Of Course iOS 7 is Broken, it’s Beta

| Editorial

Apple gave the public its first preview of iOS 7 last week during its annual World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco. A beta version just for iOS developers was released the same day, and it found its way to many people outside of that group who promptly started complaining about stability issues, non-functioning features, poor battery life, interface problems, broken third-party apps, and more. Of course iOS 7 has problems; it's beta software.

iOS 7 has bugs. That's because it's still beta software.iOS 7 has bugs. That's because it's still beta software.

The big issue is that many people seem to have forgotten exactly what "beta" means: software in development that isn't fully baked yet. It isn't ready for general use, but is being actively tested to find and fix bugs.

Apple dealt with a similar problem when Siri, it's voice control feature in iOS 6, first launched. The company clearly stated the feature was still in beta testing, but that didn't stop the barrage of complants over voice recognition failures. In that case, maybe waiting until Siri had more development time would've been prudent, but that would've delayed the release and ultimately slowed its progress since fewer people would have been involved in the testing process.

In contrast, Apple hasn't released iOS 7 to the general public, and the company made it clear there are still a few months before it officially launches. The OS will continue to improve over the coming weeks, broken features will be fixed, missing features will get added, and hopefully interface inconsistencies will get ironed out.

The bottom line is that iOS 7 isn't ready for daily use, and that's OK. It's beta software, and the only people that should be using it are in Apple's own Developer Program, and they most likely aren't running it on mission critical devices.

If you are using iOS 7 and find problems, complaining to the world about how Apple software is crap and this wouldn't have happened if Steve Jobs were alive won't help. File a bug report instead. That'll help Apple find where the problems are and give us a better over all experience when iOS 7 ships this fall.

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8 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

Google hasn’t helped matters. How many of their projects lingered as ‘beta’ and yet were open to everyone in the world.

Jeff Gamet

Yes! Google has done more to confuse the beta tag than pretty much any other company.

Just_Wayne

Yes, it was seriously annoying to see all those posts on Twitter from people complaining about iOS 7, especially when most of those tweeting we’re not developers, they just paid their $99 so they can have something before everyone else.

It was also interesting that some of those very same people started to tweet with complaints about people doing exactly what they were doing only a few days before. (Very short memories)

mactoid

People are used to Microsoft releasing software that is still in “beta” and calling it a completed program.  II remember Windows wasn’t worth using until version 3.1.  You could make the case for several of their other releases (Windows 95, Windows Me).  So it should be no surprise at all that people don’t understand what “beta” means.

geoduck

True. It’s become an aphorism that “You never buy a Microsoft product until SP1”.

notarysojac

Well said, Mr. Gamet.  But here’s the real-hidden thing that’s been broken - and remains so - with all iOS development:  Xcode’s AutoLayout.

There was a time… back when things were a lot looser in the iOS app development world and there was only one screen size and it was not a requirement to be able to have your application run in the LANDSCAPE orientation on iPad devices. 

But that time has gone and now there is the challenge of providing layout for two orientations all of your iOS screens on the iPhone, iPhone4 w/retina, iPhone5, iPadMini, iPad, and iPad w/Retina. 

Yes, not all apps have many screens and it’s not required to support LANDSCAPE on the iPhone devices.  BUT… do the math and, if you have a bunch of text fields, labels, controls, image views, collection views, etc things quickly multiply up to a staggering number - in my app’s case it was over 8,000 different numbers would have to be created and maintained in order to make a truly ‘universal’ application. 

But WAIT - the really talented and very nice folks who have brought us Xcode - the Apple development environment and toolset - say, “No - it’s way easier to use ‘AutoLayout’.  This is a way to provide for placement by intention - versus hardwired numbers.  You create ‘constraints’ in your code which define your intention about where things should be and how large they should be and how far away from other things they should be and iOS will figure out what were your intentions in realtime and move things around ‘automagically’ as they say.  Sad to report that’s not really how it works - but, I understand, many revisions have been made and things are supposed to be markedly improved in the near future. 

All that duly noted, I have seen the ‘AutoLayout’ world and, since I am not a member of that development team, have no idea what were their design requirements; but I cannot believe that this whole process could not have been made far simpler. 

So - Yeah iOS7 is broke - but, Yeah, they’ll fix THAT - but it ain’t the ONLY thing that’s broke and ‘AutoLayout’ has huge implications for chewing up developer’s time which could be far better spent on other aspects of app development. 

I’m hoping that there’s enough developer noise out there to cause the Xcode team to take another run at this critical bottleneck.

iApple 1

I personally find the new iOS vary refreshing. I know betas are vary buggy, but I am curious about one thing. I can not hear music or most sounds generated in phone threw my ears pods(headphones) or Bluetooth? I am quite frustrated with this, for I use my music app allot. I don’t want to downgrade. I have done many searches for this sound problem online. I would think I would find something, but nothing? Am I the only one going three this?  Sound is fine on speaker mode. I do get sound threw earbuds in ios7 beta but sounds horrible and non usable. I have messed with the equalizer in music settings, if I choose Latin music option I get no sound?

Ronald Odde

It’s not beta anymore. Not officially at least. It’s still broken. First, the interface change is a blatant rip-off of an android OS. During the installation, you are force-fed iCloud which is WAAAAY broken and without your permission, or even a warning, deletes all of your outlook contacts and calendars from your PC forcing the novice user to STAY on icloud even if they decide they don’t like it. The map application is worse than ever (accuracy, real-time adjustment to location, easy to use interface - none of these are features at the moment that work well). The new Podcast app you are forced to use not only sucks, but fixed something that was not broken. And, they have added new advertising content and tracking. Yay! Just what we all wanted. More ads and less privacy.

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