Do You Use Beta Software or Wait for a Stable Release?

As fun as it is to use beta software before an official release, there are certain risks that come along with doing so, such as potentially bricking your device or losing data. What do the experts here do? We asked our writers, “Do you use beta software or wait for a stable release?”

Robert admits that he’ll sometimes opt for beta software, especially for his GPU, if a stable release he is using starts experiencing issues with the hopes that the beta release will solve the problems. That said, he appreciates those who do use beta versions as it’s through their work that final releases improve. “It’s great that there are people who enjoy being part of the testing process of a given piece of software, but I’m not one of them for the most part.”

Damien says that it “depends on where I am using the software.” If it’s for a production machine or his regular phone, he’ll go with the stable release. For testing purposes or to check out new features, however, he “will install beta (or even alpha) software on a test machine or a backup phone or device.”

Alex explains he’ll “use beta releases for non-essential software or for software that’s in rapid development.” He never uses beta OS updates since he doesn’t have enough devices if one is rendered “poorly operable.”

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Phil knows he “should wait for stable releases, but historically I usually just blunder into certain doom with a stupid grin on my face.” That said, he now creates a restore point, at least if he happens to be feeling responsible. “These days I am a little more cynical, and I’m trialling some sandbox software to stop me from wonking my machine every time I inadvisably click install instantly like a twelve-year-old.”

In Fabio’s case, he waits until the finished version comes out unless he really needs it for something. “I just don’t want to go through the trouble a beta version brings.”

I seem to be the lone wolf here. I love betas, and I especially love beta OSes. I don’t use my Mac often, so it’s not worth my trouble there, but I always get the public betas of iOS for both my iPhone and my iPad. And I have no concern of whether it will brick my devices. I only do the “public betas,” however, so it’s already been put through the paces of a developer beta, so they are most likely somewhat more stable. That said, I’m currently using the public beta for iOS 11, and it’s buggy enough to where it has locked up all my cloud file systems.

How do you feel about this topic? Do you use beta software, or are you too worried about messing up your system or your device? Do you use beta software or wait for a stable release? Join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments section below.

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