Last week, we wrote about three ways to access Apple beta software (including one that’s designed specifically for Apple admins, AppleSeed for IT). But some might wonder: Why bother downloading beta software in the first place? Why not wait until the operating system is publicly released?
Waiting certainly makes sense for your home Mac or iPhone. Apple makes it incredibly easy to upgrade, and the majority of Apple users are ready to pull the trigger on day one. You upgrade, and most of the time, everything works great — you are up and running within the hour. But in a business context, it’s vital to test operating systems before they’re released. Here’s why.
The most important reason to test is that business (and education) environments where multiple Apple devices are deployed are complex. There are so many moving parts, you want to try out new operating systems in real-world conditions to see if anything doesn’t work as expected.
For example, will your company email still work for your users if and when they upgrade? It might seem impossible that something as simple as email could be incompatible with your iPhone. But if you are running an older email system, it’s not uncommon for modern operating systems to end support for legacy email systems to keep your company devices and the users’ data secure.
And what about applications? Do your users rely on apps designed for a specific OS version? Some applications require system extensions, legacy kernel extensions, or have other OS dependencies that the new operating system doesn’t support.
If users upgrade and face incompatibilities, it can bring productive work to a halt, frustrating them and wasting company resources (including your time). Better to find out about any such problems now, when you can still do something about them.
Give Apple Feedback
When you beta test software, part of the equation is giving feedback when something doesn’t work. Apple provides several mechanisms to do so; AppleSeed for IT is the best option for IT admins.
Providing feedback on Apple’s beta operating systems gives Apple time to implement bug fixes and feature enhancements. Sometimes those fixes require Apple to work with third-party vendors such as Microsoft, which can take time. By providing feedback early and often, bugs critical to your environment can be fixed before public release when your users start upgrading their devices.
Stay Ahead of Users
We don’t know exactly when Apple’s next OS will become publicly available, but if history is any indication, it will be sometime this fall. But you should be testing now.
Users often get excited when those cool new operating systems become available, and even-non techies like to upgrade right away (if only to get the latest Memojis). You need to be ready for your users to start upgrading. Testing now can help ensure they don’t lose access to essential services and resources and, at the same time, provides them with the experience they’ve come to expect.
That, in a nutshell, is why we advise customers to test prerelease OSes. In an upcoming post, we’ll look a bit more at how to go about that. But you don’t have to wait for us. You can go to AppleSeed for IT now to download Apple’s beta operating systems and check out Apple’s own test plans.
By testing betas and leveraging an MDM solution, you can make sure the transition is smooth. Here at Kandji, we’re making sure our MDM will be ready on release day so you can get the most out of your fleet of Apple devices. With powerful features like zero-touch deployment, one-click compliance, and offline remediation, Kandji has everything you need to enroll, configure, and secure your devices.