If you were on earth today and you use technology, you might be excited about iOS 8 because you read about it on a tech blog or heard something about it on the news. You might even want it now, because there are tons of blog posts telling you how you can get iOS 8 right now. You’re wondering if it’s worth $99 to sign up for that developer account and see if all of those tech bloggers know what they’re talking about, and if the future we’re being promised on our Apple devices is really as great as everyone says it is.
I’m here to tell you one very important thing: DON’T. Don’t do it, gurl, don’t do it! Do not upgrade to the developer version of iOS 8 unless you’re a developer working on an app or something else for the platform.
PSA: if you aren’t a developer, please don’t download the iOS 8 beta and complain about buggy software for the next three months. Thanks!
— Jessy Irwin (@jessysaurusrex) June 2, 2014
Developers are a highly-evolved species of skilled digital nitpickers (ed note: I mean this with love) who are well equipped to give feedback, find security vulnerabilities, and report bugs that will affect their own software creations before this release finds its way to the public. I’ve worked for and advised a few iOS developers, and have upgraded twice to beta versions of iOS software in the past.
I am here to tell you that you don’t want iOS 8 because iOS 8 isn’t ready for
your jelly you just yet. Here’s why:
1) Beta software is notoriously buggy— because it’s a first draft of a piece of tech that hasn’t yet been put through the ringer, and then shined and polished for its intended audience. There are lots of buttons and interactions that just won’t work, because the lines of code that make them run still need a bit of work to make magic happen.
2) There’s no going back. Once you upgrade to the beta version of iOS 8, you’re stuck there– there’s no way to roll back the install and revert to fully-functional iOS 7 if you decide that you can’t handle it.
3) Your most loved and frequently used apps weren’t built to work with iOS 8. If you’re the kind of person who wants to watch your apps CRASH CRASH CRASH until the full release, you’re more than welcome to upgrade– for everyone else, just don’t do it.
4) Your phone could lose major functionalities for the unforseeable future. Last year, I was unable to use my camera for an entire weekend and couldn’t open Mail to save my life for three days. And that doesn’t even touch the intermittent issues that popped up with both Bluetooth and wi-fi in the beta period.
5) Security. New software and programming languages are, by definition, full of security problems. Apple does an audit before they release something into the wild… but do you really want to use something before white hat hackers have had a couple of months to sniff out all of the operating system’s 0day vulnerabilities and other potential weaknesses? (In case you’re wondering, “No” is the correct answer to this question.)
6) iCloud problems, you’re gonna have them. In this particular release, iCloud is changing everything– and that means it will probably be changing server environments, too. It’s very highly likely that your device, if upgraded, will stop synching/communicating with Mavericks and iOS 7 devices. No bueno!
Today’s WWDC keynote was a show-and-tell session of some pretty exciting stuff, a, but it’s important to note that Apple’s iOS 8 was released to a community whose feedback, over the next three months, will help them polish and refine the work they’ve been doing since last Fall’s public release.
Still thinking about downloading that hot new OS? You’re not going to get to the singularity or any other fully digitally connected cyborg future by downloading the latest operating system before anyone else has it, and by putting yourself through unnecessary pain to boot. So cool your heels, put down the credit card, and wait to install iOS 8 with the rest of us when it is in full release this Fall.
We (the regular people) will need all of the help we can get crashing Akamai’s servers (if Apple hasn’t replaced them with their own CDN) two years in a row ;)
Did I miss any other good reasons to wait before updating? Let me know in the comments!