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iOS5: There’s a reason it’s called ‘beta’ software.

iOS5: There’s a reason it’s called ‘beta’ software.

Malcom Barclay comments on how iOS 5 is hurting App Store reviews,

I can understand users are very eager to get their hands on the latest & greatest iOS shown off at WWDC. So they sign up for developer accounts for £59, with a few clicks and an alternative restore through iTunes. Voilà new iOS on shinny iPhone. Problem is, this is beta software and there’s a very good reason it’s called beta software. It’s not finished.

Barclay writes, “The review system is not for leaving bug or support related questions, for example, ‘How do I add a favourite?’.” While the review system in the Mac App Store is generally unfiltered and used to spew much vitriol if an app doesn’t work, the iOS 5 beta adds to this problem since so many casual users are downloading the software early from Apple or somewhere online, and then complain when these apps are broken or crash.

Barclay reminds us that while Apple doesn’t provide a proper support system so developers can better engage with customers, that you should be mindful (in general) and contact the developer directly with any questions, concerns, or bugs. With iOS 5 just being released this week, developers have had little time to update their apps, submit it to the app store, wait for the review process, and fix any current bugs. Considering that iOS 5 is beta software, you shouldn’t expect anything to run smoothly - iOS 5 is scheduled to be released in the fall, and iterative updates will be made in the meantime. “There is no point in dev’s releasing fixes for these issues yet because this is just beta 1, there could be as many as 6 more to go.” Barclay concludes.

Many of us often forget that the beta labels software that is untested; instead it’s associated with ‘early’ or ‘preview’. If you currently have iOS 5 running on your devices, be aware that developers aren’t supermen. Many are just getting back from WWDC (full of knowledge), and will be working to update their apps for the scheduled Fall release. If stuff doesn’t work in the meantime, that’s the risk you take. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy your first look, but to simply to be mindful that you’re using an unfinished product.