iOS 11 Public Beta PSA

iOS 11’s public beta came out earlier this week; I installed it yesterday. I do this not only because I like having the new features early, but also because Apple makes it super-easy to get feedback to their developers.

If you are thinking about running the beta (or are already doing so), keep this in mind (from the perspective of a software engineer):

  • Expect bugs. There are plenty of them.
  • If you absolutely rely on your hardware to get your work done, this is not for you. Wait for the final release.
  • If you find bugs, file them. This is your responsibility as a tester. The engineers at Apple need your feedback. Use Feedback Assistant early and often — it’s a really great reporting tool and only takes 5-10 minutes of your time. Give detailed bug reports, with clear reproduction steps if at all possible. Use screenshots liberally, and use the built-in screen recording tool (available via Control Center) to your advantage here, too.
  • Ensure feedback is constructive. There are people on the other end of your message, and you bet they are reading these reports.
  • “It’s broken” is not a bug report. It’s a colossal waste of time.
  • If your third-party apps have problems, don’t berate the engineers of those apps. File reports within Feedback Assistant; Apple will pass them along.
  • Have fun. The Summer of Bugs is not for the faint at heart, but it can be pretty rewarding!