#WWDC 2015 Apple News

Before You Join the Apple Public Beta Program

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Apple is one of those special companies which do not usually let its new products or features go into user’s hands unless thoroughly tested for bugs and stability by its army of developers. However this time Apple has made an exception, and a pretty exciting exception for Apple fans we must say, to let the users try the new IOS 9 and Mac OS X El Capitan in a Public Beta form before they are made commercially available.

Till now, the betaversion used to be made available to only registered Apple developers for developing apps and checking for stability issues etc.

The latest Public Beta program has really pumped up the Apple enthusiasts who just cannot wait to join it and upgrade their current iPhone or Mac to the latest software which got unveiled just a few days back. If you are one of those enthusiasts, then before you jump into the bandwagon of public beta, read on to discover some valuable tips and suggestions which may help you during the transition:

Think Again

Yes you read that right. The beta versions of Apple software, especially the first ones are quite unstable without any fine optimization often leading to the draining of battery by as much as 50 % and sluggish performance. Many people in their initial excitement have got their phones updated but they are not really ready to deal with the challenges of using a beta version, no matter how hard they try to project themselves as cool nerds trying out beta versions.

Many watch OS 2 users who upgraded to iOS 9 just for new Watch OS are already regretting their decision seeing their Apple watches draining in half a day with no option to downgrade to earlier version. So if you are not sure and cannot bear to see your iPhone or Mac lagging in speed and processing in beta version, it is better you skip the plan and wait until the official version gets out in the market.

Once you have decided to join the Public Beta program, follow some simple tips and suggestions to ensure smooth transitioning from your current version to beta version:

Preparing your Mac OS for OS X El Capitan

 

Updating Mac OS Yosemite to OS X El Capitan is thankfully less complicated and even easily reversible due to the fact that the latest version is more of a fine tuned version of Yosemite without any major changes in core functionality.

  • First make a backup of your current system in a reliable external storage preferably using the OS X Yosemite’s built-in Time Machine for backup as you can easily bring all of your files back onto a completely wiped Mac just by launching Yosemite’s installer and selecting “restore from backup if anything goes wrong.

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  • Most of the apps for Yosemite will run in El Capitan with the exceptions of Adobe’s Creative Suite (CS) versions 5 and 6, as well as any other apps that require Java SE 6, an old and insecure Java release that Apple now completely blocks under El Capitan. So if you are dependent over these apps, then it is wise to wait for updated version which includes these apps.
  • Notes app also has a new version in both IOS and El Capitan featuring a new iCloud synchronization engine and a bunch of great new features. Though Notes would automatically import your old note files from Yosemite but you may end up with excess duplicate files created by the old version depending on how often you used Notes previously.

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  • The internet browser safari has been upgraded from 8.0.6 to 8.1 in El Capitan with several new features such as Pinned Tabs, AirPlay Video support, and per-tab muting. Most of the features do not require the Mac to be set up specifically however Pinned Tabs may change the way you organize your Favorites and use the Favorites Bar as Safari auto-creates tiny tabs using the first letter or number for any page without an icon so one can now have one-click access to Facebook with nothing more than a persistent “f” logo tab.
  • Rest of the apps remain pretty much the same such as Messages, FaceTime, or Preview so you won’t have anything specific to do to set up your Mac for them.

Preparing Your iPhone or iPad For iOS 9

While Mac OS new version is essentially a more fine tuned version of Yosemite, iOS 9 incorporates some major changes, the most noticeable among them being the system font which is now changed to San Francisco, a difference that’s very obvious within both Apple’s and certain third-party apps.

  • There are also some UI tweaks which have modified the user experience in both iPad and iPhone although with varying degrees. For example, iPad now has impressive multitasking features, including slide-over, picture-in-picture, and split-screen modes along with changes on the iPhone and iPod touch, including the new Notes app, the deletion of Newsstand, and major changes to Spotlight and Siri.
  • Since Apple warns beforehand that there is no way to downgrade to earlier version of iOS (except perhaps the DFU mode which involves complete wiping of data from your phone), it is essential to make a backup of your data preferable using iTunes and choosing “Encrypt [iPhone/iPad/iPod touch] backup,” as it will back up all of your passwords and other data rather than requiring you to enter everything again after a restoration. If anything goes wrong, you can put your iOS device into DFU mode, connect it to iTunes, and restore from your backup.

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  • Next, comes the Note app which as discussed earlier in Mac OS X, you will need to delete the duplicate copies of note files and old craft notes before making the upgrade.
  • Newsstand is no longer there in iOS 9 which drops your Newsstand apps into a plain folder with regular old icons so you may want to change their notifications, such as badges, banners, or alerts, to become easily aware of new issue updates.

newsstand-screenshot

  • As mentioned earlier for WatchOS 2, Apple has not yet mentioned any plans about a watchOS public beta and people who have upgraded to iOS 9 just to experience the WatchOS 2 are in for a rude shock as they discover that it’s both battery-guzzling and impossible to downgrade since there’s no DFU mode for the Apple Watch, at least that anyone has yet discovered.

Last but not the least, think twice before upgrading your current stable iOS to new beta version of iOS 9 as it may cut your battery life in half, and there will be possible stutters in everything from transition effects to accessing search features which otherwise run smoothly on iOS 8.3 and iOS 8.4. These issues are not permanent of course and would go away by the time final version of iOS 9 gets released but until then, proceed at your own risk.


 

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