iOS 5 beta review: the flaws

I downloaded the beta of iOS 5 almost as soon as it was available. I have to say, overall I’m impressed. You can see what I thought of specific elements in part 1 and part 2 of my beta preview. However great the setup, there are still some niggling bugs – plus features that don’t even work yet. So here goes:

1. Notification Syncing

You may have experienced differently to me on this, but, my two iOS devices don’t sync notifications. I’m not sure if it’s a bug, or just an oversight by Apple. A notification wil normally come through on both my iPad and iPhone. What I mean is, if I get an iMessage  and then proceed to read the message on one of my devices, the notification remains on the lock screen of other device. The same can be said for emails, Reminders, and calendar alerts. You’d think with Apple being so invested in the “automatic updates” thing, this would work seamlessly. It can get pretty irritating having to dismiss alerts on my iPad, after I’ve read them on my iPhone. Have you had the same experience?

2. Camera button

Using the volume up key as a shutter switch is a great idea, until you realize it involves turning your phone the wrong way around. Normally when taking a snapshot I’d have the handset in landscape mode, with the home key to the right of my device, and the camera in the top left. This is optimal, my left index finger generally secures the device by gripping on to the steel antenna, completely out of the way. However, by using a volume key as a shutter switch the camera then ends up in the bottom right, just by my right hand. So many times I’ve missed a shot because of a straying pinky. Apple – if you’re going to adopt a hardware shutter switch, do it properly, don’t just incorporate a handy jailbreak hack.

3. Call notifications – laggy

Missed calls show up on your lock screen like any other notifications. To return the call all you need to do is swipe the icon from left to right. This should immediately initiate a call to the desired person. What I’ve noticed – each time without fail – is that instead of being a fluid response and instant call, I end up waiting with my wallpaper and a couple of frozen icons on the screen in each corner. This lasts 3-5 seconds before the call is made. It’s not great, and I’m hoping the developer team at Apple works to make this more fluid.

4. Connectivity issues

A lot more often than previously, I’ve noticed a lot of dropped WiFi connection, and carrier signal. Even at home, sat a room away from my MicroCell the device will just drop signal completely for a few seconds and re-scan.

5. No Newsstand

This isn’t as much a flaw as it is an un-launched service. I’m presuming this will go live when iOS 5 is launched to the public later this year.

6. Home Sharing

A recently discovered flaw. When I access my new ‘Music’ app and select my shared library it shows playlists, but when I select ‘songs’, ‘albums’ or ‘artists’ it tells me I have no music to play. Upon restarting my device, they showed up fine. Either way, this inconsistency isn’t ideal.

Over to you guys. Have any of you downloaded the beta and experienced similar issues? Have you found major problems in other areas that I have yet to discover? Comment below or tweet me, @TiP_Cam.

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  • D E Browne

    It’s a BEEEEEEEEEETAAAAAAAAA!

    • Anonymous

      Amen to that!

    • Anonymous

      Amen to that!

    • Anonymous

      Amen to that!

    • Cam Bunton

      As mentioned by Caleb. The point of using a Beta is to discover the flaws so that Apple can work on them. If no one points out the issues, Apple won’t address them. I’m not complaining, expecting everything to work perfectly. I’m saying “hey guys, I’m experiencing this, what bugs have you discovered?”

  • Aillyas26

    It’s a beta, why don’t you review a production app. It’s 5 months away from release. Geez

  • Aillyas26

    It’s a beta, why don’t you review a production app. It’s 5 months away from release. Geez

    • Cam Bunton

      See my response to D E Brown.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JustinBauder Justin Bauder

    *crickets*

  • http://www.facebook.com/JustinBauder Justin Bauder

    *crickets*

  • http://www.facebook.com/JustinBauder Justin Bauder

    *crickets*

  • Jake Rosati

    Netflix app doesn’t work

  • http://twitter.com/vader317 Richard Sun

    iOS5 you’re holding it wrong!!

    • Anonymous

      Yawn :0

  • ray

    i mean 1 its a beta so most laggy or glitchy things will obviously be fixed, especially since they plan on waiting till fall this time, usually we wait a month tops…if they’re waiting that long they obviously plan on perfecting it, especially with implementation of more widgetes. and 2, the camera button was something the community asked for, and considering a certain app was submitted to the app store with the hidden feature more than once….pretty sure they got the idea that we wanted it, if you dont like it dont use it..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Tole/682020992 Jim Tole

    Like D E Browne states… It’s a BETA version ya it looks all cool and stuff. but look at it from this angel, Remember steve doing his pixel thingy rant abount the Rdisplay and the curve of the letter… well this is the blocky not so smooth version… I’ve got a few hick ups with mine but who really cares, we’ve got ios5 to show off lol

  • http://twitter.com/CalebShifflett Caleb Shifflett

    I think we understand that this is a beta, everyone, as we have been notified publicly and clearly that this is “coming in the fall.” Journalist are to present their readers information that apply to them and publish content relative to what is currently making headlines. 

