation for another 12 months. The company is constantly looking for ways to improve its services, which is one of several reasons it has remained a technology pioneer for so long.

Related: What Makes Apple So Successful?

When Apple shares its beta updates, the feedback doesn't just help the first time the new operating system starts up. The company can also take inspiration from user comments to include interesting new features in subsequent versions of the software.

Why are Apple's beta releases important?

Photo of an iPhone on an orange background

Okay, we've covered the top reasons Apple lets you download its beta software updates.

If you look below the surface, these publications are essential for several reasons. In the following subsections, you will discover three of the most important reasons.

1. To address potential security issues

Lots of consumers invest in Apple products because they tend to be pretty safe. Therefore, the company has a great responsibility to maintain its reputation in this area.

A particular challenge with new software updates is that they are not always free from security threats. In addition, iPhones are not immune to malware, neither are Macs, iPads or Apple Watches.

By releasing beta software and testing it in controlled environments, as well as performing additional internal testing, Apple can identify potential security risks. Then the developers can fix these bugs and make sure they don't affect the full version once it goes live.

2. To fix bugs that can cause problems

Have you ever downloaded a new version of iOS and found that your iPhone was experiencing performance issues for the first few weeks? Maybe your apps keep crashing, the screen freezes, or your WiFi keeps dropping out.

Related: These fixes will help you improve your iPhone's Wi-Fi performance

Apple will often fix these errors pretty quickly. But can you imagine how much worse the problem would be if the users hadn't beta tested beforehand?

By launching its beta software, Apple can fix bugs that would otherwise have caused bigger problems. Not only will these tests save you a few minutes of stress, but they can also ensure that you do not lose any important files and folders.

3. So that users can familiarize themselves with the software before it goes live

When you hear of a new beta software update being rolled out, you may see this as a golden opportunity to show off that you have the latest operating system features upfront. But Apple's beta releases allow you to not only try your hand at for fun, but also to get familiar with the software and shorten the learning curve.

As a developer, you can better understand how the new operating system works. With that in mind, you can start thinking about how to update your apps to be compatible (or create new ones if necessary).

Related: Learn how to develop Android and iOS apps with this comprehensive package

For general users, downloading the beta version of the software can help understand each new feature in advance. When the full version comes out, you can jump right in without any problems.

Apple's Beta Software Updates: Important and Accessible

Apple's beta software updates are an opportunity for the public and app developers to try out the latest operating system updates before they're fully rolled out. But aside from allowing you to test out some new features, they are critical to ensuring that the introduction doesn't cause more problems than it solves.

By releasing beta software, Apple can test its updates in the real world. This way, the company can see how well it is performing, while also receiving valuable feedback to make further improvements.

If you want to try Apple's beta updates, keep in mind that you may lose files and face other performance issues. So remember to back up your data or use a replacement device.

Photo of an iPhone and an iPad side by side on a table

What are the pros and cons of downloading the beta software versions from Apple?

Weighing up whether to install the latest Apple beta or not? Here are all the beta software pros and cons that you need to consider.

Continue reading

About the author

Danny Maiorca
(131 published articles)

Danny is a freelance technology writer based in Copenhagen, Denmark who moved there from his native UK in 2020. He writes on a variety of topics including social media and safety. Outside of writing, he's an avid photographer.

By Danny Maiorca

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free e-books, and exclusive offers!

Click here to subscribe