Home Science For beta or for worse – Apple’s constant open OS updates

For beta or for worse – Apple’s constant open OS updates


Sam Brewer discusses whether the tech giant’s public beta is really a public indecency. 

In the last week, Apple has released the latest of its public beta updates for OS X for Mac. Yet, with updates putting your computer of at risk of bugs and crashes, is a chance to see the latest update before everyone else worth it?

OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 has been opened up to let users play with the new Photos app. Along with the features of iPhoto, the new app adds a considerable range of new features, primarily designed to complement iCloud, another move by Apple to push their customers into purchasing the full set of iPhone, iPad and iMac.

The real question here though is not based on the quality of the finished update. It is in fact whether Mac users should be downloading incomplete software for their four figure machines? Apple did a similar beta release for the original release of the Yosemite OS. Though this test appeared to be largely successful, it does not take much searching to find horror stories of lost data and broken systems.

In a similar turn of events a quick Google search for problems with the new beta update reveals little to be worried about. However, delve a bit further and you’ll find reports of drops in speed and bugs affecting previously high performing systems.

You can’t help but wonder then why Apple has been offering these beta updates to the average user? Of course there is a need to get data to improve updates, but surely this can be done just as efficiently on dedicated selected systems? Furthermore, the beta’s inclusion in the ‘update’ section of the App Store could lead some users to take on the beta without realising the risks.

For a small, fault filled glimpse into the future, the risks to a constantly increasing number of Apple customers is not simply unnecessary but also unacceptable. As it stands, it is likely that it will only be a matter of time before a disproportionately large amount of users fall victim to a dodgy beta release.


Sam Brewer


Have you had a bad experience with a beta update?  Have you even been aware of installing a beta release? Let us know by emailing us at exepose-games@xmedia.ex.ac.uk.

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