Tag Archive for ‘Beta’

iOS and iPadOS 13 Impressions ➝

Some quick observations and impressions from JF Martin on the latest beta of iOS and iPadOS. I just installed it on my iPad last night and share a similar experience — it’s surprisingly stable for such an early release.

Developers Can Now Request Access to Shortcuts TestFlight Beta ➝

Developers can head over to the Downloads page on Apple’s developer site and request to join the TestFlight beta — it’s the last item under the “Featured Downloads” heading.

iOS 12 Public Beta Now Available ➝

I installed iOS 12 on my iPad Air 2 last night and I’m very impressed by the stability of the release. I haven’t encountered a single bug yet and my device feels just as snappy as the day I bought it.

I’m not ready to put it on my iPhone just yet, though. Matt Birchler mentioned to me on Twitter that he has been having trouble with GPS navigation. And with the summer months upon us, I expect my wife and I will be going on plenty of road trips in the next several weeks — GPS might be useful.

Apple Using New File System in iOS 10.3 Beta ➝

This transition is happening much quicker than I expected, which leaves me excited and a little nervous. On the one hand, I can’t wait to run an operating system that takes advantage of all its features. But on the other hand, this new file system is a pretty substantial under-the-hood change and can cause all kinds of problems if it’s even a little buggy.

Initial Thoughts on iOS 10

Every year, when Apple releases their newest version of iOS to the public, I’ve typically already spent a few weeks or months with it on my main device. That was the case with almost every major iteration, until iOS 10. Whether I acquired it by nefarious means, signed up for the developer program, or sent my UDID number to a friend, I’ve always been able to get a hold of it. This year was a little different.

I installed iOS 10 on my iPad during the public beta, but it didn’t last long. Even though this was one of the best beta periods I’ve experienced from a stability standpoint, I’ve come to realize that my standards of acceptability are much higher than they’ve ever been. Now that my iPad and iPhone are my primary computers, I can’t put up with the little software bugs anymore.

In years past I could always switch to my Mac when something wasn’t working right, but that was during a time when all of my workflows were decidedly Mac-centric. Now, if something didn’t work on my iPad, I’d be left trying to piece together how I used to do it on my MacBook — often realizing that this task didn’t exist until my post-iOS era and I’ve never done it on a Mac before. iOS has become too essential for me to run beta builds. I just can’t risk anything breaking anymore.

The public beta only lasted a few days on my iPad — I reverted to iOS 9 at the first opportunity. That was a month or two ago, though, and Apple has spent their time polishing the rough edges. The public beta was good, but the final build is superb.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have any complaints, though. There’s still a small number of annoyances that remain. However, iOS 10 is an incredibly well built operating system and has quickly become my favorite OS upgrade of all time. As of this writing, I only have it installed on my iPhone, but I expect to have it on my iPad and my wife’s iPhone within the next couple of days.

I’m not going to be writing a detailed review of the update — if you’re looking for that, I suggest reading Nick Heer or Federico Viticci’s. Instead, I’ll be sharing a handful of my notes, taken in the first few hours after updating.

  • It’s going to take a little time to get used to the new lock screen behavior. I’m fully prepared to be called a maniac for this, but I’ve never enabled Touch ID or a passcode. I’ve been happy enough continuing to use the “slide to unlock” gesture. Because of this, I expect I’ll accidentally swipe to my widgets instead of unlocking my iPhone on numerous occasions over the coming weeks.
  • The quicker animations for launching and closing apps is quite jarring. It makes my eyes feel weird.
  • iMessage Apps are going to be incredibly popular, but I don’t expect I’ll install many of them. I’m a bit of a minimalist and iOS’s built-in images app will get me most of what I want. I might buy a couple sticker packs, but that’s about it.
  • Games in iMessages are surprisingly great. I spent about an hour playing a connect four clone and a battleship clone with my brother-in-law. It was fun. I think I’ll be playing games like this more often in the future.
  • I like the new design of the system-wide application back buttons. They have more heft and are much more inviting to use.
  • The Music app is much better than it was in iOS 9, but I wish I could set artists as a tab along the bottom. I don’t need search and I don’t need Radio. If I had my way, the tabs along the bottom would be: recently added, artists, playlists, and more.
  • I love the Force Touch shortcut for clearing all notifications.
  • There doesn’t seem to be a way to quickly view Today View widgets with an app open. You can slide from the top and swipe to the left, but iOS doesn’t remember which pane you viewed last — unlike Control Center. That puts an extra step between me and my widgets. I routinely use Fantastical’s widget to check the date, PCalc’s widget for quick calculations, and Workflow’s widget for launching workflows. With iOS 10, widgets are significantly less convenient for me.
  • It’s a little odd that you can “uninstall” default apps now. I don’t plan on going crazy with it, I don’t have much of a problem simply hiding these apps deep within a folder. But of course, I had no problem immediately deleting Tips and Stocks.

Fixing Media Controls in watchOS 3 ➝

Matt Birchler:

My solution is pretty simple, and is a combination of watchOS 2’s glance as well as iOS 10’s new Control Center. Instead of having a Now Playing app on the watch, why not bake those controls into the watch’s Control Center? Swipe up on your watch face currently brings up Control Center, so just add the ability to swipe right on Control Center to bring up media controls.

For some reason I thought this was a feature of watchOS 3, but as it turns out, that’s not the case. Count me in with Matt, though, I hope Apple adds this before the final release. It’s a better implementation than forcing users into their dock and would bringfurther uniformity to iOS and watchOS.

How to Leave Apple’s Public Beta Program ➝

I’ll have to keep this in mind as we get closer to the official release of iOS 9.1. I don’t mind running beta versions of iOS occasionally, but I’m ready to live on a stable version for a few months.

Pocket Adds Recommendations in Beta Channel ➝

A recommendation engine built-in to my read later service sounds great. But I worry that having yet another “inbox” to check alongside the services I already use — RSS, Twitter, and email — is simply going to be adding to the noise and not cutting through it.

What we need more of is features like Fever’s Hot section which displays the most frequently linked to web pages from the sites you’ve chosen to subscribe to over a specific time period. If I had a mechanism in all of my inboxes that surfaced the most interesting and important things for me, that didn’t require me to weed through the dregs, that would be something I’m interested in. For example, imagine if Instapaper could reorder your queue based on what you’re most likely to be interested in reading — it didn’t offer you new articles, just suggested a good place to start reading your existing ones.