Matthew and I have not worked very hard at hiding the fact that we are running iOS 5 Beta on our iPhones. We have published more than one post on the topic. This post was prompted by a post on TUAW stating that people who are not developers shouldn’t run beta versions of iOS. Matthew and I are not developers but have signed up under developer accounts. The TUAW post brought to attention a major issue happening with people running beta versions of iOS and not understanding that things could go wrong.
Things about iOS Beta you need to understand
Old Versions of Beta Have An Expiration Date
As of this post, the current iteration of iOS5 Beta is Beta 5. Versions of beta have an expiration date. If you have a beta version of iOS and have not upgraded it to the most recent beta release, your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch will eventually reset itself and boot to the iOS 5 “Slide to Setup” screen. If you’ve jumped on the iOS Beta train… make sure to advance to the new release cars because the old ones fall off the back!
Apple’s Beta Software Really is Beta
Sometimes you’ll hear the tern beta on the end of products that have gone mainstream and have done very well (Gmail). But Apple’s iOS Beta software really is more of an Alpha release. It’s full of bugs and tends to crash often. App compatibility has been an issue as well as many app developers are still working updates. If you’re using an app and it doesn’t work properly for you… don’t complain. You are the one that installed iOS Beta.
When these apps crash because the user is running iOS Beta, people will sometimes go into the app store and give a bad review for the app. These types of reviews have a negative effect on the developer’s bottom line because many people base their app buying decisions on reviews. If an app has a string of negative reviews due to iOS Beta compatibility issues, it might convince someone to pass on buying the app.
So if you are okay with your iDevice operating with some glitches for a few months… go ahead and run iOS Beta. I am… and I’m okay with it. Sure it frustrates me from time to time. But I understand why it’s happening.
Have you complained about iOS Beta?