Apple dropped beta 2 of iOS 7 last Monday, just two weeks after the WWDC keynote, setting the precedent for a two week pace that was unheard of in previous beta releases. The Internet and its “sources” say that this two week schedule is indeed going to stick around for the foreseeable future as the company will purportedly release beta 3 this upcoming Monday. The is great news not only because frequent updates are great but because the current builds are so buggy.
As I mentioned before I knew what I was getting into when I installed the beta on my primary device. I knew there would be bugs and instability; that was the price of early access. I knew that then and I know that now, but that still doesn’t prevent me from pining for stable software:) Beta 1 was plagued with performance and stability issues. There were tons of UI glitches, apps didn’t work, apps crashed, a bunch of stuff didn’t work, and overall performance was abysmal. Beta 2 addressed several of the glitches and major performance issues. It fixed album art on the lock screen, made voicemail work again, brought back the voice memos app, and gave Siri a more human voice. Unfortunately what beta 2 gave back in features and performance it took away in stability.
It is so unstable. My phone reboots itself more often than I care to count, at least twice a day. I could be trying to use my video camera (which ironically didn’t work from the lock screen in beta 1 and now only works from the lock screen), trying to use the internet, or just listening to music. I used quite a bit of iTunes Radio in beta 1 and while it was not very stable I could at least get 7 or 8 songs out of it. Beta 2? Two max. The music app quits all the time, the lock screen doesn’t update with the current song or album art, and it takes three tries to purchase music in the store. None of my broken apps have been fixed (the important ones, at least, read: eBay) and often times the whole thing just locks up.
It’s not all bad news though. I still get to see Apple finesse the UI, fix problems, and add small touches here and there. The music app now finally updates smart playlists when you purchase songs, meaning that I don’t have to thumb through my entire Purchased playlist to find the new songs I just bought. It’s also got some nice touches that let you easily view the songs in your current playlist from the Now Playing screen. It’s a huge release and Apple still has a lot of work to do on the design so I understand that there will be issues. Thank God for a two week beta cycle. I just have to wait until Monday…