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Apple releases beta version of iOS 9 – but should you really download it?

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Jeff Chiu/AP/File

(Read caption) Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, June 8, 2015. Apple is releasing a beta version of iOS 9 for iPhones and iPads to the public on Friday, July 10.

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For the first time ever, Apple is releasing a beta version of its mobile operating system to the public.

Although previews and “pre-beta” models have occasionally been made available, never before has a public beta version been released for widespread consumption. Nevertheless, on Friday the beta of Apple’s iOS 9 for iPhones and iPads will be available.

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The downloading process is pretty straight forward. Anyone with an iphone or ipad can got to beta.apple.com and install the public beta iOS9 through Apple’s sign up process.

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According to Apple’s website, the new operating system will have plenty of fun new features, including a new and improved Siri and “new proactive suggestions” to “help you get things done before you ask.” There are also new built-in apps like the Apple News app.

For those who love maps, Apple will be providing city maps of Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington, DC, among others. The maps will have a special feature to help users navigate public transit. Travelers will be able to view the whole underground layout for nearby stations with entrances marked on the map. Transit directions will reflect real time schedules for bus, ferry, subway, and train, and users will receive notifications about interruptions and delays. 

But despite the excitement among some tech enthusiasts, always eager for a new update, many experts are warning against testing the beta version.

“As anyone who’s downloaded any beta software in the past knows, betas are often buggy. Unless you’re willing to risk genuine usability problems like poor battery life and crashing apps, you’re going to want to hold off until the final version of iOS 9 is released this fall. (And even then, you’re going to want to wait at least a day before you do it.)”, The Wall Street Journal noted.

While the chances that the new beta will completely destroy your iPhone are slim, even Apple has suggested that users test the new operating system on a secondary device, Wired reported.

After all, most new operating systems are pretty clunky, and you wouldn’t want to risk a mobile phone that keeps you connected to the world.