We covered extensively the details of iOS 7 when the OS was in Beta 1. We urged our readers to stay patient with it since it was obviously a Beta release and was missing stability for being a daily driver.
Since then, a lot of water has passed under that bridge and six iterations of Betas later, we have iOS 7 Beta 6 released last week. As registered iOS developers, we got chance to flash the Beta 6 version of iOS 7 and thought of giving it a shot once again. A lot has obviously changed obviously. Here are some of our observations of using Beta 6 from Beta 1 on iOS 7.
The Animations Look Smoother
The animations stuttered their way around when we were using iOS 7 in Beta 1. They look a lot smoother and easier on the eye now. There is no jerkiness and transitions look a little more comforting to the eye. They still look a little slow, since we have been used to lots of cuts in iOS 6 which are pretty fast. This does give a feeling of slowness of the phone, but overall, they are a lot smoother and uniform across the board.
Fewer App Crashes
Pretty much expected, it is no surprise that on Beta 6 we have experienced far fewer app crashes and random behavior. Apart from a couple of times where the text field simply disappeared behind the keyboard and the Official Twitter app requiring long press on tabs to change them, things have been better. There is an odd moment when if you tap the app and it does not respond, but again, these instances are far and few now, a lot better than Beta 1.
The Icons look Better
It could simply be that we have adapted to the whole, iOS 7 theme and general flatness but icons look a lot better. They are definitely flatter than the first beta and color schemes have been changed on a few of them. Subtle changes or drastic ones, they definitely add a good look factor to iOS 7 now. Things are a lot more usable in the sense you do not feel that Apple have decided to simply put every single color on the palette in their OS.
Lesser neons or maybe we are used to it, whatever it is, its not as hideous
Battery is still meh
We know things are in Beta and eventually Apple will sort it out, but we have huge concerns for the battery life of iPhones on iOS 7. Simply, because there is a lot more under the hood, going on in iOS 7 than iOS 6. There is the whole dynamic wallpaper which means your gyro is constantly in use and obviously very heavy animation usage. We hope Apple do add in a feature where we can turn off the whole dynamic wallpaper thing, its pretty pointless. We got through our day with about 30% battery left in the tank, with iOS 7 Beta 6, it was down to about 5%.
However, till there is a Gold Master Edition, Battery performance can be excused, but its certainly something that Apple need to handle well, they struggled with battery backup on iOS 6 for a couple of versions too, and we can certainly see similar things happening again.
The Sensors Respond Better Overall
The sensors have definitely got better with time. We had terrible experience with auto brightness turned on where phone would actually lower the brightness in direct light and increase it in darkness. Also proximity sensor seems to be fixed, we did have issues on Beta 1 when even though call was disconnected the screen stayed blank and you had to wave in front of it to wake it up.
Settings App is a lot more Refined
There were major things missing from Settings App on iOS 7 Beta 1. Things like lack of Notifications previews, wrong app icons and grey color for input of passcodes. All that seems to have been sorted and finally settings app looks somewhere usable.
The music controls no longer overlap with the clock on Lockscreen. The keyboard though, is still stock on most apps as they have not been optimized for iOS 7. There are no more random deletion of text messages, and we are very thankful for that. Also improved is the Top bar, which used to disappear or simply behave randomly strange on iOS 7 Beta 1. Call quality has improved too.
By no means, again this is a conclusive article as far as iOS 7 goes, even in Beta. You cannot judge something in Beta unless you get to the Gold Master Edition. However, we like the direction in which Apple is taking iOS 7 and there is a good chance it may actually grow on us by the time it is out. A lot of issues that exist could well be ironed out and nobody would even remember this article by us.
At least that’s what Apple would want. If you have any questions regarding iOS 7, feel free to put them in the section below.