Apple Has 4 Million Users Beta Testing its Software

by

Apple has been allowing developers and members of the public to test beta versions of new iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS releases for quite some time now, and during today's earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook provided insight into just how many people try out new software ahead when it's officially released.

At the current time, Apple has "over 4 million users" participating in its OS beta programs, according to Cook.


Public beta testers have access to iOS 12, macOS Mojave, and tvOS 12, three operating system updates that will be rolling out this fall after an extended beta testing period, while developers have access to iOS 12, macOS Mojave, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5. watchOS 5, a new software update for the Apple Watch, is limited to developers because it's not possible to downgrade the software on an Apple Watch.

Public beta testers and developers are tasked with testing Apple's software to help the company suss out bugs and improve features ahead of a public launch.

Apple did not break out how many users participate in each of its beta programs, nor what percentage of those users are developers or public beta testers, but it's probably safe to say that iOS gets the lion's share of interest.

Despite Apple's robust beta testing process, there are still major bugs that slip through on occasion, but Apple offers frequent fixes and updates for all of its operating systems.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
25 months ago


At the current time, Apple has "over 4 million users" participating in its OS beta programs, according to Cook.

As opposed to Microsoft, who has all of its users in OS beta-testing.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
I'm willing to bet close to 80% don't report any bugs at all, and are simply in the program to get access to the latest software... that's the way it usually goes with all betas. In other words, those numbers are meaningless unless they correlate with the same amount of reports.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
It’s unfortunate that this level of “test” isn’t resulting in better quality. Might be due to having about 3,950,000 too many testers. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Just call it an Early Access Program. It ain’t “beta” any more than Gmail was “beta”. It’s just a corporate built-in excuse PR mechanism.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
If only 1/2 of them would report their issues rather than complain on MacRumors about them. Apple doesn't fix them if they don't know about them and they don't browse the forums here to find them.

Please use the Feedback app. It only takes a minute but it's huge for getting problems fixed. DON'T JUST ASSUME SOMEONE ELSE WILL REPORT IT. Apple prioritizes what they fixed based on the volume of feedback. If you choose to not report a problem, that's one less report. Everyone assumes someone else reports a problem and it results in countless less reports so even bigger issues can appear smaller and not take priority.

Help the whole community and report every issue you find. Don't rely on others to do so.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago

I'm willing to bet close to 80% don't report any bugs at all, and are simply in the program to get access to the latest software... that's the way it usually goes with all betas. In other words, those numbers are meaningless unless they correlate with the same amount of reports.

Even if 99% of the developers don't provide any feedback that means that 40,000 people did provide feedback. 40,000 people is a LOT.

I understand that these people aren't spending 8 hours a day checking for bugs in the betas, but imagine if they had all of those 40,000 testers on pay roll. At $55,000 per year per person. That's $2.2 billion per year saved!

But seriously, Apple knows that the public always find quirky ways to find obscure bugs that need fixing. I think 4 million is impressive.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago

I'm willing to bet close to 80% don't report any bugs at all, and are simply in the program to get access to the latest software... that's the way it usually goes with all betas. In other words, those numbers are meaningless unless they correlate with the same amount of reports.

I guess though, many will still have analytics turned on and that’ll provide useful data about app crashes and general performance across each model.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Officially Obsoletes First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display

Wednesday July 1, 2020 3:40 am PDT by
As expected, Apple's first MacBook Pro with a Retina display is now officially classed as "obsolete" worldwide, just over eight years after its release. In a support document, Apple notes that obsolete products are no longer eligible for hardware service, with "no exceptions." This means that any mid-2012 Retina MacBook Pro 15-inch models still out there that require a battery or other...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Models Won't Include Charger in Box, 20W Power Adapter Will Be Sold Separately

Sunday June 28, 2020 7:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 models will not include EarPods or a power adapter in the box, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. This lines up with a prediction shared by analysts at Barclays earlier this week. Kuo said that Apple will instead release a new 20W power adapter as an optional accessory for iPhones and end production of its existing 5W and 18W power adapters...

