It’s probably not a good idea to be use bleeding-edge betas. That’s especially true for a tool used daily, like a cellphone. But I’ll freely admit that Apple’s iOS 7, announced Monday, has been itching at me. CultofMac told readers straight-out not to install it. But commenters there and elsewhere have been reporting few problems and apparently it is possible to go back to 6 if problems arise.
So this evening I took the plunge. I used the method outlined here and signed up at imzdl.com. It all worked pretty well. And so far, so good. The battery looks like it’s draining a bit faster than before, but that’s to be expected of a first beta and it’s not the half-battery that the Chicken Littles claim. A few apps have bombed on me, but only sporadically. Skype didn’t open at first, but a quick look at their support forums found you just needed to delete and reinstall the app.
Is it worth it? I don’t know. The new icons are still a bit rough, as reported, but more than that, their flatness looks out of place next to the 3-D icons that most iPhone apps still use. The new quick-settings bar is cool and the parallax effect for backgrounds is cooler still (it shifts the background as the accelerometer moves about, giving it all a feeling a depth). We’re told that multi-tasking is more robust, but that’s not something one notices immediately (besides, Android’s had it for years). I’ll update as I explore more. Guesses are that the second beta will come in about ten days—I’ll see if I can live with the first beta’s battery hit until then.