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Apple releases iOS 13.1 beta before iOS 13 is released

We are only two weeks away from September 10, the day Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone to the world. Therefore, there is not much time left to complete its iOS 13 operating system before launching. But what if Apple did not intend to finish it by then, and only admits that iOS 13 is not ready yet? That might explain why the company released a Beta for iOS 13.1 today.

It is not a typo. Apple has just released a beta version of the iPhone operating system, which is a tenth of a newer than the one that you can safely load on an iPhone. Here is the changelog as proof, which you can also read at will. 9to5Mac keeps track of the changes that actual users will notice, and so far there are not many.

Needless to say, this situation is highly unusual. But as developer Curtis Herbert points out, it could make some sense. Apple has not always been able to meet the promised dates for software features like AirPlay 2 and FaceTime group chats, and there have been a number of embarrassing software bugs and feature-critical vulnerabilities that have had to be fixed in recent years.

If Apple can extend its development process and its promises on iOS 13, rather than specifically targeting iOS 13.0, it could reduce the pressure somewhat, give companies more time to eliminate the bugs, and get more real users into them first want to discover. But – I speculate wildly – it could also mean that iOS 13.0 could be an even tougher ride than usual. (Chaim reminds me that iOS 11 was "a train accident for the first releases.")

I'm also curious if this means that AirPod's audio sharing will not be released when iOS 13.0 is launched. It is listed in the changelog as a feature of iOS 13.1, although it was already included in earlier iOS 13 beta.

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