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iPhone 7 iOS 12 Beta Review: Impressions & Performance

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I recently installed the fourth public iOS 12 beta on the iPhone 7. There’s a lot to like about Apple’s latest version, but there are some reasons why you might want to keep your device on iOS 11.

Apple’s pushed out iOS 12 beta 4 to those participating in the Beta Software Program. The Beta Software Program is free to anyone with an Apple ID.

The iOS 11.4.1 update has been treating my iPhone 7 pretty well, but I decided to hop off iOS 11 in order to test iOS 12’s performance.

I’m really enjoying iOS 12’s features and performance has been pretty solid thus far. That said, iOS 12 has its fair share of issues and I’ve encountered several performance problems during my time with the software.

The fourth beta feels stable, but there are a few issues that might force me to drop back to iOS 11.4.1.

If you’re thinking about trying the iOS 12 beta allow me to take you through my brief impressions of the latest version’s performance on the iPhone 7.

iPhone 7 iOS 12 Beta 4 Installation

Before I get into the key areas performance, a few notes about the iOS 12 beta 4 installation.

Prior to running iOS 12 beta 4 my iPhone 7 was running iOS 12 beta 3. The fourth beta is a fairly sizable download and requires several hundred megabytes of space. If you’re moving from iOS 11.4.1 to iOS 12 beta for the first time, you can expect a 2GB+ download.

After spending a few minutes preparing the download, it took just about six minutes to pull the iOS 12 beta 4 file from Apple. The installation actually took less time to complete.

It took around four minutes for iOS 12 beta 4 to install on my iPhone 7. If you’re moving from iOS 11 to iOS 12 beta, your installation time will be substantially longer.

I haven’t seen too many complaints about iOS 12 beta installation issues, but there’s always a chance your download gets stuck or you encounter an error when trying to download the latest version.

If this is your first time installing iOS beta software please take a look at our iOS 12 beta download guide. It should help you get through the process problem-free.

Battery Life

I’ve only been using iOS 12 beta 4 for a short time so I can’t share anything about long-term battery life right. That said, what I can tell you is that short-term battery life is strong and I haven’t noticed any abnormal drain. It appears to be normal.

I’ve been using a mixture of Wi-Fi and cellular data and I’ve been able to go about a typical day answering emails, browsing the web, answering Slack messages, and making phone calls. I haven’t noticed much of a difference between iOS 12 beta 3 and iOS 12 beta 4.

I haven’t noticed any issues yet, but some users are running into battery life problems running iOS 12 beta. If you start to notice weird battery drain, check out my guide to fixing bad iOS 12 battery life.

If you can’t find a manual fix for your battery issue, you’ll want to downgrade back to iOS 11.

Connectivity

Connectivity sometimes takes a turn for the worst on beta software, but I haven’t seen any issues with my iPhone 7’s various connections.

I’ve been able to connect to several different routers including eero mesh Wi-Fi without any trouble. Those connections are stable and fast.

I’ve also been able to connect our device to several different Bluetooth devices including speakers and headphones. Everything is functioning like it did on iOS 11.

I’ve heard some rumblings about GPS issues, but I haven’t noticed any yet. My iPhone 7 was able to pinpoint and track my exact location in apps like Google Maps and Find My iPhone.

Cellular data is also working normally. I’ve successfully connected the iPhone 7 to AT&T’s LTE and 4G networks and speeds appear to be normal.

Apps & Services

One of my biggest gripes with pre-release iOS software is that it tends to conflict with core applications. I typically see an uptick in crashes, bugs, and other performance issues. It’s these issues that usually drive me to downgrade.

The good news is that iOS 12 feels is far more stable than some of Apple’s iOS 11 betas, but I’ve still run into issues with my apps and services.

Apps like Twitter, Chrome, and Gmail have already crashed during my short stay on the latest beta. Other core apps like Slack,  Soundcloud, and The Weather Channel are performing just fine.

I’ve only been using iOS 12 beta 4 for a short time so there’s a chance performance evens out. There’s also a chance these problems plague me throughout my time on this version of the beta.

At this point, app performance is too unpredictable. If you rely on the apps on your phone to get you through the day, you might want to stick around on iOS 11.

Speed

This is where the iOS 12 beta truly excels.

iOS 11.4.1 is pretty fast on my iPhone 7, but iOS 12 absolutely flies. This comes as no surprise given the performance improvements Apple’s promised in iOS 12.

If you recall, Apple says the iPhone 5s will open apps 40% faster, swipe to the camera from the lock screen 70% faster, show the keyboard faster, and deliver better all-around performance. And it’s not just fossils like the iPhone 5s that benefit. Newer devices like the iPhone 7 do as well.

Animations are fast and fluid, transitions are crisp, and I haven’t noticed any lag when pulling Control Center and Notifications open. I’ve seen a bit of keyboard lag, but that’s the only slow down I’ve seen during my time on the beta.

Just like it did on iOS 12 beta 3, my iPhone 7 randomly rebooted itself shortly after I moved to the new beta. That’s a red flag and something I’ll keep an eye on as we push away from the release.

Should You Install the iPhone 7 iOS 12 Beta?

iOS 12 beta 4 feels a lot like beta 3 and I haven’t seen any drastic changes in performance. If you’re currently running the first beta, you’ll want to install beta 4 because it comes with enhancements and important bug fixes.

Overall, there are some great reasons to give iOS 12 a spin on your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. There are also a few reasons why you might want to wait for an upcoming beta or for the final iOS 12 release this fall:

Pros

Cons

  • Potential for poor app performance.
  • Potential for crashes.

For more on the merits of iOS 12 beta, take a look at our walkthrough below.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 12 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 12 for Better Security

Install iOS 12 for Better Security

If you're on the fence, here's one of the best reasons to install iOS 12 right now or in the new future. 

If you value your device's security you'll want to install the iOS 12 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch sooner rather than later.

The iOS 12 update carries several important security patches that tackle potential exploits. Specifically, there are 16 patches for security issues. You can read about all of them over on Apple's website.

In addition to those patches, iOS 12 delivers new security features aimed at protecting you and the data you store on your device. These include:

  • Enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari prevents embedded content and social media buttons from tracking cross-site browsing without your permission
  • Suppresses ad retargeting by reducing advertisers’ ability to identify iOS devices uniquely
  • Strong and unique passwords are suggested automatically when creating an account or changing a password in most apps and in Safari
  • Reused passwords are flagged in Settings > Passwords & Accounts
  • Security code AutoFill presents one-time security codes sent over SMS as suggestions in the QuickType bar
  • Sharing passwords with contacts is easier than ever using AirDrop from Passwords & Accounts in Settings
  • Siri supports quickly navigating to a password on an authenticated device

If you skipped any previous versions of iOS 11, you'll also get the security patches from those updates in your iOS 12 upgrade. 

Long story long, if you store sensitive data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have some really good reasons to upgrade today. 

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