Thoughts On iOS 11

Aside from products, software updates are some of the most anticipated changes that come from Cupertino and that round spaceship looking thing that can actually be seen from space.

(I'm talking about Apple and it's new campus, if you're already lost. In which case, this blog is about to get technical, so read on if you so choose.)

Let's just get right into it.
I've finally downloaded iOS 11 public beta 3 and have been using it now for about a week or two. I've waited to get it until this beta version came out because of how unstable I heard previous versions were. However, this one is still pretty iffy... Here's a list of my observations:

CONS

  1. Battery Life
    It's typical for optimization to be on the back-burner when new software and features roll out; they just want to show what and how new items work, and then performance will increase afterwards. However, when compared to my regular phone use on iOS 10 to now: I'm charging 2-3 times a day compared to still having 20%+ battery left on the previous OS.
  2. Notifications
    The center for notifications has improved and even changed from beta 2 to 3, but basically: no longer can you swipe to view or clear a notification. Instead, you now have to force touch (iPhone 6 and up) to view or press an "x" to dismiss a notification. This really seems like an unnecessary step, and makes quick tasks take much longer than before.
  3. Spotty Execution
    Raise to wake, app placement, volume HUD, and simple navigation all are still fairly unreliable. The screen sometimes won't stay on when you raise your phone; App placement seems to take a second when you touch it before you can then drag it elsewhere; the volume HUD is supposed to no longer invade the center of your screen, but it still very much does. Meanwhile, the new less-intrusive volume bar works at the same time (odd). Over all, the processing of basic functions is glitchy and needs to be refreshed.
  4. Frequent Reboots
    When some of the aforementioned issues occur, it's not uncommon to now have to reboot your phone once or twice a day, sadly. Sometimes apps freeze or the top information bar disappear; so, you have to give it another re-(boot in the ass) and start over.
  5. Cell Service Indicators
    Super minor complaint here, and totally superficial - but what the h*ck, Apple? You've moved away from the 5 horizontal dots in the top bar - which indicate cell service - to now a regressed style of vertical bars; and not even 5 bars like before, but now just 4.
    This will forever bother me.

PROS

  1. Clean Look
    Ay! It may not work right, but at least it looks good. The App Store, iTunes Store, and home row apps all have a cleaner look. The App Store is now aligning with the design of Apple News and Music apps. Also, any apps in the home row are free from naming text beneath the icons, all to serve a mere refreshing appearance.
  2. App Integration
    So this is actually a pro and a con.
    Con: Apple has taken away third-party account integration such as Twitter and Facebook. You can no longer sign in to allow direct access to social accounts, and you're reminded of this when you choose to share something from Apple News to Twitter, for example. The real kicker is even though you get a warning saying "There are no accounts configured.", you can still press "OK" and share anyway. It'll still work, so I don't understand this change.
    Pro: apps like Apple TV and screen recording are directly integrated into the control center (a swipe up from the bottom of any screen). So no more need for another app or some work-around to accomplish easy and useful tasks.
  3. Faster Performance
    It's faster! This is what I'm told, anyway, and have somewhat experienced. But I'm sure when the little kinks and glitches get worked out, this new OS will be buttery smooth.
  4. Improvement to Apps
    Safari has increased security and functionality when browsing websites (such as disabling autoplay of videos); Maps has an added lane direction when turning, as well as listing the MPH of where you're currently driving; screen shots and photo edits are now two things that work better together, so added functionality and general behavior of apps is better.
  5. Siri's A Whole New Woman
    You might forget you don't have a girlfriend if you summon Siri enough. She's built to now sound more like a natural human, and conversations are something that have improved when interacting with her through questions and comments.

That's the gist of my experience with the new iOS 11 public beta 3 software. It's a change that I'm excited about overall, and once minor bugs and performance improve, this will be a welcomed change to the Apple operating ecosystem.