Apple Plans to Offer First iOS 8 Public Beta in March

Apple opened beta versions of OS X Yosemite to the public, and a new report claims the company is about to do the same for iOS on the iPhone and iPad. A public beta version of iOS 8.3 will reportedly be released in March, which will mark the first time Apple has given public access to upcoming versions of its mobile operating system.

Apple to offer iOS 8 public beta for the first time in MarchApple to offer iOS 8 public beta for the first time in March

News of Apple's plan comes courtesy of insider sources speaking with 9to5 Mac. They claim Apple will use its existing AppleSeed program to let iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users download the beta ahead of its official launch. The plan will give Apple much more information about potential bugs than it would otherwise have with only developers using the operating system.

Apple will be limiting, however, the number of non-developers who can use the iOS 8.3 beta to 100,000 people.

Apple's first operating system public beta was announce in June 2014 with OS X Yosemite. The company has continued to let the public test beta builds, and most recently released OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 beta in December. The company is expected to release OS X 10.10.3 public beta with the new Photos app in the coming weeks.

Photos is the promised replacement for iPhoto on the Mac. It's currently available to paid members of Apple's developer program, although there are plenty of non-developers eager to get their hands on the app.

Apple hasn't confirmed iOS 8.3 will be available as a public beta, but if it's coming, we'll likely get an announcement soon.