We’ve been covering each and every beta release of iOS 7, and just to offer more than a list of features and changes, I’ve been offering my early thoughts on each new release of Apple’s iOS beta program.Usually those thoughts come after a few hours of use, but this fifth iteration of iOS 7 has been running on my iPhone 5 for a full day this time around, so the idea is that I’ve been able to get more time with the update under my belt. In truth though, it’s all starting to get a little bit meh.
Sure, iOS 7 beta still blows my mind in plenty of ways, and it’s still quite the departure from iOS 6 or indeed anything that came before it, but with each new beta release of the software Apple continues to tweak all kinds of things, some not always for the better.
Take one of the more odd changes in beta 6 – the flipping of the ‘move’ and ‘trash’ buttons in the Mail app when selecting multiple messages. It’s a change that may not seem to be a big one at first, until you realize that you triage emails on your iPhone a hell of a lot and, unfortunately, you keep deleting things instead of moving them.
Of course, this is a beta and we should expect hiccups here and there, but Apple seems to be the master of its own downfall at times, with this change showing that someone inside Apple clearly has too much time on their hands. I mean, who woke up one morning and thought that the most important thing they could do that day was to switch those functions around? How much is that person getting paid!?
I am, in case it’s not obvious, half joking. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Mail annoyance disappear in beta 6 or final version, but it shouldn’t really be there at all. The new, more colorful icons in the Settings app are also a love-it or hate-it affair, and if I’m honest I’m not sure which side of that particular fence I sit. What I do know is; Apple should’ve fixed the random restarts than add some color to some icons. Still, it’s only a beta!
There is some good in beta 5, though. Apps can now be tapped even whilst a folder’s opening animation is in full flow, making the whole act of launching folder-bound apps much quicker in general.
Again, as with earlier beta releases, iOS 7 beta 5 has its fair share of general speed improvements across the operating system too, which is no more than we would expect at this point. Something’s also changed enough under the hood to make Skype and Google+ start working again, which is nice.
I’m still waiting for Apple to drop some sort of killer feature that they are yet to announce, but with time running out and iOS 7 getting closer and closer to a public release, we’ll just have to make do with the polishing and tweaking we’ve seen in the last couple of updates.