Greetings, tech addicts! 💡
Today I’ll be bringing you some local reactions to a recent article in the Tech world. According to an article from the Verge, Apple is supposedly going to embrace the practice of allowing the public to beta test not only their Mac operating system, but the mobile iOS as well. Beta testing is the process of allowing developers or regular users to test a certain app or operating system before its official release. The most crucial public beta testing that the company is planning to release, according to 9to5Mac, is for its upcoming iOS 9, which is to be introduced in June. Such public testing on a wide scale, in theory, suggests that Apple will deliver a more polished iOS 9 experience for the wide audience in fall 2015, when its release is planned. Apple is yet to confirm these rumors.
This practice isn’t new as another tech giant, Google, has already employed the process of beta testing for its apps, web platforms, etc. But what does that mean for the users? Are regular non-technicians well qualified to perform tests and give feedback for an official release?
I decided to turn to the community of the American University in Bulgaria and find out what people think on the subject. First, I decided to ask the experienced people from the Office of Communications and Computing (OCC). Reynaldo Argir, who works at the OCC office in Balkanski Academic Center, thinks that beta testing is always helpful to the producers and manufacturers because people might find some problems or give some useful suggestions. He adds that beta testing from the public is probably the best one. According to Argir, when you are a big producer, you think about the big picture and often miss some small details like errors or bugs.
But when people start to use [the product], they can find something more you never thought about. [This way] the product will become better.
Argir says he would gladly participate in a public beta testing. He says it’s a big motivation when your feedback is acknowledged and when other users are satisfied with your fix suggestions.
After that I met Sorin Petrov, an AUBG junior student studying Journalism and Mass Communication, who happens to have some actual experience with beta testing.
I’ve done a lot of beta testing for video games, applications and websites. It helps because if you have a big team of developers or designers, the chance that they will stumble across an error is minimal.
He adds that if you have a million people testing a game or whatever product, there’s a bigger chance to find bugs and errors. Sorin says that open beta testing is dangerous because you need to dedicate a whole team of specialists who can take care of the thousands of emails with feedback that are going to be received from the testers. A good practice is to have a special team and special filters to go through all of these emails and check what’s true and what’s not from the feedback.
It’s useful but it’s time consuming. But the end result is better than if you don’t do beta testing.
It seems that Apple will be confronted with an enormous amount of feedback emails if they really decide to adopt the public beta testing technique. But at the same time, their final product will be more polished and will frustrate less users after they themselves have found the errors and bugs before the final release of the system.
If you’re interested on the topic, don’t miss the WWDC15 this June when Apple will showcase the new iOS 9 and probably talk on how it’s going to be tested before the release in fall 2015.
Those were the local reactions to public beta testing, as always – stay connected!