Hey you, the one running iOS 7 beta when you really shouldn't be: Stay classy!

Hey you, the one running iOS 7 beta when you really shouldn't be: Stay classy!

I meant to publish this on Monday but I messed up and forgot to. Sorry about that. But it's the same every year. The iOS 7 beta is intended for developers to test for bugs and software compatibility. It's not intended to be an early release preview, or the daily driver for anyone's main phone. This year more than ever, iOS 7 is really beta. It's not done. It's not cooked. It's cool as hell but there's a reason there's a lineup at the Apple Store outside Moscone for iPod touches. Not even developers want to risk their main phone. (I don't have it on my main phone either.) So here's the deal...

Stay away. And if you're not going to stay away, be classy about it. Respect the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) you become part of when you install the software. Send bugs to Apple, not to the front page, and absolutely don't post negative reviews for apps that don't work or look well under iOS 7. Developers will update what they can when they can, and find workarounds if and when possible, but they're not allowed uploading iOS 7 binaries yet, and won't be until just before launch. Send them bugs privately to help them out, don't screw up their ratings. They're not doing anything wrong.

Again, we -- and other people -- write this every year because some people tend to forget it every year.

Play with the beta if you have to, but stay classy about it.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Hey you, the one running iOS 7 beta when you really shouldn't be: Stay classy!


hello, newbie here....
i have iOS 7 beta 1 on my iPhone although i shouldnt.... beta 2 came out today, can i install it or will it not work since im not a developer?

You are an idiot for basically incriminating yourself. iOS7 is only avaiable to developers who are signed up with Apple as a Developer.

There's nothing incriminating about that because there is nothing criminal about having the beta.

Yeah, it actually is. By installing it without actually being a dev, or at least paying the $99 for a dev account, that means your pirated Apple's software. It's the same as pirating Windows 7. You're breaking international copyright laws.

Apple can stop this at any point. By registering your UDID your being added onto the developers account. If I add me friend to my developer account is that illegal? No. Apple allow it so you can test the software. Yes adding masses of people is wrong but it's not illegal.

True true, but dammit I want iOS7 and I'm not a dev so I wouldn't know what to do with it. And my ip5 is the only device I have that can run it right now. This is going to be a long summer.

Sent from the iMore App

You can get it for iPhone 5 now. Im running it on my only phone and it works just fine. It is surprisingly not buggy for a beta release. If you do find it doesn't work for you just revert back to ios 6

Am I the only one who feels that Apple's new adds are very unapple. I always felt that Apple adds under the Steve Jobs era popped. Love them or hate them, I would always stop and watch.

These new Designed in California, along with the Genius adds feel like some third rate ads from a third rate company. They are boring and don't feel premium.

I love iOS 7, but I'm starting to really consider Apple's direction post-Steve. I always felt that they had a good 5-7 years of juice left in them even after Steve's passing, but 2 years later, with adds like this, I'm left wondering who is really in charge?

Please learn the difference between "adds" and "ads" as it hurt my brain to read your comment. Thanks.

Your comments about adds doesnt ad up. Wouldn't you have to actually have a brain for it to hurt?

These are also reasons that Apple doesn't have a customer seeding program for iOS. It is a completely different beast than OS X.

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I took the decision to pay the 99$ and buy the dev account to install it on my main ip5 :)
I personally don't find it very buggy. Of course some apps I am using act weird, but I do not complain because that was my personal decision to install ios7

However, I totally agree with you René to stay classy

For when they update it and also to help give them feedback on how it runs and possible improvements for the final release.
There's a few perks to it, also it's $100 for a whole year so if there happens to be another change down the road we get to test that as well.

beta tesing should be at the very least free... it is kind of like you are doing them a favor. There is something a little Sawyer-esque about them tricking you into paying them to do thier work.

AFAIK the "beta testing" is done by developers... you know the Ballmer mantra - or monkey boy mantra? Developers, Developers, Developers!!!!!!!!

Anyway, if its $100 to be a developer and $100 to beta test (see $200) then you are still making your money back as a developer on iOS.
1) You gain a huge amount of knowledge on the new operating system
2) You have the ability to shape, fix and modify the operating system
3) You have a leg up when writing or re-writing your apps for the new operating system.
4) You are a developer so you will probably spend way more than $200 on development.
5) Most software engineers worth their salt should be making $50/hr + benefits - and some probably make over $100/hr (just pay now, not including perks, etc... taxis, limos and the like).... So $200 is not all that much, $100 is even less.

