Previous iOS Beta testers - How safe is it for things like calls/texts/etc.?

I use my phone for a relatively small amount of things. Calls. Text messages. Overcast. Maps. Wallet. That’s the “if these things completely broke, life would really suck” list.

The beta has some nifty features, most notable being the homescreen tinting. I have a working theory that getting rid of the flood of bright colors might help me ignore the phone more, and I’d like to play with that sooner rather than later. I’m playing with it on my iPad, and I really like it.

With the obvious caveat that anything can theoretically break at any time, historically have betas ever broken super-core stuff like the phone, text messages, etc.? I’m thinking about doing a backup to my Mac, upgrading, and reverting if necessary.


Don’t recall phone calls being broken, but messages, iCloud, and WiFi access have both been broken. I’d wait for the public beta, at the very least.


I am definitely looking at waiting for the public beta.

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I’ve been on the iOS beta TestFlight program since probably iOS 14. (Need to fact check that.) Never had an issue. Never had to regress to a public release. As the OP, I use the phone 95% for text, voice, messages, camera, maps and wallet. If all of the other apps on my phone suddenly stopped working due to iOS, I would shrug and wait for a fix.


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You might already be able to test that theory without the beta:

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Are beta iOS updates distributed via TestFlight nowadays?

(I thought TestFlight was -only?- for beta versions of App Store apps?)

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Sign up for a Developer account (free) and turn on Beta updates vis Settings | General | Updates, or wait for the public beta and do the same thing

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I tried something like that a week or so ago, and it made things like web browsers unusable as everything went to greyscale.

I need color for some things. :slight_smile:

I paid for a Developer Account back in 2016 just to get beta access :sweat_smile:

The older versions definitely had some stability problems, but I haven’t had any issues in the last few years. In recent years there have been less and less major changes to the OS that could cause issues. I’ve been on the dev beta since day 1 and haven’t had any issues.


I’ve been on IOS beta programs way back to iOS 6 or 7 (can’t remember precisely). Core functions (calls, messages, wallet) are usually fine from the start. There are frequently glitches in navigation (Maps) & CarPlay in early beta, and very frequent issues with 3rd party apps - banking apps can be a special bugbear (although the last couple of years have been better). I don’t use Overcast. I’m on the IOS18 beta, and it’s pretty good. I had a sequence of random reboots on one day, and there’s an issue with Mail not communicating with my server (workaround - use a different mail client).

All that said, there is a risk - make sure you have a good backup before doing anything.

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For the last number of years I’ve eagerly awaited the Public Betas on all platforms and never had a problem. This year I updated a semi-retired Mac mini to the Developer Beta. So far, there have been no problems.

I’m tempted to take the risk with the iPhone, iPad, and primary MacBook Air, but I too am wondering how stable the Developer Betas are right now. For un-beta-related reasons in the past I’ve had to reinstall from a backup on a handful of occasions. The headaches of that experience are probably keeping me from jumping in with both feet right now. Still, I came here today to prowl around and see if any folks have gone all in with the Developer Betas and what their experiences have been.

Oh yeah, @webwalrus please let us know what you decide and if you do it what your experience is. Daily reports of “everything is fine” or “it’s FUBAR” wouldn’t be too much. :grinning:

Just be aware as with any Beta software that even if this current release is working for you with no issues, the next release can become very buggy. FWIW.


Good advice.

The thing is, if you install a stable release, even on day one, and there are bugs, you have every right to blame the developer.

If you install a beta, any beta, and there are bugs, even horrendous ones that cause you to lose data or miss important meetings or notifications, or leave you stranded somewhere with no way to call for help, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Imo, betas—especially operating system betas—should be reserved for secondary devices you keep for experimentation, not your daily drivers.


Decided to give it a shot on the dev beta. Took a full iPhone backup to my Mac, so I have a solid point to restore from. I also have a full-download Dropbox copy on my Mac Mini, so anything from there is swept into my Backblaze backups. In other words, I have some solid redundancy.

Basically, everything is working well currently. So far I’ve had good luck with:

  • Phone
  • Messages
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Overcast
  • VLC
  • Audible

The home screen tinting works well. It’s a bit disappointing that there isn’t (as yet) an option to tint all widgets - although many of them do respect the tint.

So…so far so good? :slight_smile:


You’re right. I misspoke. Twenty lashes for me.

It’s not TestFlight. I’ve had it betas for lots of things set for so long, including iOS, that the “how” of the set up is in the distant past.


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Are banking apps working for you?

Just checked, and my credit union’s app fires up just fine to view accounts and such. I can get into my online bill pay as well, although I haven’t actually tried it since I don’t have any bills to pay. :slight_smile:

And because @BillWilson asked…

Today I woke up to my phone wanting me to sign back in to my iCloud account. And it was pretty sure the PowerBeats Pro headphones that I was using last night weren’t actually mine. I had to re-pair.

But apart from that, so far so good.

Well, I went and jumped in with both feet. The Macs, the iPad, and the iPhone are running the developer beta. There are some little bugs I’ve seen, but nothing that has been catastrophic. I should probably note that these days I am far less of a power user than when I worked for IT when I was an undergrad at Notre Dame. We were always running pretty unusual system extensions that would produce the more-than-occasional crash/restart. So, I may be a bit conditioned to the mental concerns about running beta software.

Anyway, for my needs (word processing, email, paying bills online, etc.) the developer beta is working out just fine.

And on a slight side note, I have to say I’m impressed with the Passwords app. It has integrated smoothly with Safari, much more so than 1Password did before the beta install. Kudos to Apple for building in a decent app that should remove most obstacles non-power users have about using password managers.