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iOS 10 and macOS Sierra public betas go live – but don’t bother

If you head here, you’ll be able to sign up for the Apple public beta program. This enables you to get your hands on their forthcoming mobile and desktop operating systems ahead of time and before the muggles get them in the autumn.

Exciting, yeah?

No. Don’t bother. 

You see, I did this a couple of years ago and regretted it almost immediately. Also, I deeply wish public betas didn’t exist; they have turned a legitimately essential part of software development into an excuse to try something out before its ready for release. Real beta tests are conducted within closed groups and by people who are focused on hunting down bugs, inconsistencies and faults within the user experience – they are simply not for a bunch of curious consumers.

Install iOS 10 or macOS Sierra and your device will slow down, crash intermittently and treat you to entirely unfinished pieces of functionality. That isn’t fun, even if the trade off is a peek at the fancy new stuff.

Unless you’re an experienced software tester or have a spare device on which you’re willing to install an unfinished operating system, do your best to break it and report your findings back to Apple (how many public beta testers actually do that, anyway?), don’t join the public beta program. Wait for the autumn – that’s what I’ll be doing.

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