    How do you think Apple learns what needs attention? Not only does Apple hire “field-testers,” Apple and other technology organizations take in consideration of the media as they have the consumer’s attention. Therefore, what Cam is doing and what others are reporting, better the iOS for everyone. 

    I’m not speaking on behalf of Todaysiphone.com, just as a fellow journalist.

  • APPLE COUNSEL

    You’re reviewing a BETA??  Didn’t you sign an NDA?  Is this even legal?

    • http://twitter.com/CalebShifflett Caleb Shifflett

      Apple has released Beta 1 to all developers. There is no presence of a NDA as Apple encourages its developers to dissect the iOS and “play around with it.” This isn’t national security we are talking about ;) 

      • http://www.facebook.com/stevensokulski Steven Sokulski

        Pretty sure there is an NDA.  The iOS 5 betas are being distributed only to registered developers and there is a clause in your developer contract which states you will not disseminate information regarding unreleased Apple software.

      • http://oscarolim.com Oscar Olim

        Xcode 4.2 Developer Preview, iOS 5 beta, iTunes 10.5 beta and Apple TV Software beta are pre-release software and are considered Apple Confidential Information and are subject to the terms of your iOS Developer Program License Agreement. Unauthorized distribution or disclosure of Apple Confidential Information is prohibited.

        • Cam Bunton

          If that’s so, why did Apple hold a hugely public keynote address showing off all the new features? 

    • http://twitter.com/CalebShifflett Caleb Shifflett

      Apple has released Beta 1 to all developers. There is no presence of a NDA as Apple encourages its developers to dissect the iOS and “play around with it.” This isn’t national security we are talking about ;) 

  • APPLE COUNSEL

    You’re reviewing a BETA??  Didn’t you sign an NDA?  Is this even legal?

  • http://twitter.com/ceddyy1 Cedric Van Giesen

    the facebook app is super messed up

    • http://twitter.com/CalebShifflett Caleb Shifflett

      Comically, I’m having issues with Facebook on a stable version of iOS. I cannot post status updates due to “an error has occurred.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/MaineGhostHunters.TonyL Tony Maineghosthunters

      The Facebook app is messed up regardless of the iOS version :).

  • okoboji

    I’m experiencing the “Home Sharing” bug and I don’t even have iOS 5 beta 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bryce-Daniel/100000317807782 Bryce Daniel

    Some of my apps instantly crash, but I expected that. As for the Beta itself, I get weird late notifications. Like for example, I get a Facebook notification, I read it and it goes away. But then a couple minutes later I will get the same notification. Same things happens with the mail. Also the mail gets stuck in loops of pushed mail and it will keep receiving the email and crashing and repeating until I smash my iPod with a brick. (Just Kidding). The reminders wont remind me when I leave a location either. Im not sure if it is because Wi-Fi triangulation is just not good enough or what, but it just doesn’t work. Lastly, the music app will sometimes just freeze especially if I search for a song in spotlight and click it. But as has been said multiple times, its a beta.

  • iOS 5 beta on iPad 2

    Is anyone else experiencing issues with the dictionary in iBooks on iOS 5 beta? I can view word definitions from any app but iBooks. When I tap “Dictionary” from the context menu, it shows a blank bubble. What gives?

    • Anonymous

      I have this exact same problem on my iPad. iPhone works normally. Hope they fix it in beta 2

      • Anonymous

        I’ve had the same issue on my iPad 2. They have not fixed it on Beta 2.

  • Mook

    I Can’t sync music on iOS 5! Why not?!

  • http://www.yaniel.com Yaniel

    Why does everyone keep saying “it’s a beta”?  Should he not state what flaws it has?  The entire point of beta software is for people to test it and state what flaws it has so the developer can fix it, not to keep tight lipped about them and hope they disappear by magic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stevensokulski Steven Sokulski

      If he is sending the information to the developer (Apple or third-party devs, depending on which apps are exhibiting bugs) then that makes perfect sense.

      Reporting on these for a general public that probably lacks access to the software and won’t see it until all of these bugs have been long-since ironed out seems like a waste of bytes.

      • Cam Bunton

        “Reporting” or sharing? The purpose of this post is to find out what the iPhone community is experiencing with the beta release, and to share my experiences. 

