Apple releases iOS 9.3.3 beta to public testers

The company hasn't disclosed what bugs the latest update is designed to squash.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

A new beta of iOS is available for public testers.

Apple / Screenshot by Lance Whitney / CNET

You can now check out a new beta version of Apple's mobile software if you're a member of the company's testing program.

A day after Apple rolled out the first iOS 9.3.3 beta to developers, it pushed out the software to public testers, MacRumors reported Tuesday. The beta is available to all members of the program, with one exception.

Users with an 9.7-inch iPad Pro can't yet get their hands on the new beta. That's because iOS 9.3.2 caused trouble for owners of that tablet by bricking the device, meaning that installing the update locked up the devices and prevented them from restarting.

The first beta of iOS 9.3.3 apparently does not contain a fix for this problem, though the final product likely will. Apple has said it's investigating the problem.

Apple checks out each new edition of its mobile operating system internally and also seeds beta versions to app developers for external testing. But bugs may still appear after the product has been installed by millions of customers. When beta testing is opened up to the public, as Apple did last year, more glitches can be caught before the final version is released.

Apple has bumped into a series of problems with iOS 9.3, forcing it to roll out several updates. Version 9.3 itself was beset by a snag that prevented some owners of older iPhones and iPads from activating their devices. Apple had to respond by releasing two more versions of 9.3, one for the iPad 2 and another for the iPhone 5S and earlier iPhones and the iPad Air and earlier iPads.

iOS 9.3.1 had some minor issues, including one in which Bluetooth accessories could affect audio quality when used with the iPhone SE. iOS 9.3.2 resolved that glitch and others but then introduced the snafu with the iPad Pro.

People who wish to join Apple's Beta Software Program can sign up at the program's page. All you need is your Apple ID, and the program gives you access to the latest betas of iOS as well as the OS X operating system for the Mac.

Keep in mind that a beta product, especially the first version, may have some hiccups. So be sure to back up your iOS device before you install the beta or use a spare device if available. Apple asks that you offer any feedback on the beta via its Feedback Assistant.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.