Mark Gurman, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:
In an effort to eliminate bugs from upcoming iOS versions ahead of their general releases, Apple plans to launch the first-ever public beta program for the iOS operating system, according to multiple people briefed on the plans. […] Apple intends to release the upcoming iOS 8.3 as a public beta via the company’s existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, according to the sources.
This could help alleviate a lot of the random annoying bugs that have plagued recent releases of iOS. I doubt I’ll be interested in running a beta version of iOS on any of my devices, though. The last thing I want is for the devices I count on to become unreliable.
Mark’s also been told that iOS 9 will be announced at WWDC this June with a public beta release throughout the summer. Sources have previously told him that iOS 9 will be a Snow Leopard-like release that focuses on performance and stability instead of user-facing features.
I think Apple would be wise to take a release cycle to shrink their focus on new features and put their efforts behind fixing bugs and increasing performance and stability. iOS 8 is a great operating system, but there’s still small problems that crop up here and there for many users. Taking the time to get rid of the vast majority of those annoyances will be much better for the ecosystem as a whole than adding another 5-10 new features would be.