iOS 10 is still a mess, but at least it's a snappy, stable mess

September 1, 2016

I've now been using the iOS 10 beta for almost eight long, painful weeks. But now that we're a week away from a release date for Apple's newest mobile operating system, I thought I'd give you an update of where I think it's at, and what you can expect when it's finally released in a few weeks.

After a week of using the iOS 10 beta I called it a total mess. And it was. I'd essentially taken my workhorse iPhone and near crippled it by applying the beta. Yup, I know, betas and all that, but there's no better way to get a feel for a platform, and get an understanding of its evolution than to start using it as early as possible.

And in many ways I'm glad that I did because I've seen a lot of changes. While I won't comment on how the stability or performance of beta software is in any detail, I'm pleased to report that the current iOS 10 beta that I'm running on my workhorse iPhone has settled down to be very stable and snappy. If the current levels of performance and stability carry forward to the release version, then I think people will be happy on those two fronts.

I've also seen huge battery life improvements over the past few weeks. I'm now at the point where I'm getting the sort of battery life that I'd expect based on my daily usage.

So no complaints there, either.

But... (there's always a "but," isn't there?).

The first, and I think most annoying, gotcha of switching to iOS 10 is Apple's insistence on shoving too much of my data onto the lock screen. I wholeheartedly agree with my colleague Zack Whittaker when he says that a lock screen shouldn't be a hub of information. I don't understand why Apple would go to the trouble of building a secure platform, and then develop a super-convenient method of unlocking the device that only requires the tap of a finger, only to then, by design, make so much information accessible without needing to authenticate.

The answer, of course, is convenience. Apple realizes how complex iOS has become, with information buried in every nook and cranny, and this is how it has chosen to float this information to the surface.

Problem is, putting it on the lock screen makes it plainly visible to all.

And because the lock screen is now a sort of hub for what's been going on since you last used your iPhone or iPad, Apple has tweaked the Touch ID process to make it harder to blow by all this junk.