Last month, a report claimed that Apple was preparing to launch a public beta program for iOS, having already done the same with OS X 10.10 Yosemite last year. It was claimed that the iOS beta would begin in mid-March - and for a few moments today, it appeared that those details were spot-on.
Apple released iOS 8.3 as a beta earlier today, and 9to5Mac - the source of the February article predicting the public beta program - quickly reported that it had been proven right.
Indeed, it's not hard to understand why, as a quick glance at the 'Apple Seed' beta software site suggests that that report was correct, having been updated today to delete exclusive references to OS X, and to add references to iOS, such as:
Before you install beta software, please be sure to back up your Mac using Time Machine or your iOS device with iTunes.
The same page encourages users to "sign up today with your Apple ID to access the latest public beta release. Then install the beta software and start using it."
However, according to Rene Ritchie, editor-in-chief at iMore.com, it's not actually a public beta at all:
iMore - which had earlier reported the same details as 9to5Mac - has since updated its article with this new information, referring also to an email sent to some people who were already signed up to the early-access beta program for OS X, inviting them to participate in the iOS 8.3 beta. Not everyone who was previously registered has received this invitation - and of course, if the beta was available to everyone, it would make very little sense to send such an email out to only a handful of people.
In fact, many users who have signed up to the 'public beta' today without the email say that when they log in to try to access the iOS 8.3 beta, there is no option to do so, as it lists only OS X Yosemite betas instead.
If you've been lucky enough to receive the email, just click on the 'join iOS beta' link within it, and you're good to go. If you haven't yet received the email, you can head over to the Apple Seed site to sign up to the beta in the hope that you'll be able to access it at some point soon.