Apple launches iOS 8.3 public beta

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Apple on Thursday officially expanded its public software beta program to include iOS, seeding members with iOS 8.3 beta 3, the same version provided to registered developers earlier in the day.

Apple urges beta testers to back up their iOS device using iTunes, and reminds them that beta software should not be installed on mission-critical devices. As with the OS X betas, a Feedback Assistant app will allow testers to report problems directly to Apple.

The company has also provided new instructions for iOS testers to restore a shipping version of iOS to their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch before the final release of iOS 8.3. To do so, testers must first erase their device, then re-install the latest shipping version — in this case, iOS 8.2 —  before restoring their iTunes backup.

The release comes alongside a rebranding of the initiative to the "Apple Beta Software Program," eschewing the OS X-specific language it previously employed. The iOS portion of the program is still in the midst of a staged rollout, so testers who do not see it on their dashboard are advised to check back later.

The number of known issues in iOS 8 has dwindled as the software nears release. Thursday's version includes just a few low-priority problems, including trouble with outgoing telephone or FaceTime calls on CarPlay, issues with third-party keyboards and Spotlight, and an image animation problem in WatchKit.