If you’re running the first iOS 11 developer beta like me, you’re probably eagerly awaiting whatever changes and improvements come with iOS 11 beta 2. While Apple doesn’t broadcast when it will release new versions of developer software betas, the company does tend to follow a pattern for its release schedule which we’ll look at below. Apple has also shared when to expect the first iOS 11 public beta version which may be a clue.
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Historically, Apple releases the first iOS developer beta on the first Monday of WWDC followed by the second iOS developer beta on the following Tuesday 15 days later. This applied to iOS 7, iOS 8, and iOS 9, but last year was an exception when iOS 10 beta 2 was released 22 days after iOS 10 beta 1.
While we were all hoping to see iOS 11 beta 2 today (seriously, my iPad will be so grateful), Apple did not release new builds around the usual 10 am PT/1 pm ET time. Apple could obviously release the second developer beta anytime, but a release next Tuesday on June 27 would match last year’s 22 day period between builds.
As for other betas including macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, those are typically released at the same time as new iOS betas (and my Mac can’t wait).
Another clue here is the public beta program. Apple said at WWDC that public beta versions of iOS and macOS will be available in June, and the iOS 11 press release says “a public beta program will be available to iOS users later this month at beta.apple.com.” The public beta program will also include the Apple TV for the first time this year, although the Apple Watch is still excluded.
Apple typically waits for a later build of the developer software beta before releasing it to public beta testers. Developer betas are locked behind a $99/year membership, but public beta versions are free and therefore easier to access without considering the side effects of pre-release software.
This may be the reason for the shift to waiting 22 days between releases last year and potentially this year.
If iOS 11 beta 2 isn’t released until next Tuesday, it’s possible based on Apple’s previous behavior that the first iOS 11 public beta could be available two days later on Thursday, June 29. Apple tends to wait a day or two after releasing developer betas and releasing early public beta versions of the same build to ensure there are no surprises in the wild.
The good news is after the potential three-week period between builds, Apple historically returns to a two-week period between releases throughout the summer until we get closer to the final release. Near the end of the development cycle, the schedule stops applying and releases can be further apart or closer together.
Finally, users who don’t want to risk running pre-release software can expect iOS 11 and the other software updates to be ready “this fall” according to Apple. Fall typically means late September for Apple when development is finalized and new iPhones are ready to be unveiled with features not included on older models.