Apple Launches New iOS Beta Testing Program, Seeds iOS 8.3 to Testers
Apple today made a pre-release version of iOS 8.3 available to those who sign up for the company's public beta testing program, giving them early access to a new version of iOS for the first time ever. The version of iOS 8.3 being distributed to beta testers is the third iOS 8.3 beta, which was seeded to developers a few hours ago.
The launch of today's iOS beta testing program has also been accompanied by an overhaul to Apple's Appleseed Beta testing site. Previously the language on the site was heavily focused on OS X, but a site revamp gives it a more general focus to encompass both iOS and OS X testing.
iOS 8.3 was first seeded to developers on February 9, while iOS 8.2 was still in testing. iOS 8.2 is mainly focused on the Apple Watch, but thus far, iOS 8.3 has introduced several new features including support for wireless CarPlay connectivity, a new emoji picker, support for Google 2-step verification, and Apple Pay support for the China UnionPay network.
The second beta brought all new diversified emoji and skin tone modifiers, along with new emoji for country flags and updated emoji icons to represent the iPhone, iMac, and Apple Watch. Siri also gained several new languages, including Danish, Dutch, English (India), English (New Zealand), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.
Apple introduced its public beta testing program with the launch of OS X Yosemite, allowing more than a million consumers to sign up for and participate in the Yosemite beta. Prior to today, public beta testing was limited to OS X, but Apple appears to be ready to expand its beta testing program to iOS.
Apple has also continued offering OS X betas, most recently seeding OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 with the Photos app to public beta testers.
Update: Apple is now sending out emails to certain members of the OS X public beta program, inviting them to also test out iOS 8.3.
Thank you for participating in the OS X Beta Program. For the first time ever, we are broadening the program to include the all-new iOS Beta. The feedback you have provided on the OS X Yosemite Beta continues to help us shape OS X, and we would like to offer you an invitation to the iOS 8.3 Beta.
The iOS 8.3 Beta is available for download from the new Apple Beta Software Program website. Try it out and submit your feedback. You can use the iOS 8.3 Beta while continuing to use the OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 Beta. And with the all-new Photos app for Mac and iCloud Photo Library, you can now access your entire library on all your devices.