Why You Probably Shouldn’t Install iOS 7 Right Now [Opinion]

IMG_2379

In the words of Apple itself, iOS 7 is the biggest change to their mobile operating system since the introduction of the original iPhone back in 2007. It’s more functional then ever, it’s prettier than ever: it’s the very definition of digital design purified and clarified down to the very basics of form merged with function.

Understandably, that means that many people are tempted to install it on their devices, either by forking over $99 for an Apple developer account or paying five or ten bucks to someone online to register your UDID for you.

We know it’s hard to wait, but you really shouldn’t do it. Here’s why.

There’s a lot of new stuff to love about iOS 7. The totally redesigned Multitasking app-switcher. The new lock screen. The revamped Notification Center. A super-charged Siri. A new, easily-accessed quick settings bar. Pretty much every app you can think of has been revamped and stripped down to its essence. At every level, iOS 7 is a slick revitalization, rejuvenation and resurrection of the core iOS experience: for the first time ever, the same man who designs the iOS hardware has given birth to the design of its software.

There’s more reasons for holding off on installing iOS 7 than there are to install it.

So it’s natural that you’d want to give iOS 7 a spin. But the truth of the matter is that, unless you’re a developer, there’s more reasons for holding off on installing iOS 7 than there are to install it.

First of all, there’s the matter of getting it on your device to begin with. The only way to get iOS 7 on your device without violating their Terms of Service is to pay $99 for an Apple Developer account. That’s a lot of money to pay to get some unfinished, buggy software on your iPhone a little bit early (more on the understandable bugginess of iOS 7 in a minute).

Of course, you can always pay some stranger $5 or $10 to register your device UDID, which would allow you to install the beta. There’s loads of people who do this: just Google up ‘UDID registration.’ That’s a far more palatable price than $99, of course, but it’s a far shadier prospect: not only do you have no way of determining that your device will actually be registered when you fork over your money, but the UDID Registration service you use could always be found out by Apple, revoking all the UDIDs tied to that Developer account. That won’t permanently brick your iPhone, but it does mean your window of trying iOS 7 could be very, very small, and you’ll be back to reinstalliong iOS 6 before you know it.

But the real reason you probably shouldn’t install iOS 7 if you aren’t a developer is because it’s a beta, and guess what? Betas suck! They’re buggy! They are unfinished! They have like half the battery life! All your favorite apps crash!

Betas suck! They’re buggy! They are unfinished! They have like half the battery life! All your favorite apps crash!

This fact can’t really be overstated: if you’re using iOS 7, there’s a chance close to 100% that an app you depend upon every day won’t work at all, or that your battery life will just plummet by three-fourths in an hour. You’ll waste time getting angry about stupid feature gaps that Apple will address in future betas, and get attached to features or icons that Apple will nuke from orbit in a month or two.

To be a cool kid and have iOS 7 running, it means effectively breaking your iPhone, making it far less functional device than it was before. Not only that, but you have to pay money for the privilege… money that might end up being stolen from you at the end of the day.

“Would I pay someone $10 to install a pretty new UI, break my iPhone, then mug me?”

So before you install iOS 7 as a non-developer, ask yourself a question: “Would I pay someone $10 to install a pretty new UI, break my iPhone, then — if they felt like it — finish off the transaction by mugging me?” Because if you’re not a dev, chances are that’s the experience you’re looking at. Devs have to go through this sort of frustration to get their apps ready for you when iOS 7 is official. There’s no reason you need to suffer with them!

Cult of Mac’s recommendation? iOS 7 will be out in three months, and when it comes out, it’ll be as Apple & Jony Ive envisioned it, not a half-baked casserle of brightly-colored Playdough spaghetti. You can wait, and when iOS 7 finally ships? It’ll be worth that wait.

  • ac1dra1n

    I wasn’t sure what beta I was reading about. Maybe because all the betas have these issues.

  • nw_photography

    I am very pleased with the beta so far, and I am not a developer. I found someone on ebay to register my UDID. The install was flawless and I was up and running in no time! Although this is a beta version, it seems pretty stable so far! I have only had one or two apps crash, but after I delete and re-install, they seem to be working fine! As far as battery life, I fully charged it last night, and as of noon today, I’m still at 83% – which seems good. Very good actually. All-in-all I’m quite happy with my little install. I haven’t had time to dig into everything yet, but it looks good so far :)

  • JohnSpasm

    Good advice, bad thing is i already have it hahahaha. Battery life sucks big time! and im not that impressed.

  • Hawk_Ky

    I’ve had it installed since the hour it came out and have ZERO issues so far.

  • Eurofag

    Nice opinion, dude and you’re entitled to it but it’s also wrong.
    I had absolutely NO issues since yesterday. No slowness. No crash. No drain. No respring. No lag. Only small ui glitches here and there (in 3rd party apps) but everything works perfectly.

