Apple could be planning to open up its pre-release software testing program to select retail store employees as it seeks better feedback from a greater number of users. An upcoming beta for iOS 8.2 could be the first offering for Apple Store workers, according to sources familiar with the plans.
Right now, the only people who get to test Apple’s software before it sees its general release are developers and employees based at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters — though recent betas for OS X Yosemite were made available to 1,000 members of the public.
That’s a small number of users in the grand scheme of things — especially when you consider that Apple has sold more than 800 million iOS devices to date. What’s more, Apple is aware that a growing percentage of beta testers simply want to try out new features early, and they don’t report problems.
As a result of these things, bugs and other issues are going undetected and making their way into public hands. Recent releases of both iOS and OS X have had many of them — one of which actually broke Touch ID and the ability to make calls on the latest iPhones just days after their release — and Apple wants to improve.
“Apple has recently faced criticism with claims that the company’s most recent operating systems do not include the superior fit-and-finish that iOS and OS X have become known for over the past decade,” 9to5Mac reports. “It is likely that Apple is expanding its testing program in order to ensure that it receives a wider array of proper feedback during beta periods.”
This is good news for iOS and OS X users, who should be able to look forward to more stable updates in the future. It’s worth remembering, however, that this is just a rumor for now.