I’ve been using the iOS 11 public beta’s for some time now and I’ve had mixed feelings about the way iOS 11 works… some features are really useful, and others are not, some are really intuitive and some are… not.

Some nice features that I have been discovering, such as the drag and drop multiple items feature, has been really useful, but due to them being so different, I keep forgetting about them. One of those was the multi drop feature, which this morning I remembered about when I decided to rearrange my apps due to storage issues. I’ve been finding that iOS 11 (Public Beta 8) has some annoying ways of working. Whether this is meant to happen when space is at a premium, or just an annoying bug I don’t know, but we will see when the full version finally arrives later this month.

I have found iOS 11 deletes PDF magazines saved in iBooks all by itself and this has left me with the problem of having to re-download these magazines as I was in the middle of reading them. That’s fine if I’m in a good WiFi area such as at home but, not so much when I’m out and about. It’s not only the oldest issues that go but also several other issues, why it’s always the oldest issues I don’t know, maybe iOS 11 thinks as its old it won’t be needed, but its a real pain in the bum all the same.

So, this morning I yet again re-added those issues for reading later today, as a wee wander into Glasgow for a relaxing coffee and read being my wont for today.
Now, there’s one puzzle that I haven’t fathomed yet, I checked to see what space I had left on my iPad Pro before downloading those issues again and according to the system information, I have 6-7 GB’s available on my iPad Pro. So why is iOS 11 deleting those issues when there should be plenty of space available? ‘Okay’ I think, ‘maybe it’s a system thing that needs the extra space so let’s see what apps etc I can do without’, or it could be due to my importing images last night from my SD card to edit for posting to Flickr but normally if there isn’t enough space, I get a message saying I don’t have the space…odd.
That’s when I remembered that I can move multiple items at one stroke… just hold a finger on one app, then touch each extra app to add to the pile, then drag them into the folder I wanted to move them too… just like wizardry!

As a Public Beta user, you’ve got to be brave, or just plain daft, to want to suffer the pain that Beta users go through, but it has its benefits too. We get to try out the new iOS before most users, find problems that haven’t been found by the developers using the non public Beta’s, but also we are contributing in a real way too as we can find problems that developers either don’t see or don’t find in every day use.

I feedback these problems through an app called Feedback… yeah, that obvious, and I also send errors to @Serenak in the Slack too. You do get to the point where you think ‘why did I do this!’ when you think you’ve gone and lost things irretrievably, but so far that hasn’t happened.

An interesting new feature is screen recording. At first, you would think this is a bit pointless but, it’s proved very useful especially while doing this Beta stuff. I’ve been able to record what I have seen go wrong, last night (Saturday 2 Sept) I went to edit an image that was in Photos. When I opened it in Snapseed, it opened in the wrong orientation chopping off the top and bottom of the image. No matter how often I closed and opened image in the app, it still did this so I switched on screen record. A count-down shows on the screen record button, allowing you to open up what you want to record then it activates with a red recording bar at the top of the screen. This recorded the image opening error beautifully and even captured my fix, I just double tapped the image and it opened correctly, then, by just touching the red strip the recording ends, and a message pops up say the recording was saved to Photos. A feedback report was then made in the Feedback app and the recording added… much easier to show the problem than to describe it I would say.

It’s not all plain sailing though as things that you’re used too in iOS 10 don’t work in the same way in iOS 11. I used to just slide up from the Dock to switch off the WiFi in iOS 10, and then close down the WiFi completely but now, whether this is by design or just something not yet fixed in iOS 11, that doesn’t happen. Now, all it will do is log you off the WiFi you are connected too and leave WiFi open which means you can unwittingly join unknown WiFi’s, which could be a scammer’s hotspot. You now need to open up the WiFi settings in the system settings and switch off from there. Another problem, which I hope is a bug and can be fixed before the release date is with ‘Ask to Join’. This has a habit of switching from on to off which means if the above happens, you could again be logging into scammer’s WiFi. Another bug I’ve found is actually happening as I type this; the Dock wont drop out of sight as it’s meant to do, so its covered over the word selection bar at the bottom of the screen, thus hiding any spelling options.

I’ve recorded it via the screen record, live, so that I can send video along with the feedback for it to be analysed back at the Mothership. So, things are moving fast and furious as the Pubic Beta’s come in… and in some ways, we might be seeing the future of iOS and macOS as both OS’s become ever so alike: can we be seeing the end in sight for macOS? Hmm…

By James Ormiston

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