iOS 12 beta: Should you run it? Is it faster than iOS 11? Will it break your iPhone?

I took the iOS 12 beta for a test drive so you don't have to do it.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Video: iOS 12: First look at the developer beta

I'm getting a lot of questions about the iOS 12 beta. Let me answer some of them here.

Q: There's a hack floating around the internet on how to get the iOS 12 beta today. Does it work? Is it safe?

A: I presume you mean this (or something similar). I can confirm that those tricks do work, and don't seem to do anything nefarious. But as to whether you should do it or not, that's down to you. If in doubt, sign up for the paid developer program, or wait for the public beta.

Q: Is iOS 12 stable?

A: It's a beta, so I expect instabilities and for things to be broken. That said, so far I'm not finding it to be too bad for such an early beta. But if you're expecting iOS 11 levels of stability at this stage, forget it.

Q: Is iOS 12 buggy?

A: Yup. That's why it's a beta.

Q: What's responsiveness like?

A: Awful, but this is a beta?

Q: Has Apple fixed the screen lags and flickers?

A: Nope.

Q: On older hardware, how would you rate performance?

A: On a zero to 10 scale, going from unbearable to awesome, I'd have to say that the iOS 12 beta hovers around a 2 now, whereas the same hardware running iOS 11 felt closer to a 4 or 5.

Q: Is iOS 12 faster than iOS 11 on older hardware?

A: I hate to comment on performance in such an early beta, but since Apple bought this up at WWDC 2018 last week, I'll make some broad comments.

  • Benchmarking suggests a performance increase.
  • In the real-world, most apps feel laggy on the iPhone 6 Plus I've been using primarily for testing.
Geekbench benchmark: ​iOS 11 (left) vs. iOS 12 beta (right)

Geekbench benchmark: iOS 11 (left) vs. iOS 12 beta (right)

Q: What's your favorite feature?

A: Grouped notifications on the lock screen.

​Grouped notifications on the lock screen in iOS 12 beta

Grouped notifications on the lock screen in iOS 12 beta

Q: Has Screen Time helped you reduce on notifications or changed the way you use your iPhone?

A: I've got my notifications pretty locked down already to the point where about 90 percent are things I actually want to see a notifications for, so while there's room for tightening them up, I don't think it's that's great. As for changing the way I use my iPhone, I don't consider myself a "normal user," and as such don't think I'm the best person to comment on this.

CNET: iOS 12: Five features we're excited about

Q: If I install the iOS 12 beta and hate it, can I roll back to iOS 11?

A: Yes. You just delete the iOS 12 beta software profile found in Settings > General > Profiles.

Q: Should I run iOS 12 beta?

A: If you've got an older iPhone you can throw it onto to play with, why not. If your only iPhone is also your daily driver, then I'd say if you have to ask that sort of question, my answer is going to be a resounding "no." At least wait for the public beta.

Q: Does iOS 12 fix [insert some issue existing in iOS 11]?

A: I got some many questions like this, and the best answer that I can give at this stage is that in terms of iOS bugs, iOS 12 doesn't seem to move the ball forward that much compared to the latest iOS 11 release.

TechRepublic: Apple iOS 12: Cheat sheet

Got an iOS 12 question? Drop me a comment down below or hit me up on Twitter.

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