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How to use Feedback Assistant to report bugs in the betas of El Capitan and iOS 9

Roman Loyola | July 20, 2015
Considering the problems it can cause for some users, why does Apple release public betas of its operating systems? Because there's only so much that can be done in a development lab--bug testing needs to be done on a large scale. (You can also say there are marketing reasons, but that's for another discussion.)

feedback assistant mac icon

Considering the problems it can cause for some users, why does Apple release public betas of its operating systems? Because there's only so much that can be done in a development lab--bug testing needs to be done on a large scale. (You can also say there are marketing reasons, but that's for another discussion.)

If you're ready and willing to use Apple's beta operating systems, that's great. You get to try out the newest features. But while you're busy pinning sites to Safari 9, perusing the News app in iOS 9, or splitting the screen to your heart's content, and your computer crashes or exhibits some other oddity, please report it to Apple. Remember what the purpose of the beta is for, and take a moment to let Apple know what went wrong.

On the El Capitan public beta, you report issues through the Feedback Assistant app, and iOS 9 has a Feedback app too. When you install one of these betas, the app is automatically installed, and El Capitan's Feedback Assistant app even auto-launches as a reminder to file reports. But I bet a lot of you quit the app and went along your merry way. So, if you're unfamiliar with Feedback Assistant, this article will walk you through the steps of using it.

Using Feedback Assistant in El Capitan

To launch Feedback Assistant, go to /Applications/Utilities. You'll find an alias of it there. It actually resides in /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications, but there's no need to navigate there when you can just use the alias.

Once you launch Feedback Assistant and continue past the intro screen, you need to log in using your Apple ID. It needs to be the same ID you used to register for the Apple Beta Software Program.

After you register, you'll see an interface that looks a lot like the Notes 4 UI in El Capitan. To report an issue, click on the New Feedback button icon button next to the search bar in the second pane, or click the New Feedback button in the viewing pane (if you have no feedback selected or have selected the welcome message), or type Command-N, or select File > New Feedback.

When you create a new feedback report, you have to fill out a form. Click on the Help button on the lower left corner (the "?" icon) for guidance on how to fill out the form. You can even file reports for the iOS 9 and Yosemite betas by clicking on Change in the upper right and selecting the OS you want.

Don't be afraid to be detailed in your report. Writing the specific steps you took to produce the problem. Explain what you thought would happen and what actually did happen. Note down any error messages. It's more important to explain your experience than to try and provide your own diagnosis on why there's an issue. And don't think that someone else has probably already filed a similar report; multiple reports of the same issue can help raise awareness for the OS developers.

 

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