iOS 11: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Unusable

As every nerd on the planet should be aware, iOS 11 was announced yesterday at WWDC 2017. Several improvements to the mobile operating system were announced including a revamped control center, person-to-person payments via Apple Pay, a completely redesigned App Store, and some major improvements to everyone’s, ok maybe just a select few people’s, favorite digital assistant, Siri.

Some of these changes came as a big surprise to the community, as Apple actually managed to keep a lid on rumors this year as far as iOS is concerned. Most “leaks” this year were pure speculation and conjecture, but a surprising number also hit the metaphorical nail right on the head.

One of the major changes is a new app called Files. The Files app gives iOS users something we have been sorely missing, access to some kind of filesystem. Not only that, but Files will integrate with cloud apps such as Box, Dropbox, Adobe, and more. This, combined with the new drag-and-drop functionality on iPads, will extend iOS like never before. Of course, native filesystem access has been available on Android for years, but I digress.

The goal of this post will be to document the iOS 11 beta as it develops. That means this post will grow continually over time until the final release of iOS 11 sometime this fall, so check back continually. I want to document features, bugs, compatible (and non-compatible) apps, and anything else that comes to mind. If you have any suggestions or something to add please drop a comment below! (please see the original post on my blog to keep updated!)

iOS 11 beta 1

My first impression of the first developer beta is about what you’d expect from a first beta; it’s buggy, certain apps refuse to launch, and I can’t use some of the best features because none of my family or friends have the beta installed. That being said, I do like what I have seen so far.

What works

Well just about everything that should work, does to varying degrees. The new App Store gets a big thumbs up! A design refresh has been long overdue, and I feel like they really did a good job. The new Today tab, which displays app tips, news, suggestions, and more, is ingenious. They also added a new dedicated Games tab, so as to keep apps and games separate, as well as providing a more centralized experience.

The new Control Center is amazing! The look will take some getting use to, but I am glad we finally have a modicum of control over its contents. Finally having a volume slider is probably the best overall improvement in iOS 11. I’m also glad they finally gave me another reason to use 3D Touch as well.

The new app drawer in the iMessage app is another marked improvement. One of my biggest problems with the iMessage Apps was the number of steps it took to get to the app I want. Now I can just slide to the app I want, select it, and done. A+ Apple.

What doesn’t work

I have found a number of bugs already, and I’m sure there will be more to come. It is the first beta, so I expected things to be buggy. One of the bugs was actually pretty funny as well. I could tell you what it is, but I think the below screenshot would be a good enough explanation on its own. I apologize in advance for the semi-nsfw content.

For those that don’t speak Spanish, bunny is conejo whereas judío is Jew and judías means Jewish. Therefore the actual translation of the above should be Quiero hacer cosas de conejos contigo. What she ended up telling me instead is “I want to do Jewish things with you”, which doesn’t carry quite the same connotation.

Besides the hilarious translation mistake, I’ve found several UI bugs. Mainly minor things though, considering. First off is in the Medical ID section of the Health app. When adding emergency contacts the delete icons are superimposed over the relationship.

In the new Files app if you go to the Browse tab and select edit the tabs at the bottom of the screen disappear. The only way I’ve found to get them back is to either select a tag and click back, or restart the app.

Multitasking is also a little wonky. Closing a running app causes some kind of UI stutter to occur. It’s not a big deal, but it is noticeable.

I will continue updating this list as I find new things, I would also appreciate comments and screenshots if you find something else!

Apps that are broken

I don’t have the entire App Store installed, so this is obviously not going to be an all inclusive list, but I will list the apps that I find that are completely unusable.

  • FabFocus

Thanks for looking! I'll try and keep this updated as new betas come out. Be sure to comment below if you find something I'm missing.