Calm down, it’s only a beta

Now that Apple’s iOS 7 is out of the bag, everyone seems to have an opinion on whether it hits the mark. If there was one word we would use to describe Apple’s latest version of its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch software it would probably be ‘polarizing‘ and with good reason. After all, iOS 7 is undoubtedly the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone was introduced all those years ago.

But one thing does appear to be getting lost in all the hysteria surrounding iOS 7. One thing that people do seem to be forgetting not just when forging their opinions on Apple’s new direction, but when condemning existing App Store apps with poor reviews due to compatibility.

Calm down dear, it’s only a beta…

See, whilst Apple’s iOS 7 is still very much in its infancy, everyone seems to be using it. Released via the Apple developer portal, it should be restricted to those with developer accounts. Alas though, it seems the company’s usual method of only allowing registered devices to install its betas wasn’t in force soon after the files hit the web, meaning anyone could install iOS 7 beta 1 on their devices.

And they did. In droves.

Which is fine. We’re not going to sit here and call out our readers for being curious. We get it, we’re curious too. But if you’re going to install a beta of any operating system, you need to be aware of a few things. When it’s the first beta release of a major shift in design and the way the OS functions, then that goes double.

For starters, there’s those icons.

Yes, there’s been much talk about the choice of icons in iOS 7. Love them or hate them – and it seems most hate them – nobody knows how long they’ll be around. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them change completely come the final beta, or indeed the second. It’s kinda the point of a beta, really, allowing testing and developer feedback. Don’t write iOS 7 off just yet, especially if your main reason is a disliking for an icon or two.

Next up, we have app compatibility. Yes, some of your apps are probably crashing. Yes, some of those that do run will be misbehaving. You know why that is though, right? Got it in one.

See, things have changed under the hood in iOS, but the apps that are running on top of it haven’t. You know the whole reason for the betas being made available to developers? Yup, it’s so they can test their apps and then fix anything that got borked in the upgrade. It’s not your fault the apps don’t work like you expect, but it’s damn sure not the developers’. If you’re leaving bad reviews on the App Store due to apps crashing on iOS 7 then, unfortunately, you’re not doing anyone a favor.

Oh, and a word on battery life whilst we’re at it. It’s not great. By now though you must have figured out that there’s a theme to this post, so hopefully you’ve figured out why your battery life’s not quite as good as it was with iOS 6. We’ll give you a clue. BETA!

But fear not, intrepid iOS installer, for there’s light at the end of the tunnel. If you realize you’ve been a tad hasty and want to go back to the safer waters of iOS 6, then you can always downgrade and call it a day. If not though, and you decide you’d rather stick it out in the hopes that Apple sorts those God-awful icons out, then there’ll be a beta 2 soon enough. And then a beta 3, followed by a 4th. Each will have fixes, and we suspect add a few new bugs along the way, too.

But there’s one thing we do know. If you’re expecting the final shipping version of iOS 7 to be as buggy as the first beta, and for apps to crash like they do now, or for the aesthetics to be just the same, then you’re wrong.

Just keep that in mind when you’re telling everyone how rubbish it is.