Earlier this week, Apple released the first public betas of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. Now I am a long term user of Apple Beta software from the developer programme. I know the risks of using it and I take those risks, however if something goes wrong or if something is not working correctly I don’t complain about it. I do what beta programmes are intended for, I leave feedback.
Public betas are a new thing for Apple, last year there was a limited number of users who got access to the public beta. This year anyone can join up and try the new software out should they wish to. The problem is that people want to get their hands on new software and then start bitching and moaning on Twitter that it is buggy, or that certain apps don’t work.
Even worse, users take to the App Store and start leaving negative reviews for apps not working on beta software. If you choose to install the beta software for yourself, you need to keep in mind that developers are not permitted to submit apps updates to the App Store with iOS 9 or El Capitan fixes until generally about a week before the software launches publicly.
Unfortunately, developers of some truly fantastic apps have been tweeting about negative reviews they have received from the iOS 9 beta already.
Gotta love 1-star reviews for iOS 9 Beta issues. https://t.co/6lrFn9cP65
— Paul Mayne (@paulmayne) July 11, 2015
Here we go! pic.twitter.com/jbc3Y677XI
— Luc Vandal (@lucvandal) July 12, 2015
Beta software, by definition, is unfinished software. It is a product which needs to be tested before commercial release. Apple themselves state in the FAQ section of their beta website that;
Since the public beta software has not yet been commercially released by Apple, it may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as well as commercially released software.
However the problem arises from the fact that users can install the beta and developers cannot update their apps accordingly throughout the beta process. As a result you have finished versions of apps running on an unfinished version of iOS or OS X and sometimes they don’t always get along.
Its not that the developer is lazy or has forgotten about you, there is nothing they can do. The App Store does not accept iOS 9 or El Capitan builds yet and as a result they have to wait until Apple allows them to submit those improvements towards the end of the beta. Despite this, users flock to the App Store to leave 1-star reviews because the app does not work on a beta version of software which is not commercially released yet.
Reviews are important to developers, it is the primary way that people find out if an app is worth downloading or not, an app with multiple 1-star reviews? Probably not worth the effort of trying it out. Personally, I would prefer it if Apple disabled the ability to leave reviews from devices running beta software. However for the moment here are two main things that users need to keep in mind.
1. Should you choose to run beta software and a third party app does not work, the App Store is not the place to leave feedback. Don’t leave a review during the beta period. Instead, why not contact the developer politely via email or social media and bring the problems to their attention. It may be something they are unaware of during their testing at present, they may be thankful to you.
2. Remember, you are running beta software, it is unfinished. It is going to be buggy, its going to break apps and keep in mind that developers can’t do anything about that at the moment. You can feel frustrated all you want, but at the end of the day you chose to install beta software on your device. Either downgrade or deal with it, the App Store is not the place to vent your frustration during the beta period.
Developers get the short end of the stick here, there is nothing they can do at the moment about your broken apps so give them the respect they deserve and don’t start rubbishing their hard work because you chose to run beta software. If you are running beta software as intended by Apple, you won’t be running it on your primary device anyway…right?
About The Author
Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis. He has an Advanced Diploma in Psychology and a Diploma in Digital Marketing And Social Media. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here. Or you can drop Mark an email at, [email protected]