Home Mobility iOS 11 Public Beta 2 launches over weekend, looking solid and stable

iOS 11 Public Beta 2 launches over weekend, looking solid and stable

For the first time in many years, I have braved an iOS beta, and with iOS 11, I’m loving it!

iOS 11 takes what was already a solid, stable upgrade over the years from the major iOS 7 change that Jony Ive undertook following the ousting of the skeuomorphic loving Scott Forstall from the old Steve Jobs era.

While there was criticism that Ive went too far, iOS 8, 9 and 10 made major strides in streamlining his changes for the better.

Now comes iOS 11, and it does what it implies with the numbering scheme... it takes iOS 10 and turns it up to 11!

You can see a read a great preview from Apple at its site here on the changes you can expect.

Major changes include the introduction of drag and drop, dramatically improved multi-tasking on iPads, the introduction of a file system app called “Files”, and among many, many other changes and improvements including a wonderfully revamped App Store, is a fantastic Control Centre update.

Control Centre now appears on one page, and can be modified to include quick shortcuts to important features.

Many of the icons listed can also be 3D touched, delivering even more flexibility and functionality.

I’m greatly enjoying the new Control Centre and find it to be a massive improvement over the old version.

I have also re-ordered the icons so that the torch, world clock, calculator and camera icon stay at the bottom of the screen where I like them.

The video player has also had a great upgrade, with more controls, and I like it a lot!

Being a beta, there are a few minor graphical issues now and then. A stutter or two here and there. When I restart my iPhone (it is loaded onto an iPhone 7), I see notifications for very old iMessages appearing – about five or so “ding” at me, but then that stops.

Also, if I try to long press on a URL in Safari, it thinks I want to drag and drop it somewhere, when all I want to do is copy it. It seems to take me a few goes to get the "copy", "paste", "speak" etc icons to appear.

Perhaps I’m pressing too hard or not long enough, but I’m working on figuring that out. It’s likely just a beta thing.

Other than that, iOS 11 Public Beta 1 and 2 have been surprisingly smooth and stable, both on an iPad I’m testing it on and an iPhone 7.

Being able to test out the new interface elements here and there, to see the improved animations, to see the graphical flourishes, to play with the new App Store, to see the AirPods icon listed in the dialler when I have them connected, to play with it all has been a lot of fun.

I have seen the battery drain a little quicker, but I keep a charging cable and external battery handy and it’s hasn’t been a problem.

Indeed, I’m using my phone completely as per normal, and aside from the minor glitches I’ve already mentioned, it’s pretty much like I’m using the final version already!

Of course, the final version in a couple of months time will be properly polished, much better optimised and bug-fixed, so it will be an even better experience when that time comes.

For the everyday user, I’d still recommend only installing iOS 11 Public Beta 2 on a spare device, and not your primary device, and to make sure you follow the instructions provided by Apple on how to make and archive a backup of your iOS 10 OS so you can easily go back if needed during the beta process.

But for me, I’m glad I took the chance on iOS 11 at this early stage, especially after eschewing beta versions of the years — I’m really glad this version is going so smoothly — and I haven’t had the chance yet to play with any of the Augmented Reality apps yet, even though I’ve read and seen the fun developers have had in creating AR capable apps.

So, iOS 11’s actual arrival in final 11.0 form can’t come fast enough, and we don’t even know yet what surprises iOS 11 still has in store for us when the 2017 iPhone range is finally released, with whatever exclusive features it will undoubtedly offer.

Until then, I hope iOS 11 Public Beta 3 is only a couple of weeks away, and I’ll keep you informed on how it’s going as the beta process rolls along!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.