Once again, it’s the guy with the Cupertino hotline, Mark Gurman, breaking this news:1
Following the successful launch of the OS X Public Beta program with OS X Yosemite last year, Apple intends to release the upcoming iOS 8.3 as a public beta via the company’s existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, according to the sources. This release will match the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers, which is planned for release the same week. Apple then expects to debut iOS 9 at its June Worldwide Developer Conference, with a public beta release during the summer, and final release in the fall.
Makes sense. It should minimize the amount of developer account reselling that goes on around the release of every iOS beta, and those people likely weren’t filing radars.
With this program should, hopefully, come an automatic block on App Store ratings and reviews from devices enrolled in the beta program, but this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Apple could simply block ratings and reviews on the device itself, but this doesn’t prevent the extra determined from submitting a review on a non-beta device. This could be solved by blocking ratings from users with any device enrolled in a beta program, but that means that developers with multiple devices — some running beta releases, some not — couldn’t submit any App Store ratings. I anticipate that Apple would take the first route here, which is “just enough”.