You don’t have to look very hard to find beta software, for pretty much any software you might be running. That’s been because of a shift in tactics from companies like Microsoft and Apple, companies who, in years past, have made preview software specifically for developers and other testers. Essentially, software that wasn’t meant to be used by the general public — at least, not until it was ready for primetime.
That’s changed recently. Apple has launched its public beta program, and Microsoft has had its Insider Program for awhile now — but it’s given the program a lot more attention as of late. Those who are using Windows 10, and Windows 10 Mobile, can opt-in to try out pre-release software before the public can start tapping away on it.
Apple’s the same way, letting folks check out beta software, all in hopes that they can get even more feedback to make the platform better.
And, let’s be honest here: People that love to be on the frontline of these types of things get to be ahead of the curve, too. So, a win-win, right?
Beta software isn’t ready for primetime, and Apple, Microsoft, and any other company that releases software in this manner goes out of its way to tell people that. But that doesn’t stop them from downloading and installing the software on their device(s), and trying out the next best thing before the majority can.
I used to do it quite a bit, installing every beta version of iOS that I could get my hands on. And of course, for anyone that’s tried to get beta software, it’s not all that difficult. And now it’s even easier, thanks to the public beta program from the Cupertino-based company. The public, those that are aware of its existence and are interested in that sort of thing, can download the not ready software on any (compatible) device they choose, even their daily driver. Even with all those warnings present, these types of things still happen.
I stopped running beta software, to feel ahead of the curve, when my iPhone 5s — the last time I was running beta software was the iPhone 5s — wouldn’t launch any apps. I was on the second beta release, and apps would open only to crash a few moments later, and a variety of other issues. So, I jumped off the beta train and found my way back to stable releases.
I haven’t looked back since.
I’ve given Windows a shot at pre-release software as well, and while I haven’t had any disastrous results, at this stage in my life I prefer to use software that’s been thoroughly tested (not by me), and ready for the masses. Because, even then, sometimes issues happen and I’d just like to minimize that as much as possible.
But, what about you? Do you install beta software on your daily driver? If so, how has your overall experience been with it? Let me know!