Historically, we’ve always recommended against downloading beta software onto your primary iPhone. But is that still the case for iOS 13?
You shouldn’t take risks on devices that are critical to your life or work, but Apple’s recent beta software is a lot more stable than it used to be. Here’s how to decide whether it’s worth it.
Why Beta Software Isn’t (Usually) Recommended
Beta software, by its very nature, is unfinished. That’s why developers and users beta test it: to play around with the software and find any glaring bugs or other issues with it.
Sometimes, those bugs are relatively minor and are mostly annoyances. Other times, more critical problems can cause havoc on your day-to-day digital life or workflow — or even “break” a device.
But, as we’ve mentioned, Apple’s iOS betas have gotten a lot better.
After a series of issues with iOS 11, the firm seemed to shift its focus to stability and performance. iOS 12 was a lot more stable than its predecessor and iOS 13 appears to be similarly clean.
Despite being a much more stable release, the last couple of iOS 13 betas aren’t without their issues, however.
Common Issues and Bugs in iOS 13
According to anecdotal user reports and our own testing, the first two iOS 13 betas appear to be fairly clean releases. The bugs that are present are relatively minor, too.
Still, here’s a sampling of the various minor issues we’ve seen on the very couple of iOS 13 beta builds. Note that not every iPhone or iPad model will experience these specific bugs.
- “Leftover” Dark Mode UI in the Notes app when switching to Light Mode.
- Certain Settings menus crashing the app on iPhone XR.
- Apple Maps can crash randomly.
- Soft reboots and app grid restrings on some iPad Pro models.
- Can’t upload images to Safari without the browser crashing.
- Unusually slow load times for large libraries in Photos.
- Various Continuity features are not working on certain iPhone and iPad models.
- Unable to set custom SMS tones or ringtones.
- Some third-party apps are broken in the iOS 13 betas — a
couplenotable ones include Fantastical 2 and Weather Up.
To be clear, these aren’t all of the bugs found in the iOS 13 betas. But they’re a good example of the (relatively minor) issues you may run into.
Should You Download It?
As you probably noticed, most of the bugs present in the latest iOS 13 betas are more annoyances than device-breaking issues.
Because of that, you’ll probably be able to download the developer or public beta without any significant problems. That could change in a future beta, but the current ones are actually pretty stable.
If your device is particularly important for your work or personal life then we still recommend against installing the iOS 13 beta on your daily driver.
In any case, make sure to create a full archived backup of your device via iTunes on a Mac or PC before downloading beta software.