Steer clear of iOS 11 public beta

It's really not worth the suffering.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
iOS 11

Oh, the things I put up with to be on the bleeding edge.

I've had a lot of people ask me about the iOS 11 public beta, and rather than give you a hot-take, I took the plunge and decided to run the operating system on my daily driver iPhone. I've been running it for a little over a week now, and what a painful week it has been.

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Yes, iOS 11 brings with it a number of improvements, mostly in the form of user interface tweaks such as an improved Control Center, and a raft of new features such as screen recording and augmented reality support.

But the iOS 11 public beta also brings with it a lot of pain and suffering.

Now before you start bashing at your keyboards yelling about how this is a beta and that's to be expected from a beta, cool your jets. Yes, I know it's a beta, and went into this with my eyes fully open. Problem is, the average user just hears that there's a new version of iOS out, and after a bit of Googling find themselves tumbling down a rabbit hole.

For a public beta, this release is really flaky and temperamental, and the worst I remember from Apple in years. Not only is it buggy, crashy, and incredibly slow, but a lot of stuff is also badly broken. I've seen a whole host of bugs, ranging from Control Center bugs, notification bugs, camera bugs, and Wi-Fi, cellular, and Bluetooth all seem unstable in this release.

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I wouldn't call any of the bugs show-stopping, but it definitely feels like death through a thousand cuts.

It also breaks apps. I don't mean the old 32-bit apps that have been on the chopping block for some time, but apps that worked fine under iOS 10 are really buggy under iOS 11. Crashes are way up, and I'm also seeing a lot of weird UI bugs, even in well-established apps such as Google Chrome.

Even browsing with Google Chrome is currently broken.

Oh, and before you ask, battery life is terrible.

It seems app developers are going to have to do a lot of work to make their offerings ready for iOS 11. And they only have a few weeks to do it.

If you are still desperate to try out the iOS 11 beta and don't have access to an old device that you can sacrifice, I strongly recommend taking the precautions I've detailed here, which will protect your data and also give you a way back to iOS 10 if you decide you've had enough.

But my advice for now is that unless you're a developer, just steer clear of iOS 11 for now. It's not worth the headache, and will just leave you feeling sad, angry, or frustrated.

Apple has a lot of work to do ahead of the September release.

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