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Apple should offer 99 OS beta testing to nondevelopers

first_imgWould you pay $99 to get ahold of the latest version of iOS or OS X before any of your peers? It turns out that many people are not only perfectly happy to try out unfinished versions of iOS, but they are willing to pay for it.Apple’s developer program is already a solid service for helping developers new and old get the tools they need to deliver great apps. On top of this, developers can get early access to iOS and OS X in order to make sure their apps work well with the operating system by the time the average user gets that update notification for their OS. Any developer can access these features for $99, which is nothing considering how much you stand to make by publishing your product to the App Store. If all you want is access to an unfinished version of iOS before anyone else, is $99 really worth it?It turns out there’s a significant number of people who are participating in this behavior. So many, in fact, that there are now websites that will grant you access to the beta versions of iOS 7 for as little as $8. All you have to do is hand over your Apple UDID to a complete stranger and let them plug it into their developer console, which will then grant you access to the update. If anything goes wrong with your phone in these situations, it’s not as though you can call Apple or leave them feedback about your problem. You would essentially be forced to restore a backup and wait until either someone else has the issue or an update fixes it.Given the explosive popularity of iOS, should this be something Apple acknowledges and offers to the more fanatical users? Apple’s beta releases for iOS alone generate a significant amount of attention, and with this release — more than any before it — there’s reason to want to get your hands on the shiny new thing from Apple as soon as you can. These are users willing to run unfinished software on phones and tablets that they have integrated into their lives just to get it first. Surely that’s an attractive market for anyone, but Apple doesn’t seem willing or interested in recognizing their existence and serving them.last_img read more