This post has been updated with a note from the author at the end.
Is iOS 5 Beta 1 stable enough to use full-time? A lot of people have asked us this, and after trying for a few weeks, I can respond pretty authoritatively: not by half. Here’s our list of at least nine things that Apple needs to fix before iOS 5 beta is usable full time.
As first betas go, iOS 5 has been relatively good to me. While I’ve encountered a number of irritating issues, none of them have been serious enough to render my device unusable. Having said that, they that need to be fixed before iOS 5 is released, and they may help you decide whether or not upgrading your software is currently worth it.
Here’s 9 of them, in no particular order:
The iPod Touch no longer likes headphones
An iPod that doesn’t play nicely with your headphones isn’t doing its job properly… but that’s what happens to many iPod touches under iOS 5. When you plug in your headphones, the device will often freeze with no audio and a non-responsive screen. The only way to get out of this is to reset the device.
The system-wide clock “dial” isn’t 24 hours
The “wheel” or “dial” you use to set alarms within the Clock application — and many other third-party alarm applications — doesn’t currently show the time in 24-hours, which can be incredibly confusing at first. When scrolling through the hour dial, after 12 you go back to 1, so you have to guess whether that’s 1 AM or 1 PM. Only when you have set the alarm will the Clock app tell you whether it’s AM or PM, and you have to go back in and change it again if it’s incorrect.
Contacts App isn’t reliable
For me, adding and editing contacts on my devices since installing iOS 5 has been largely unsatisfactory. While on the odd occasion I can add a new one seamlessly without any hiccups, most of the time I experience at least 2 or 3 crashes which will throw me back to the home screen. I also cannot create new contacts from email addresses within the Mail app.
Camera App takes forever
The revamped Camera app and its fancy new features — such as lock screen access, image editing, volume button control, and grid lines — are all great, however, the Camera app needs a whole lot of work.
I seem to remember that during the WWDC keynote, Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS software, promised the Camera application would be “way faster to get in and take a photo.” And while the lock screen camera button does help, the time it takes for the application to prepare itself to snap a photo seems like forever. When you click on the Camera icon on your home screen, you can expect to wait a short while before you can actually take a picture. The delay in between taking photos is also pretty painful, especially if you have the HDR option switched on.