We’d known Apple was likely planning to release iOS 8.3 as a public beta for a few weeks, and now it finally has: anyone can sign up to download iOS 8.3 Beta 3 through the company’s AppleSeed program. Beta 3 was released to developers only a few hours ago.
Apple’s beta program documentation now has numerous references to iOS devices. Previously, only OS X could be previewed by the masses. If you were just curious about what’s coming next in iOS, you’d have to pony up $99 a year to sign up as a developer.
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Users on the Public beta may not receive all the same updates developers do, according to the programs FAQ page. It’s likely that, even in the beta program, Apple only wants to seed out the more stable builds to the public.
iOS 8.3 introduces new emoji – most notably racially diverse ones – and a new Photos app. Beta 3 also introduces a feature that allows users to filter out unwanted messages. Oh, and there’s a permanent Apple Watch app too.
As for why Apple is now deciding to release iOS to the public, more participants simply means more bugs can be identified, though perhaps the company just had a change of heart.
If you’ve already signed up to the beta program for Yosemite, you should be able to download update when you visit the page with an iOS device. Otherwise, head on over to the site to sign up.