  • smccauley1011

    You can get the beta without being a developer you just have to find the iOS 7 beta firmware and restore your iPhone to 6.1.3/4 then go to iTunes after the fresh restore and hold option on the Mac and shift on the PC while you click update and choose the iOS 7 firmware. When it is done updating it will not ask to verify if it is a developers device. Did it this morning everything is working fine hope this saves people some money instead of paying sketchy people to allow you to do it. Its free.

  • lowtolerance

    Nice opinion, dude and you’re entitled to it but it’s also wrong.
    I had absolutely NO issues since yesterday. No slowness. No crash. No drain. No respring. No lag. Only small ui glitches here and there (in 3rd party apps) but everything works perfectly.

    People like you are exactly the sort of people who shouldn’t be using a beta. Betas are intended to be tested by developers with a discerning, objective eye for issues, not fanboys who refuse to see issues for what they are. iOS 7b1 is definitely laggy. Some apps *will* crash on it. Battery life *will* be worse. This isn’t a slam against iOS, this is exactly what one would expect to see in a beta like this.

  • Robert X

    Nice opinion, dude and you’re entitled to it but it’s also wrong.
    I had absolutely NO issues since yesterday. No slowness. No crash. No drain. No respring. No lag. Only small ui glitches here and there (in 3rd party apps) but everything works perfectly.

    It’s still a BETA. You have been warned.

  • Eurofag

    Betas are intended to be tested by developers

    Sure thing. That’s exactly what’s going on.
    “Betas suck! They’re buggy! They are unfinished! They have like half the battery life! All your favorite apps crash! ”
    This is clearly an overstatement (even if intended) in this case.
    But whatever floats your boat.

  • DJBabyBuster

    I just updated to iOS 7 and it was the absolute best decision for someone who has lost their jailbreak. I lost my iPhone 5 jailbreak when I had to replace the phone because of dust under the lens creating dead pixels. I was devastated that I’d be forced to live with a non-jailbroken phone for the next 3 months waiting for iOS 7, and figured I had nothing to lose.

    As previously stated, If you just upgrade and don’t restore, you don’t have to register your device to the developer list and its a piece of cake. Just snatch the correct .ipsw file for your phone and carrier, toss it on the desktop, plug in your phone to iTunes and hold option while clicking check for updates. Select the .ipsw file and you’ll be upgraded in a few minutes with no fee and without restoring.

    Honestly there’s almost no lag, and I’ve yet to find an app that crashes (safari has crashed once). More like 99% likelihood that all your apps will work. Yes its a beta, but honestly if you were already running jailbroken with a ton of tweaks, the almost imperceptible lag and occasional crashes are likely on par.

    iOS 7 has addressed almost all of my jailbreaking needs, with the exception of MiWi. Guess I’ll still be jailbreaking for that one.

  • Oleguer Txdr

    I downloaded and successfully installed iOS 7 absolutely for free. After 24 hours using my iPhone 5 much more than I usually do, showing my friends how it looked and so on, my battery was still 34%, while when I was on iOS 6 the battery life was about 8 hours fully using it.

    I wouldn’t say it’s THAT buggy. I haven’t had a problem with it. I just miss the tweet and post buttons in notification center, that the screen goes off while calling and the only real bug I’ve experienced is that the apps like Google’s Translator, that hasn’t been updated to fit the iPhone 5’s screen, just crash. Luckily I don’t depend on apps like that.

    So far, my experience as a base customer has been more than satisfactory and I would recommend everyone to try iOS 7 out. But hey, remember that you don’t have to pay those $99 or $5-$10, since there are lots of site like Maypalo where you can download the ipsw file for free.

  • joewaylo

    I’m honestly going to wait until October. Betas are sometimes open access to hackers plus the apps won’t entirely work for your device for 3/4s of the time.

  • stanislawolszak

    Not now, not ever unless Apple fixes the UI…

  • calmasacow

    Battery life is definitely less I wouldn’t say half though. and the only application that I have had crash is Skype.

  • shamus109

    Well I did it anyway and haven’t experienced any major problems. I’m even getting a higher BenchMark score using geek bench on my iPhone 5 on iOS 7 compared to iOS 6.

  • NYPatriot1625

    “It’s more functional then ever, it’s prettier than ever:”

    Awesome.

  • technochick

    This article only needs one paragraph.

    It’s a beta, it’s buggy. And Apple isn’t support beta software at their genius bars. So if the beta does something crazy like stops your phone from making or receiving calls, too bad, you are stuck with it. That the guy that you paid $20 to register your UDID didn’t tell you this isn’t their problem.

  • Rp_46

    If anyones keen to try iOS 7 I set up a quick site on what to do, have about 96 UDID device slots left…

    http://get.ios7early.com

  • AppleMeOut

    Hey everyone! If you want to register your UDID, I sell them for cheap! Go to our website: http://ios7reg.blogspot.ca/! Registration happens instantaneously!

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in Featured stories, News, Top stories | Tagged: , , , , , |