I just realized that I could be running public beta software on my desktop, laptop, console, tablet and phone. It’s the kind of world we live in now. A world where the word beta is treated more like demo and the lines between development and final get blurrier and blurrier.
Desktop: Windows 10 Technical Preview
The Windows 10 preview builds have solidified to the point of being ready for prime time which is no surprise considering the official launch is only a couple of weeks away. I haven’t installed it on my home PC yet but my day-to-day experiences with it at work have been very positive. I just wish they would change that Recycle Bin icon.
Laptop: Mac OS X “El Capitan” Beta
It was made public last week but my gut reaction was that there wasn’t enough surface level changes to warrant the hassle of downloading the beta last weekend. I think I’ll give it a test drive just to say I’m living on the technological edge.
Console: Xbox Dashboard Preview
I managed to get an invite via GAF for the Backwards Compatibility but unfortunately the only backwards compatible title that I own is the original Mass Effect and I have no interest to revisit that at the moment. I’m crossing my fingers for Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2. I’m also crossing my fingers for the redesigned interface to make an appearance sooner rather than later. The current interface is very clunky.
Tablet: iOS 9 Beta
It’s probably the beta with the most drastic change and also the most impressive. I recall running the previous iOS betas and they were not nearly as functional and performant as iOS 9 Beta. It’s still early which means no third party applications support the split screen functionality but I like what I see so far.
Phone: iOS 9 Beta
Of all the devices that I own, I have the least amount of desire to install beta software for it. Not because I need my phone to the rock solid foundation of my daily life but because not a single feature on the iOS 9 page screams “you gotta try this on the iPhone”. I might just install it anyways.
What a crazy alignment of beta participation. The most surprising thing is how stable and functional every one of those builds are. I’m used to crashes, slowdowns and notable incompatibilities with my current suite of software but none of it reared its head with these betas.