In the past, Apple product testing jobs were exclusive to quality assurance employees hired specifically to ensure all iMacs, iPhones, iPads, and other Apple gadgets are launched as minimally problematic as possible.
But as more and more big brands like Nike and retail giants like Amazon welcomed the idea of consumers actively participating in the development (and quality assurance) of products they love, Apple opened up its own testing programs as well. They even launched two types.
This post discusses both testing programs, how you could join, what to expect, and what NOT to expect (like free Apple products, because that doesn’t happen).
Two Types of Apple Product Testing Programs
I love product testing because I feel like I’m part of making history.
With the development of every version of iPad, or the first time Apple released its iPhone to the world, having been included in the quality control of such products (even if it were just a tiny part in the scheme of things) is still pretty cool.
When it comes to Apple’s product testing programs, you have two options:
- AppleSeed Software Testing Program
- Apple Beta Testing Program
Both programs focus on the software of Apple products. The hardware testing remains restricted to their carefully chosen employees who work at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Before you join, you must understand 3 things:
- You will not receive a physical product when you join either program.
- Because you’ll be testing software and not physical products, you may need to have access to a Mac, iPhone, AppleTV, or other Apple products whose software requires testing.
- You will not be compensated for all your feedback. Not even a cent.
If you’re still game and the fulfillment of helping out is payment enough for you, then go ahead and choose from these two Apple product testing
AppleSeed is Apple’s software testing program, often involves pre-release software like new iOS upgrades. When this program was first launched, it was open to anyone interested in joining. Today, AppleSeed is invite-only.
To show your interest…
- Visit AppleSeed and sign up using your Apple ID. (Note that signing up to the program doesn’t guarantee you’ll get into it.)
- You must first meet the requirements, and if you’re eligible for the program, you will receive an invitation. If you are invited, you must have a complete Apple profile (this includes your background info, interests, computing skills, and so on).
- You will also be signing a confidentiality agreement (you know how secretive Apple is with their launches, right?)
Eligible participants are then directed to a forum, where all their feedback, errors, bugs, and other concerns experienced from testing the software will be shared. If you’re unable to explain your findings, you might be asked to fill up a bug report form.
The Apple Beta Testing Program works similarly to AppleSeed, except this program is OPEN TO EVERYONE, as long as you have an AppleID and own an Apple TV, iPhone, Mac, iPad, or any other Apple product. This program lets you try out upcoming iOs updates before it is released to the public.
- Visit the Beta Software program registration page online.
- Click “Sign up” and enter your AppleID and password. (If you don’t have an AppleID yet, you must “create one now.”
- Enroll your device. Apple needs to know what device you’re going to use in testing the new software, so prepare to provide your device model number and other details about the device “tester.” No need to indicate your other Apple products that you won’t be using for the actual testing.
- Prepare your device. Back it up first before downloading’/installing new software. You won’t have control over unstable software, so you should have an option of restoring your device content, settings, or data in case something goes horribly wrong. Depending on what device you’re using, backing it up could involve saving your copy on iCloud or iTunes, or simply using the “Time Machine” program on Mac.
- Install the software for testing. Once Apple makes the Beta software available to testers, you’ll be able to see the software updates on your assigned device. Find the download option, click “download” and wait for the download to finish.
- Use your device. The new operating system or software will be automatically updated into your device. By now, you only have to use your device normally.
- Submit reports. Whenever you encounter an error, bugs, broken features, or issues worthy of reporting, submit a report directly to Apple via the Feedback Assistant.
Apple Product Testing Job Scams
Let me reiterate this one last time: Apple does not mail out physical hardware products to be tested.
If you’re desperate to receive a gadget or earn money from an Apple product testing job, you might fall into a trap of some product-testing scams.
Yes, these kinds of scams exist. Fortunately, they’re very easy to spot.
- If a job listing says it is looking for people to test Apple hardware, this is a scam. The company doesn’t let outsiders test hardware of new products outside the company headquarters.
- If the job recruiter is asking for your Apple ID and password before he/she “gives you the job,” this is a scam. In most cases, they’re trying to steal your account information and if you gave your Apple ID and password, you might just have handed those details over willingly.
- If the job listing says you need to shoulder the shipping fee or pay a deposit to receive your Apple product for testing, this is a scam. You probably won’t receive anything. (and worse, you’ve given them your mailing address, too!)
If the recruiter asks you to fill out a form from a third-party website to receive an Apple product for testing, there’s a big chance that this is a phishing scam (a scheme to trick you into giving your personal information away unknowingly).
And lastly, if an e-mail, Facebook page, or anyone tells you that you won an Apple TV, iPhone, mac, and so on, but you didn’t join any raffle or promotions, this is most probably a scam, too!
Legit Ways to Earn Free Apple Products
For those whose goal is to receive a free Apple product, or earn from this effort, you can try 3 things:
- Become a Tester for Betabound. This company collaborates with Google, Amazon, Apple, and other brands to find beta-testers who will try out their respective apps, software, and products. It isn’t guaranteed that you’ll receive Apple products (but you’d have a bigger chance at receiving one from here than participating in either Apple product testing programs above).
- Participate in tech communities, join contests, or guest-post on other blogs. Join Facebook communities, subscribe to YouTube tech unboxing channels, read Apple-themed blogs like 9tomac and Macrumors, or big tech sites like Gizmodo. If you join contests to win an Apple product, you’re probably not guaranteed to receive one. But if you look for ways to get paid to guest post on other blogs and talk about Apple, you could use your earnings to buy yourself that Apple product you’ve been dying to have.
- Build your own Apple-themed website/blog. This is a long-term plan, but if you maintain a blog about Apple, its products, and everything in between, earn a couple of thousand readers/viewers, then your chances of being sent Apple products is a whole lot higher.
- Get a job at Apple. Specifically on a hardware team. Yes, this one is cheeky, but it’s the only way you’re actually going to get your hands on Apple prototypes.
Other Products to Test
If you’re flexible with products and would be happy to receive anything for free, check out:
- How these brands give shoes away by mail;
- 18 places you can find beta tester jobs that pay well; and
- 27 ways to become a product tester.
These 3 comprehensive guides are enough to teach you all about the awesome world of product testing, and how anyone can get a piece of the pie even if you just discovered this today.
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