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Bryan M. Wolfe
| June 28, 2011
Would You Give Your iPhone A Virus? Then Why Are Would-Be Developers Installing iOS Beta?
For just $100, you too can become an iOS developer and begin downloading and installing beta software. Regrettably, it appears that many of these “developers” haven’t read the fine print and as such are beginning to bash iOS 5 and Apple. Is this justified? Absolutely not. As any real iOS developer will tell you, Apple’s Developer Forums have become littered recently with comments from users that have downloaded and installed iOS 5 beta 2 and are now having buyers remorse. This comes despite a warning left by an Apple developer on the top of those same forums that reads:
Apple recommends NOT installing any beta on a device that you use everyday. If your data is important, and you need your phone or iPad to do the normal stuff, think first about installing the beta. It could crash your phone causing you to lose your data or possibly bricking the device. If you install the beta on your phone and want to go back, note that Apple does not support downgrading the OS. But if you do brick it, don't worry, you can always upgrade to the new OS when Apple releases it sometime in the fall. You should only install the beta in order to test the applications that you are writing, not just to impress your friends with the latest features.Although many view beta software as a Christmas gift that arrives early, it is not. One of the main functions of beta software is for developers to help a software company test an operating system before it is released to the general public. In other words, during beta testing, the software isn’t complete and by its very nature, isn’t always stable. Unfortunately, some would-be developers have apparently not received this memo and are beginning to lash out. Complaints about iOS 5 beta 2 For example, one anonymous developer said another concluded in the forums that, “the new iPad music/ipod app is HORRIBLE.” Another stated, almost unknowingly, that he is “stuck” and needs to know how to “downgrade.” After all, as he finally recognizes, “This is a Development device, not a Everyday use.” [sic] Meanwhile, we’ve gotten reports from readers that some frustrated “developers” are taking to iTunes and leaving comments about how one app or another doesn’t “work” with iOS 5. In the process, they are leaving one- or two-star ratings for those apps, which can have an effect on actual developers trying to make a living in the App Store. Examples Of Apps That Don't Work With iOS 5 Beta To be clear: iOS 5 is currently in beta. This means some apps will not work as expected or even at all. For example, Apple has confirmed that FaceTime WILL NOT WORK with iOS 5 beta 2. Does this mean the app won’t work with the final release of iOS 5? Absolutely not. For the time being, however, FaceTime will not work with this beta release. Therefore, if you need to use FaceTime on your iDevice, don’t install iOS beta 2. Another example is how some apps attempt to identify the iOS version on the iPhone or iPad before starting. Since iOS 5 isn’t a released version yet, the app gets confused and ultimately doesn’t start. For example, the HBO Go and Netflix app do not work with iOS 5 beta 2 for this reason. In other words, the apps are fine, but the iOS is not. Summary Our advice is simple enough: Betas can be tricky. And like a fine wine that hasn’t been given enough time to age, can make your iDevice sick. Thoughts?