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The iOS 15 public beta is here, but maybe you should skip it?
Plus, the iPad might get OLED, Instagram's "Exclusive Stories," and Google's departure from APKs.
Apple releases the first public betas for most of its new software coming later this year, including iOS 15.
Apple is now letting anyone register and test iOS 15 before its release in the fall.
The update has plenty of new features in tow.
However! Unless you’re super curious as to how one of these grab-bag features works, you’re better off waiting until the final release.
Apple is making most of the new software it debuted at WWDC 2021 available to the general public… through a beta program. The company, ahead of schedule for once, has dropped the first round of public betas for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15. Notably absent from this list is macOS Monterey which should get a public beta in the near future.
I’ve been using the developer betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 for a little bit, and they both seem like solid updates. There are plenty of beta preview articles and videos you can go check out at other sites, but for this newsletter, I’m gonna ask this question: are either of them exciting enough to install in beta form?
I know you’re itching to. Who doesn’t wanna install the next version of iOS before everyone else? however, when it comes to this year’s major releases, I think you should hold off until the final versions roll out. Here’s why.
Apple isn’t going the full-on “revolutionary software upgrade” route with either of these updates. Both feel very much like a group of developers weren’t allowed to interact with each other for a year and were still expected to deliver well-rounded major upgrades for devices that sell in the tens of millions each year.
That’s precisely what happened thanks to the pandemic. With iOS 15, it’s obvious some features were born out of the readjusted needs and expectations we all grew accustomed to like making video calls, interacting with different types of devices daily, and trying to enjoy our devices after reliance on them grew exponentially in a short amount of time.
FaceTime, for example, is getting SharePlay support so you can watch videos and stream music with friends while on video and audio calls. New Focus modes will help you control what notifications you get at certain times and which apps appear on your home screen. There are plenty of pre-installed app updates like a redesigned Weather interface, tweaks to Photos and Wallet, and more detail in Maps. Plus, Siri is way faster.
Meanwhile, the iPad gets better multitasking capabilities, widgets on the home screen, App Library, the same FaceTime and Focus features, new stock apps, and more.
Altogether, the features improve core functions of each OS and glaze over quality of life. Neither iOS 15 nor iPadOS 15 are here to change the way you use your iPhone or iPad, which is fine. I wouldn’t expect that to come out of a year of development tarnished by a literal pandemic. But as an end result, both of these new updates are improvements to what already works on iOS and iPadOS, which is to say it’s a mish-mash pot of minor updates that’ll hopefully be responded to well.
To me, none of that is worth installing beta software over to gain access to, especially if it means sacrificing your main devices. Even if you have a secondary device, though, you aren’t gonna notice a dramatically improved experience when you begin interacting with it. I certainly didn’t when I installed the betas.
For this year, I’d wait until both updates ship out in their final form to customers before installing. Neither offers a compelling enough package to install an unstable version on your device.
I mean, do what you want. Don’t let me stop you if you absolutely need Focus modes on your iPhone right this instance. For everyone else, though, you should probably just be patient.
Apple might be working on an iPad Air with an OLED screen for next year, while the iPad Pro will have to wait until 2023 to get the screen technology.
The Cupertino company is also declaring the famously thin 2015 MacBook a “vintage” product.
T-Mobile unveils the new Revvl V Plus 5G, a $199 phone with a 6.8-inch screen and a 5,000mah battery.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has leaked in a set of new renders courtesy of Android Headlines.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has also made an appearance in a set of renders, this time from 91Mobiles, which showcase a squared-off design and new color palette.
Instagram is working on a new “Exclusive Stories” feature that will let users charge their followers to see certain content posted to their story.
The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has stated that the app is “no longer a photo-sharing app” in hopes of expanding the platform to other areas of entertainment going forward.
TikTok just deleted over seven million accounts on its platform, allegedly belonging to minors.
Slack introduces Huddles, a new tool that lets you have live audio conversations with co-workers on the platform.
AT&T is finally rolling out RCS support through Google Messages on Android (finally!).
Google has confirmed it’s moving away from APKs in favor of a proprietary Android App Bundle (or .AAB) for apps delivered through the Play Store.
Robinhood, the stock trading app, gets fined nearly $70 million by FINRA over certain issues the organization has spotted in the company.
Maine adopts the strongest facial recognition laws in the country.
The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has sold a source code NFT worth $5.4 million.
Amazon believes the new chairwoman of the FTC, Lina Khan, should stay out of regulatory investigations into the company.