  • http://www.yaniel.com Yaniel

    Why does everyone keep saying “it’s a beta”?  Should he not state what flaws it has?  The entire point of beta software is for people to test it and state what flaws it has so the developer can fix it, not to keep tight lipped about them and hope they disappear by magic.

  • Paul

    I am just going to come out and say that i like iOS 5 even though it’s a beta but there are definite things that need fixing! I have an iPhone 3Gs and these are the problems/gitches I’m encountering.

    1. Songs on my phone show up but when i use the letter scroller on the side of the list, the names of the albums get switched somehow.

    2. Photos and Camera app constantly crash.

    3. Phone overall is very very laggy.

    4. wireless sync doesn’t seem to be working.

    5. Software update from my phone tells me that it can’t connect to server even though I’m on wifi. (I would’ve expected it to say something like no current update or whatnot).

    And those are as of now the pretty big problems I’m facing with it, but hey it’s the 1st beta and the software isn’t going to be released for another 4-5 months, so just relax everyone it has a lot of bugs but be patient because I’m sure their already working on a beta 2.

    Anyways, just thought i’d post my response.
    - Paul

    • Anonymous

      Wireless Sync is disabled in Beta 1. They have enabled it on Beta 2 but only for Macs.

  • Alex Holyoake

    Heavy 3D Games/Apps fail to launch and some apps (Safari & others) will crash randomly. I can live with it…but it needs to be fixed :P

  • culpinator

    on my ipad 2 I’ve noticed that if i leave it in standby for half the day a lot of times it won’t come back on and I’ll have to do a hard reset. And on the split keyboard (which is really handy!) when you switch over to the numbers and symbols page and press, say, a comma or something, on the normal keyboard when you hit the space button it automatically switches back over to the letter side. Not so on the split keyboard. I don’t know why they would make that different.

  • DW

    iOS 5 Beta (iPad 2)

    • Music App
    The new music player – in the search box, if you type in words to find a song, and then click the x to cancel the search, it fails to re-display your music again, leaving you to either search for something ot quit and re-launch the app. 

    • Safari
    Often times, when a webpage is loading, all fonts appear normal, but when the full page loads, fonts seem to blur, almost to the point of where you cant read it.

    • Various News Apps
    Lots of issues with crashing with alot of the popular news apps like CNN, ABC News, and Huff Post.

    • Wifi+3G
    The device will loose connection to wifi from a personal hotspot setup with an iPhone. Also when coming out from a non-service area, to a service area, it takes the device a long time to gain access to the 3G network – sometimes not at all unless you manually select the 3G network option from the network connections.

    • General…
    When using the iPad cover, when opening the cover, often times the device will just display a blank screen, or be crashed in a progress circle over a black screen – you are forced to hard reset.

  • http://oscarolim.com Oscar Olim

    What button do you prefer instead of the volume button? Maybe they will magically create a new button on all phones that have been sold so far so that you can have the home button to the right, and a new magical button on the right side of the phone.

  • Touch’M Sotware

    iOS 5 has issues with Bluetooth with devices like a Jawbone. When calling out it works fine but does not work for incoming calls.

  • Touch’M Sotware

    iOS 5 has issues with Bluetooth with devices like a Jawbone. When calling out it works fine but does not work for incoming calls.

  • Jack

    Your really gonna complain about the camera button it’s not that hard to hold the phone on either side & snap a photo

    • Cam Bunton

      It’s not a complaint, it’s an inconvenience, and I personally don’t like it. 

  • Lorenzoac7

    I have experience some bugs, but none of the problems you’re talking about.  And about the camera, that was a dumb point, I’m sorry.  When you get a digital camera, do you take pictures of it upside down??

  • Lorenzoac7

    I have experience some bugs, but none of the problems you’re talking about.  And about the camera, that was a dumb point, I’m sorry.  When you get a digital camera, do you take pictures of it upside down??

  • Anonymous

    You are going to have all these complaints with BETA software? Seriously…

    • Cam Bunton

      I wasn’t really complaining. I’m just pointing out the flaws. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=600652289 Courtney Darby

    I just installed ios 5 beta 3 on my iphone 3gs, and for some reason it wont sync my music or apps? i understand that it is a BETA, but something that big? surely not!

  • http://ryanbrodie.co.uk/ Ryan Brodie

    ryanbrodie.co.uk

    :)

  • Assmchole

    U moron Fu<ker bbbbeeee
    ttttttttaaaa

  • Assmchole

    U moron Fu<ker bbbbeeee
    ttttttttaaaa

  • Mrbiggdraws

    I lost the zoom function with the camera. Camera goes into camera roll mode when trying to zom