Apple's iOS 8.3 Beta goes Public for the First Time

Apple has been offering public betas of OS X Yosemite for months, and now the company has added iOS 8 to its public beta program for the first time. The iPhone and iPad maker is now offering iOS 8.3 beta to some of its OS X public beta list, giving them a chance to work with the pre-release version of the mobile operating system ahead of its official launch.

Apple adds iOS 8.3 to its public beta programApple adds iOS 8.3 to its public beta program

Word of iOS 8's first public beta surfaced in February. Insider sources said Apple would limit the program to 100,000 testers, but Apple hasn't confirmed that cap. There also isn't any word on exactly how Apple is deciding who to invite to participate in the iOS 8.3 public beta.

Since Apple is finally inviting non-developers to check out the pre-release build of iOS 8.3, it's a safe bet that it's nearly ready for an official release. It is, however, still beta, so you shouldn't install it on mission-critical iPhones or iPads—and be sure to have a good backup before you start.

Apple released iOS 8.2 earlier this week with security fixes and a new Apple Watch support app. Apple is likely planning on rolling out the final public build ahead of April 24th's Apple Watch release.