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iOS9 public beta – think twice

Quite a lot of me wishes I hadn’t updated my iPhone to the iOS9 public beta. I’m a bit of a sucker for new things, unfortunately, which often means I’ll jump on board the latest passing Apple bandwagon. And inevitably fall off almost immediately.

It’s not that my phone is crashing all the time, nor is iOS9 itself a crushing disappointment – it simply feels far too much like a work in progress, which is exactly what beta software is. And, while it might sound exciting to be involved in such a project – submitting feedback, testing out new features, indulging in a hearty bitĀ of back-slapping when you discover the not-so-golden path to an elusive bug – the reality is quite different. I haven’t submitted a single piece of feedback, because I can’t be bothered (plus, with no doubt hundreds of thousands of people running the beta and Apple having their own testing team, I doubt I’ll be doing much more than adding to the noise), and there is literally no joy in discovering a bug on your smartphone.

iOS9 is marginally interesting. When I entered my car this morning, A Maps notification popped up on my Apple Watch suggesting it would take me fifteen minutes to reach work based on current traffic conditions. That’s smart. It knew I was in the car (I guess via the bluetooth connection) and, given the time of day, assumed I was heading to that place I always end up at fifteen minutes later. I love the idea of technology which is contextually aware, and this was the first time since installing the beta that iOS9 demonstrated its intentions in this area. A bit more of that, and I’ll be a happy boy.

Aside from contextual cleverness, we have a new font. Which I simply can’t get excited about. It looks alright.

And, from a day-to-day usage perspective, that’s pretty much it. I’m sure, once the golden master is released, it’ll benefit from all the stability and resource-saving features promised at the WWDC keynote, but there’s little more to get excited about. This is progression in the leanest of senses and is surely the precursor to one hell of an update in iOS10. We’ll see.

So, if you’re tempted by the public beta, proceed with caution.

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