Rosetta 2 Benchmarks Surface From Mac Mini With A12Z Chip

Monday June 29, 2020 7:48 am PDT by
While the terms and conditions for Apple's new "Developer Transition Kit" forbid developers from running benchmarks on the modified Mac mini with an A12Z chip, it appears that results are beginning to surface anyhow. Image Credit: Radek Pietruszewski Geekbench results uploaded so far suggest that the A12Z-based Mac mini has average single-core and multi-core scores of 811 and 2,781...

Apple's A12Z Under Rosetta Outperforms Microsoft's Native Arm-Based Surface Pro X

Monday June 29, 2020 10:31 am PDT by
Apple's Developer Transition Kit equipped with an A12Z iPad Pro chip began arriving in the hands of developers this morning to help them get their apps ready for Macs running Apple Silicon, and though forbidden, the first thing some developers did was benchmark the machine. Multiple Geekbench results have indicated that the Developer Transition Kit, which is a Mac mini with an iPad Pro chip, ...

New Mac Ransomware Found in Pirated Mac Apps

Tuesday June 30, 2020 11:44 am PDT by
There's a new 'EvilQuest' Mac ransomware variant that's spreading through pirated Mac apps, according to a new report shared today by Malwarebytes. The new ransomware was found in pirated download for the Little Snitch app found on a Russian forum. Right from the point of download, it was clear that something was wrong with the illicit version of Little Snitch, as it had a generic installer...

Developers Begin Receiving Mac Mini With A12Z Chip to Prepare Apps for Apple Silicon Macs

Monday June 29, 2020 5:43 am PDT by
As part of WWDC last week, Apple announced that it will be switching to its own custom-designed processors for Macs starting later this year. As part of this transition, the company is allowing developers to apply for a modified Mac mini with an A12Z chip and 16GB of RAM to develop and test their apps on a Mac with Arm-based architecture. As noted on Twitter and in the MacRumors forums, some...

Kuo: Apple to Launch 10.8-Inch iPad Later This Year, 8.5-Inch iPad Mini in 2021

Sunday June 28, 2020 9:04 am PDT by
Apple plans to launch a new 10.8-inch iPad in the second half of 2020, followed by a new 8.5-inch iPad in the first half of 2021, oft-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo did not specify if the 10.8-inch iPad model will be a new version of the existing 10.2-inch iPad or the 10.5-inch iPad Air, but he has previously said that the 8.5-inch...

The New York Times Ends Apple News Partnership and Pulls All Articles

Monday June 29, 2020 11:17 am PDT by
The New York Times today announced that it is pulling out of Apple News, as the service does not "align with its strategy of building direct relationships with paying readers." Starting today, articles from The New York Times will no longer show up in the Apple News app. The news site says that Apple has given it "little in the way of direct relationships with readers" and "little control...

'iPhone 12 Pro' Models Could Be Capable of Shooting 4K Video at 120fps and 240fps

Monday June 29, 2020 3:57 am PDT by
Two new camera modes could be coming to some models of Apple's "iPhone 12," according to YouTube channel EverythingApplePro and Max Weinbach. Specifically, the video modes are said to include the ability to shoot 4K video at 120fps and 240fps. The new modes are thought to be coming to Apple's higher-end "iPhone 12 Pro" and "iPhone 12 Pro Max". Weinbach reportedly tore down the Camera app...

Leaker: Future iPhone Models to Come in 'Exquisite' Thinner Box

Wednesday July 1, 2020 1:57 am PDT by
Leaker L0vetodream this morning posted a tweet corroborating recent rumors that Apple's "iPhone 12" lineup won't come with EarPods or a charger in the box, adding that this will also eventually apply to the existing second-generation iPhone SE. L0vetodream also claims that future iPhone packaging will be "thinner" and "exquisite," which would make sense if Apple's handsets are set to come in ...