By now, most Apple users have seen what iOS 7 will be able to do when it is released this fall. It is a completely redesigned, re-imagined operating system for the most popular smart phone in the market. For those who invest in a developer account for iOS, iOS 7-Beta was available for download on day one of WWDC 2013.
Our experience thus far with iOS 7 has been positive. The general feeling here at MacSources is that there are still some bugs to be worked out, but it is a Beta version…and that’s what Beta is for. Here are some of our developer notes from the MacSources Beta testers.
1) Battery Life – This was my #1 concern when I saw how many animations and background functions went into the design of iOS 7. I have issues with battery life on my iPhone 5 as it is. Granted, one of my apps is constantly running in the background (Moves – for the pedometer), but I still find that my iPhone 4’s battery life is far superior to the iPhone 5’s battery life. It can stay on for 3 days without needing a charge and my iPhone 5 needs to be charged at least once a day…sometimes twice a day. With iOS 7-Beta installed, our iPhone 5 needed to be charged 4 times today. We hope to see improved battery performance with future iOS 7-Beta versions.
2) Siri – Everyone’s favorite personal assistant, Siri has received an overhaul, too. Unfortunately, that overhaul came complete with bugs. When I ask Siri simple commands like “What can I say?” or “What is your favorite color?”, Siri doesn’t understand. I tried slowing down my speech and enunciating more carefully, but she still didn’t understand. After several minutes of asking simple commands, Siri finally responded with actual search results instead of the sample error message that Siri spits out when she doesn’t understand a command.
3) Photo sharing – Another bug we noticed was when we attempted to share photos. I had taken several screen shots to accompany this article and discovered that when I went to the Share options that email was not one of them. I ended up copy/pasting into the body of an email, which worked fine, but still thought that the elimination of email as a Share function didn’t make sense. Later when we decided to share another photo, the option to email had appeared.
4) Apps crashing – When we first downloaded iOS 7-Beta to our iPhone 5 for testing, it took a while to get set up. When it was finally set up, we discovered that a lot of settings and progress on apps has disappeared. This was an annoyance, but not as bad as apps that are constantly and consistently crashing. One of the most crash-prone is the new iRadio. iRadio exists as a part of the Music app. When I started it up, I was able to select a station and listen to its playlist. After I had selected one, I decided to browse the other preloaded stations available. When I tried to select a new station, the app would crash. This happened several more times.
5) WiFi/LTE – Another problem we noticed was that our WiFi would drop off periodically while we were on a WiFi network. This was a problem because it was happening while we were restoring the iPhone from backup. We actually think that the phone restored primarily on LTE.
Even though we decided to point out some of the Beta Bugs, we really did enjoy testing out iOS 7. We hope to see updates that will improve the bugs and some of the design features that we were not overly impressed with.