Following WWDC one of the more frustrating things that people find is that you have to wait until fall of that year to actually try out all this cool new stuff for yourself. Over the past number of years, getting in on betas has become increasingly popular, is it safe though? Should you be doing it?
Getting beta software for Apple without a developer account these days is easy, imzdl is an example of one of the more popular sites where betas are uploaded. For iOS betas you will need a registered UDID of the device you want to install the beta on, this service is also offered by imzdl for only $8 and is valid for a year.
The official line is that any beta software should not be installed on a primary device, it is in beta for a reason. You should expect it to be buggy, you should expect problems and these betas are intended for use on development devices.
Personally, I am a member of the public OS X beta which I install on my spare Macbook, I would not install it on my iMac. As for the iOS beta, I use imzdl to get the beta and this is something I have done for about three years now so I can confirm to you that it is not a scam, it is legit and it works well if you are interested.
Then I jump in and stick the iOS beta on my iPhone and use it as a daily driver. I have never had a software problem on iOS for the three years I have been doing this, just the expected bugs that are part and parcel of beta testing. Generally Apple has upped their game by beta 2 and by the time we get to beta 3 it is stable enough to be used as a daily driver for sure.
The reason why I have the confidence to use iOS betas as a daily driver is simply because that this testing process is a process that Apple has gone through for years now and while I recognise there will be issues, I have faith in the beta they push out on iOS because it is the same process we go through each year just with new software.
Finally you have the watchOS beta and if you are lucky enough to have an Apple Watch my advice is to stay away from the watchOS beta completely! watchOS is a completely new piece of software and as a result the betas for the Apple Watch could be very unpredictable and unstable, more unstable than the betas for iOS or OS X.
So far, users who have taken the plunge and tried using watchOS 2 have been running into a host of problems from apps not opening, incorrect data displaying on the watch, wrong temperature by a large enough margin of anywhere around 10 degrees. As well as that some users have reported that the entire watch has ‘bricked’ when upgrading.
A red exclamation mark has appeared which requires a trip to the genius bar as it cannot be fixed from your home computer. The genius bar should look after you however one user on the Macrumours forum has pointed out that they can’t actually fix the problem in house and have to send the Apple Watch off site for repairs. Stay well away from the watchOS beta!
Is any beta software safe?
Beta software is beta for a reason, it is not fit and not ready for public consumption. My advice would be to stay away from any beta software however I myself don’t practise what I preach and I understand that people want to get their hands on new software and start using it.
The best bit of advice I can give you is to think hard of the possible consequences before jumping in, especially with watchOS. If you are taking the plunge then remember that it is beta software! Don’t start moaning and complaining on social media about bugs and laggy systems. In fact if you are piggy backing off a developer account to get iOS access (like myself) then the least you can do is report feedback on issues as you find them.
If you have time to moan about it on social media then you certainly have time to file a report with Apple so they can look into the problem.
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]