Note: Last year, we published a series of reports leading up to the public release of iOS 8 and OS X 10.10. These reports noted whether the time was right for non-developers to install Apple’s prerelease software. This is the first in a series of reports where we dive into iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, which were both introduced during this week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote address.
The first iOS 9 beta is out of the gate. So too is the first OS X 10.11 El Capitan preview. It will be a few months before each becomes available to the general public.
When will that be? If history is any indication, expect both new operating systems to arrive in September or October. In the case of iOS 9, it should drop right before Apple releases the so-called “iPhone 6s” and “iPhone 6s Plus.” OS X 10.11 is likely to arrive a few weeks later alongside new Macs.
A word about Apple betas
In 2014, Apple released five iOS 8 betas before launching the GM, or gold master edition. One year earlier, iOS 7 went through six betas before the GM was handed to developers. The longest development process for an iOS release occurred in 2011 with iOS 5. That year, there were seven betas followed by the GM.
Last summer, Apple introduced a public beta program for OS X. This year, the program is being expanded to include iOS. In July, the first public betas for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 will be available. The current versions are for developers only, although we all know that non-developers install them as well.
The iOS 9 beta: This first beta is unstable and shouldn’t be installed on everyday devices.
OS X v10.11 Developer beta: Again, our advice is not to upgrade at this time. Let the developers work through the OS X El Capitan bugs.
The watchOS beta: Do you own an Apple Watch? Don’t even think about installing the first watchOS 2 beta. Unlike iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, this beta CANNOT be uninstalled. We’ll repeat: Don’t install the watchOS 2 if you aren’t a developer.
We’ll continue to follow all of the developments with iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan in the coming weeks and months. When new betas arrive, we’ll publish another “Should you upgrade” report.