Beta Software is not a Press Release Copy

In light of possible obsolesce of eGPU support on TB1/2 machines, I thought it would be a good time to go back to the basics for this week. Public and/or developer beta is hardly a reliable source of information. Features will be added, dropped, and then added again in betas. And if you need an insider information just hang around by the Apple campus instead of trying to whip up a news.

Back in 2014, Yosemite was announced with handy feature called “continuity”. It is a system now deeply embedded in Apple ecosystem, designed to create a continuous workflow from one device to another. To give a sense of how this works, you can literally continue doing what you have been doing on phones, such as answer texts and calls, on your computer without hiccups. So if you are waiting for an OTP text on your cellphone, no need to take it out; your computer already has it.

The principle behind “continuity” is nearly identical to how cloud platform services operate, so it should not come as a surprise for most people. But during Yosemite’s beta phase, the idea was alien enough to cause a stir. And it is likely to continue, and it has been continuing so far, repeating its short but thick tradition.

Beta is beta, and tech journalists and any communities revolved around “beta” softwares must respect the term for what it is. This goes the same for 2018 eGPU conundrum. There was no official statements, releases, and/or copies. Most of them were elaborate guesses, perhaps educated guesses at best. There was no shock or corporate ethics involved when Apple decided to drop TB1/2 support altogether. It was a known fact, even to the communities, that older Thunderbolts suffer performance drops up to 50%. Apple did not suddenly drop the ball on legacy support. It was something else entirely. Because we were told these beta features will arrive as is, the news came as a surprise.

So if you are inclined to test the new features of any softwares, be it Mac or iOS, do so at your own discretion. Because that slideshows were meant to explain the upcoming product development, not the product itself. And if you happen to write about one, at least quote it from the manufacturers, not the coupon booklet.

updated Apr 27, 2018: Originally the post, published on Jan 30th, 2014 briefly discussed the critical nature of OS X Yosemite released as public or developer beta. The post has been republished to reflect the most recent news, and has since been retitled from “Thinking about OS X Yosemite? Not just yet”.

Leave a comment