If you're running Apple iOS 7 and you're not an app developer, this plea is aimed at you. Please respect the NDA*, please report bugs to Apple rather than complaining about them publicly, and please don't give apps a negative review because they don't work properly with iOS 7.
This is a public service broadcast aimed at users of the Apple iOS 7 beta. Some other sites have posted similar requests**, and we would like to add our voice to their number. We would like to join the movement.
iOS 7 beta users! Please behave responsibly.
There's been a massive amount of criticism of iOS 7 since Apple unveiled it last week at WWDC 2013. That's to be expected, and it's completely fair to talk about the general direction of the update, the features Apple is talking about, the look of the design demonstrated at the conference, and everything you like or dislike about what you've seen.
What isn't fair is to download the beta version of iOS 7, and then complain publicly that it's not stable and not all of your apps work properly.
[Related: Will I be able to update to iOS 7 on my iPhone? | Apple iOS 7 announced at WWDC 2013 | How to update your iPhone or iPad to Apple iOS 7 | Apple iOS 7 for iPhone and iPad preview & first impressions | Massive iOS 6 uptake is good news for Apple's iOS 7 launch]
The beta version of iOS 7 is provided to software devs so they can test and plan. They're used to beta software, and have the experience and perspective to deal with an imperfect experience, even learning valuable lessons about how to optimise their work for the new platform. But those of us who don't create apps for a living will find the beta experience difficult.
The beta of iOS 7 isn't release-ready software, and Apple itself would concede that it is likely to contain bugs.
If you load a beta on to your main iOS device, you should expect your overall experience to suffer. You'll get to show off to your friends, admittedly, but there are bound to be bugs, crashes and compatibility failures. That's not a sign of bad software: it's a sign of beta software.
If you find a bug, you can be civic-minded and send a report to Apple, thereby helping to make life fractionally nicer for iOS 7 users when it launches. What you shouldn't do is post a review complaining about it. And the worst thing of all is to post a review of a specific app on the App Store, marking it down for crashing in iOS 7.
Apple doesn't need protecting: it will be fine. Millions upon millions of people will update to iOS 7 when it launches officially, and will have a good experience with their iPhones and iPads. Millions more will continue to purchase Apple products.
But when you give bad reviews to an app because it doesn't work properly (or at all) with iOS 7 - well, firstly, that's not fair, because devs haven't had a chance to optimise their apps for iOS 7. But furthermore, it's incredibly damaging. The App Store is a jungle. There's the best part of a million apps on there, and it's very difficult to get noticed without a big marketing budget. App developers rely on solid review scores.
We're not saying be nice. We're just saying be fair. And don't take out your frustrations with iOS 7 - which is still in beta! - on the app developers.
* Non-disclosure agreement. If you sign one of these you've agreed not to write about something until a specified time.