The fact that iOS 8 is already installed on more than 70% of Apple’s mobile devices might be enough to make people forget about the update’s bumpy release, but Apple hasn’t forgotten. New reports suggest that the company is taking some serious steps to ensure that it never again has to deal with the sloppy, bug-filled mess that was the iOS 8 release.
Apple will begin providing select retail store employees access to upcoming versions of iOS in order to widen its pre-release testing program, according to multiple sources. The program will begin in the near-future with an upcoming iOS release, perhaps version 8.2, which is slated to be released alongside the Apple Watch… This new program will mark Apple’s first expansion of pre-release iOS version testing beyond developers and employees within the walls of Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. For the past few Mac OS X releases, Apple has provided early copies of the system to employees, which has helped Apple identify bugs before public launches. It is likely that Apple is expanding its testing program in order to ensure that it receives a wider array of proper feedback during beta periods. Apple has acknowledged that its beta testing pool is filled with a notable percentage of users who solely wish to test out new features, not program their apps or provide critical feedback.