Apple has updated its Apple Seed website to include many references to iOS device management. It has also updated the name of its program to ‘Apple Beta Software Program’, dropping the specificity of it being for OS X only.
Apple is now offering iOS 8.3 as a public beta. Interested customers can sign up to be part of the program on this website. After signing up, you can enroll into the iOS public beta program. (Note: The program is still rolling out. A link to join the iOS program may not appear immediately upon registration).
9to5Mac reported that this was in the works a few weeks ago, with a launch due for mid-March. In addition, we exclusively revealed that Apple is gearing up to offer the same public beta scheme for iOS 9, in the summer.
The published changes mirror what we have already covered for the iOS 8.3 developer seeds.
The iOS 8.3 Beta includes improved performance, increased stability, bug fixes, and a redesigned Emoji keyboard. This release also supports additional language and country support for Siri: English (India, New Zealand), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (turkey). This is beta software that is still in development, which means some applications and services may not work as expected. Follow the instructions below to enroll any iOS devices to receive beta updates.
The installation process for iOS public beta is interesting. Users in the program are first told to backup their device to iTunes. Then, they are instructed to download a configuration profile from the AppleSeed website which allows the beta to show up in Software Update.
Apple’s website now includes tips with iOS troubleshooting for people who run the beta. For example, Apple says in its FAQ how to restore the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running a beta OS back to a shipping version of iOS:
How do I get a shipping version of iOS back on my iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch?Always back up your iOS device before installing beta software. To get a shipping release of iOS on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can simply install the final version of the software you are testing when it appears in Software Update. If you would like to go back to a previously released version, you must first erase the beta software, then re-install the latest shipping version of iOS, and finally restore from your previously saved iTunes backup.
The homepage also suggests using a computer to backup an iOS device to iTunes before using beta software. Earlier, Apple released iOS 8.3 beta 3 for developers with new filtering options for Messages.