Why you shouldn’t install the iOS5 Beta

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I have to admit, getting a hold of the iOS5 Developer Beta is mighty tempting. Not only is the developer program only $99 to sign-up for, but there are a handful of websites out there that are selling spots on their “development team” so you can activate your device and install the new OS from Apple. Also, considering that as a web & graphic designer I have connections with various people who have legitimate developer licenses with Apple that I might convince to let me take a look-see.

Why I really want iOS5

Notifications

The primary object of my affection is the new notification system. Ever since I broke down and purchased an iPhone 4 in December 2010, the one thing that has bothered me more than anything else was the complete lack of notification history, furthermore, the only way I could obtain such a gem would be to jailbreak it, because third party apps just could not do the trick (believe me, I tried Boxcar, but it was just too slow and I’d end up getting the notifications for Facebook, on Facebook from the regular notifications before they would show up in my Boxcar feed, which made it just as pointless). It was obvious that it would just need to be integrated into the OS. Since I arrived to this conclusion, I have been patiently waiting for iOS5.

iMessage

Since the big reveal, there are a lot of other features that have caught my eye, such as being able to message between other iOS5 devices without paying for SMS charges. With the vast amount of people using the iPhone, many people I know and want to talk to would definitely benefit from this. At the moment I am using Google Voice to send SMS messages, which means if someone sends me a regular text, I generally reply with that number. That’s fine, but if I know that someone is an iOS5 user, then it would be easy for me to simple use the messaging app which requires zero thought. If you think that SMS is a gigantic rip off, you are not alone… hopefully the iPhone will pave the way with a new alternative for smartphones.

Camera & Photos

I’m also very interested in the updated camera app, this may replace my current go-to camera+. However, it would be nice to be able to change what camera app loads. In a pinch, when you really need to capture the moment, I don’t think it matters, but for Hipstamatic/Instagram/LemeLeme fans that use those Apps exclusively, it would be a nice touch. Not that we want to clutter the lock-screen too much because it would defeat the purpose.

Reminders

Having felt the dismay of wishing for better to-dos, yet complying with the universal laws of KISS (keeping it simple stupid), I’m also intrigued by the new reminder app. I like the location notification and definitely want to give that a shot. I like the idea, because it seems more intuitive then trying to estimate time. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’ll be ready to do something if it’s more applicable to WHERE. The catch is going to be how simple it is to set up and actually use on a daily/weekly basis.

The era of temptation

My knee-jerk reaction when I found out that I could pay someone $5.99 to activate my phone and download the update my heart skipped a few beats. My finger, poised over the mouse, ready to click “buy now” once my brain sent the appropriate response down through my arm…but I hesitated. What are the ramifications of this? What is the risk, the downside? My breaths got shorter, my finger slacked.

I’m telling you this because I really, really, really, really, REALLY wanted to get it by any means necessary (just short of paying for the $99 developer fee, though, I wasn’t quite that desperate, or hacking/pirating). So, if you’re like me and need some help talking you out of taking the jump, here are the final, albiet a little reluctant, reasons why you shouldn’t install the iOS5 Beta.

5 reasons why you shouldn’t install the iOS5 Beta

  1. At the end of the day, a Beta is still a Beta, which means it’s not entirely ready for general people to use yet. There are bugs, and there could be serious ramifications including loss of data.
  2. The reason why the Beta is provided is so that App developers can prepare for the upcoming iOS5 launch, which means…they are still working on their Apps. There’s a good chance that a lot of your favorite Apps might be buggy or just plain broken in iOS5. Developers need time to work out all of these issues and provide an update after the official iOS5 launch, and likewise for the Apple development team, as referenced above.
  3. It’s just not right. I’m not sure about the legality of these websites selling spots on their development license, but it doesn’t sit well with me. They are clearly taking advantage of the program and making it easy and tempting for people to get their hands on iOS5 prematurely, without considering the consequences. I would feel better about it if there was a personal connection involved, such as, if you were friends with a developer, rather than turning to these schemers, but unless you are going to test Apps for said developer, then it’s still a gray area.
  4. This one is mostly for myself… but in the age of instant gratification will it really kill me to wait a few months and look forward to something? Have we all forgotten that patience is a virtue? Besides, I’m actually a relatively new iPhone user, what about all of the people who have been using them since it was first debuted? Patience is a virtue. Remember that!
  5. And, last but not least, just because something is out there, doesn’t mean you should do it. This is the age of technology…you can do a lot of things in very little time and end up regretting it. It’s worthwhile to do some research (hopefully, that is why you are here!), and determine if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Conclusion

That said, I am really looking forward to the update and am looking forward to the public release this fall. Hopefully that means more September than say, October or November, although I suppose I wouldn’t mind it if I got iOS5 for my birthday on Halloween :)

 

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