iOS 7 Shows Interest In Apple Pre-Release Software On The Rise, Per Onswipe

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Apple’s iOS 7 is growing quickly with more tablets and iPhones running the beta software than were running iOS 6 at the same time last year, according to new data released by mobile web optimizing company Onswipe. The startup found that by July 1, 2013, 0.28 percent of all iPad visits to its mobile-optimized sites were from devices running iOS 7, and as of June 17, 0.77 percent of all iPhones making Onswipe visits were also on the new beta OS.

Compared to iOS 6, those numbers, while small, have increased considerably. 0.19 percent of all iPad visits were on last year’s beta software as of June 25, and only 0.38 percent, or under half of iPhones ran the pre-release mobile OS. All together, iOS 7 accounts for 0.46 percent of total traffic to Onswipe sites as of this writing, while iOS 6 was responsible for just 0.25 percent of all visits at the same time last year.

The takeaways from Onswipe, according to CEO Jason Baptiste, are that developers are around twice as excited about iOS 7 as they were about iOS 6, and that they’re spending more time getting ready for the big changes coming in the new version of Apple’s mobile OS in order to have everything nice and tidy for the consumer launch coming this fall.

There are other possibilities in terms of what’s at play, of course. Developer interest in the iOS platform does indeed seem to be at an all-time high, as indicated by the record sellout of Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference this year. But it’s also possible that more and more everyday users are dipping their toes into the beta pool, even if it’s specifically advised against by Apple (and by me: pre-release software is pre-release for a reason). There’s a great lure to being on the cutting edge of something new, especially when all that’s required to take part is to register for a $99 per year Apple developer account.

Whatever the cause, this is also one of the most blogged about releases in iOS history. And it’s a significant change from any previous version, so that’s likely at play, too, in terms of the number of devices being used to test it. All of which adds up to it not being surprising that iOS 7 is seeing strong usage even before its arrival; we’ll see if that translates to consumer uptake with the official release come fall.