iPhone and iPad users testing the iOS 11.3 beta are dealing with various performance issues including user interface lag, lockups, and freezes.
iOS 11.3 beta testers are complaining about severe battery drain, busted Bluetooth, finicky apps, lag, stuttering, random reboots, and freezes.
These problems are affecting those on the developer beta and those using the public iOS 11.3 beta via Apple’s Beta Software Program.
If you’re experiencing these problems on your iPhone or iPad, they might have you considering a downgrade to an official version of iOS 11. That’s certainly an option, but you’ll want to try and fix your performance issues before giving up on Apple’s latest beta.
This guide outlines the steps to take if iOS 11.3 beta starts acting up on your device. Some of these steps take a few seconds to complete, others are a little more involved.
We recommend setting aside 15-20 minutes of quiet time to perform some trial and error on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch when and if you start noticing issues with iOS 11.3 beta.
Restart Your Device
In our experience, a simple restart could have a tremendous effect on your device’s performance, particularly if you haven’t rebooted your phone or tablet in awhile.
Most of you already know how to reboot your device but just in case, hold down your power button until it asks you to slide to turn the device off. Power it down and then hold down the power button to power your device back on.
Free Up Storage
If your device is running out of internal storage, we highly recommend doing some cleanup. If you reduce the amount of clutter on your iPhone or iPad, you could see a nice boost to your device’s overall speed.
Head into the Settings application and go to General. Scroll down to where it says iPhone Storage (iPad if you’re on an iPad). iOS 11 gives you a much more detailed look at the data being stored on your device. It also makes some recommendations based on your utilization of the hard drive. Consider taking Apple’s advice.
Scroll down to see what’s taking up the most space on your device. Comb through it all and delete the files you no longer need.
For more on quickly freeing up storage, take a look at our in-depth guide.
Update Your Apps
iOS beta software and first and third-party apps and services typically don’t get along. iOS 11 is no different.
We, and many others, are dealing with a frustrating iOS 11.3 beta app problems. Some apps are crashing, others are extremely buggy. This is normal for pre-release software.
While there’s no cure-all fix for iOS 11.3 beta app issues, there are a few things to try. First, try updating the app with the latest bug fixes and support.
If that doesn’t help, try reinstalling the application. Delete it from your device (hold down the icon until you get the little X) and then download it from the App Store.
Again, apps are prone to go haywire on pre-release software and there’s a good chance one or more of your applications are causing the performance issues on your phone.
First, we recommend deleting apps you no longer use to see if that helps. If it doesn’t, you might want to delete your apps one-by-one in an effort to find a rotten apple.
This is a tedious process but it could help negate the performance problems you’re seeing on your device.
iOS 11 features a ton of widgets. You probably don’t use all of them so it would be a good idea to disable any that aren’t in use. You could see a small performance boost.
To get a handle on your widgets, swipe to the right while you’re on your device’s the home screen. Scroll all the way to bottom of the list and select Edit. It’s the circular icon.
On the next screen you should see a long list of services and apps. These are your widgets. To remove a widget, tap the red circle with the white line and tap Remove. Remove as many as you want. You can always add them back.
Stop Background Refresh
If you’re using Background Refresh on iOS 11.3 beta, try killing it to see if your device’s performance improves.
When Background Refresh is turned on, your apps will be updated with new information while the app is idling in the background. It’s a resource hog and shutting it down could make things easier on your device’s processor.
To get a handle on this, head to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and toggle Background Refresh off. This will kill the feature.
You can also go down the list of apps one-by-one and disable them on case-by-case basis.
If your animations start to get choppy, try toning them down.
Like iOS 10, iOS 11 provides a sense a depth when you tilt your device and open and close your apps. Minimizing this feature could smooth out iOS 11.3 beta’s performance.
To reduce Motion Effects on your device, go to Settings > General > Accessibility and toggle Reduce Motion on. Note that reducing Motion Effects will also disable some features like the bubble effect in the Messages app.
You’ll also want to reduce transparency and blur effects. This could also help out your device’s processor.
To Reduce Transparency in iOS 11.3 beta, head into Accessibility > tap Increase Contrast and then tap the toggle to turn on the Reduce Transparency function.
Download the Latest iOS 11.3 Beta
The iOS 11.3 beta will never be perfect. That said, the company gradually start to fix some of the issues beta testers and its engineers find.
We expect future iOS 11.3 beta updates to fix at least some of the bugs from the previous releases and a new beta could have a positive impact on your device’s overall performance.
Keep an eye out for the next iOS 11.3 beta. It should arrive soon.
Install iOS 11.2.6 for Better Security
If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose is to patch up this issue.
If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.
If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.2.6 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.2.6 update will come with a lot more.
Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.
The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.2.6.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.2.6 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.
The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."
Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.2.6 if you skipped iOS 11.2.
If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.2.6 update.
The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.2.6 update will come with additional security features.
In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.
If you skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.2.6 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.2.6. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your version of iOS 11.2.6.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.2.6 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.