iOS 10 Beta Is Definitely Progressing, But Has A Long Way To Go Before Being Dubbed As 'Final'
Having used iOS 10 beta 1 for a few days on my iPhone, I made the bold move downgrading back to iOS 9.x thanks to broken functionality. But immediately after the release of beta 2 and first public beta, I made the jump once more.
I'm going to break my experience into two straightforward parts: the good stuff, and of course, bad. This pertains entirely to iOS 10 beta 2.
Let's start with the good stuff immediately: iOS 10 beta 2, once installed and booted up definitely feels far more snappier than the first beta which was released last month. I wouldn't use the term 'flies' by all means, but it definitely feels much more refined than the first one in many areas.
Apple has thrown in more than 50 new changes in beta 2. But all of those changes are extremely small to be noticed immediately. Come to think of them as refinements rather than something absolutely brand new though. And as you keep on using beta 2 after beta 1, you feel excited to find a part of iOS has seen an update in such a short period of time. For instance, when you launch Siri in iOS 10 beta 2, you now get this neat looking animation at the home screen where the icons slightly jump back, later on being taken over by the Siri UI itself. In the Clock app you get to hear a new sound when setting alarms. Widgets now occupy space in a more 'smart' manner, showing you the relevant information without looking out of place. These changes and more, a lot more, are scattered all over the place.
These small changes make up for refinements, in my opinion.
Overall I would rate beta 2 higher than beta 1, obviously. It's newer, faster, and packed with refinements. But, that doesn't mean it's perfect everywhere. That's why we're now going to jump into the bad stuff you'll encounter.
iOS 10 'beta' 2. See that 'beta' tag? It's there for a reason. It's unfinished software meant to be tested out by developers and public testers so that Apple can refine things as it comes closer to release. This in turn means that iOS 10 beta is not fit for being used as a daily driver.
In fact, the moment I'm done writing this, I'll be jumping back to iOS 9.x. Why? Because third-party apps are broken in the oddest of places. For instance, a particular app might work just fine without any sort of crash, but certain UI elements will look out of place. This is something which has been bothering me immensely during the time period of me testing iOS 10 beta.
If you make do with third-party apps a lot. Like, a lot! Then I do not recommend installing iOS 10 beta just yet. There's a high chance your favorite meme-generating app might not show full compatibility with iOS 10 just yet. And it won't, until or unless iOS 10 is rolled out on a massive scale to the public. That is bound to happen at the end of this year only. So, no proper third-party app updates till then.
Surprisingly though, iOS 10 beta 2 fares well, just like beta 1, when it comes to first-party apps. I didn't encounter crashes or anything, but there are certain oddities that can be passed up. After all, we're dealing with pre-release software here.
You will see performance improvements over beta 1 in beta 2, but I'm dead sure things can't be compared to how they're going to be when iOS 10 final hits download channels later this year. For a beta build, beta 2 is great. But if you're thinking of it as something far more, then you might want to lower your hopes a little. Basically iOS 10 beta 2 > iOS 10 beta 1, but not groundbreaking.
Like before, I will not touch upon battery life that much. It's bad, and will remain this way until we move closer to the final build. But I will tell you this though: it's better than beta 1. How much better? Only slightly.
We have a lot of beta builds to go through before we see the final release. I'll be reporting back on my experience as soon as the new beta build drops, so stay tuned!