I think 17 year old nerds need to spend more time learning and less time posting, but then who am I?

Now if you mean a customer or user should not be forced to spend $100 to beta test anything, then YES - you are correct. And maybe that's why the Surface RT did so bad? Most people are tired of spending hundreds of dollars to beta test Microsoft's junk.

sabvvxt - isnt that special?

Nothing is free ... installing a beta OS on something you use for real work is not a good idea - unless that real work is being a developer, but then you should still have a stable build to run on your regular device ... which would probably put you out about $50 or so... maybe more depending on what you want.

Completely agree. I'm not a dev but I chose to get the beta (through a friend's developer account) because a)I can accept when some of my stuff doesn't work because I wanted to test drive new software. And b)my 4S is no longer my daily driver so if it was not as solid as the iOS 6 beta (and it definitely isn't) I could (and did) rely on my other phone.

Well said. I remember in the past I got ahold of a iOS 4GM from a friend who wanted to jailbreak his iphone and installed it on my iPod touch (at which time I had an Android based phone. I had tin foil hat syndrome for a couple days but it all came out fine.

Now with my iPhone 5 being my main phone, the last thing I want to do is screw it up so I don't do betas anymore, not even on my iPad.

The wait will be long and hard to deal with but it sure shows a lot of features that make it really stand out.

So I took the plunge and am testing iOS 7 and am not really a developer (yet) I have been keeping a log of all the bugs I have found just for my own enjoyment. How would I communicate my findings with Apple?

If you were a developer, you would have access to the bug reporting tool and would know what to do. You must have an active developers account.


Well put Rene. Non-devs should stay classy. Perhaps we could get the dev's and non-devs to end the flame wars though as well? Staying classy is always a good stance :).

I don't get it, why is this NDA so sacrosanct? iMore has run plenty of pieces where information that's NDA'd was leaked.

Two other things non-devs may not be aware of:
1. Aside from the flakiness expected of a beta, these pre-release builds of iOS are much slower than the final version will be (due to the fact they're built with debug settings turned on, which make problems easier to fix, but require that performance optimizations be turned off)
2. Even when developers find fixable issues in their apps, Apple doesn't allow us to submit new versions of our apps to address compatibility with the new version of iOS until the system goes golden master (GM). We can still submit regular bug fixes of course, but they have to be built with the existing version of Xcode and target the current public version of iOS.

Completely agree, but I also think that anything shown at the WWDC is fair game since it was broadcasted to the general public.

That makes no sense. Just because Apple gave us a preview of the new software doesn't mean we all have the right to install it. They clearly said the release date would be this fall not now. This isn't a public beta it's a developer beta.

They - Apple - Google - Microsoft - or even the NSA does not have the right to forbid it - as long as you keep quiet and honor the NDA. Then again it is all fun and games til the attorney's show up.

When someone tests things for their own ends or use - it is fine. Your mileage may vary and things are void where prohibited, but as far as I know this is still the land of the free and home of the brave.

Just to make my point clear - copyright holders often commit crimes themselves ... because they do not understand copyrights... but then few attorneys or judges understand them and I'm not even getting into congress. In short a copyright is a LIMITED right to control a thing or media for a specified period of time, but copyrights never give the own 100% control. There is such a thing as fair use.

Then again, the NSA does not know their job .. and many others do not know their job either. These people, they exceed their authority repeatedly - like their only job is to exceed their authority... you know to fight "terrorism" or evil communist hax0rz!

If you are stupid enough to blame a developer for their app not working on a BETA OS, then you you shouldn't be a tester (or running the OS) in the first place.

Yes, but year after year, regular users too impatient to wait for public release, go and buy slots on developers accounts to get access, and then treat it like it's a regular release.

So, yes. Stupid or not, reminding them is important, and calling them stupid doesn't help things any. They're going to do it.

I have it installed on my main phone and don't have any problem running it. Just whole bunch of pussies being scared of everything. It works. Yes it does have some issues but nothing terrible. Love every second of using. Stop crying and put it on your main phone don't listen to anyone. It works absolutely awesome.

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I'm running it on my daily 4S and love the overhaul. Being a beta it does have some display issues switching between things but overall it's an awesome setup and I love it.

I have it on my main phone too, and I have to at LEAST twice a day, turn on personal hotspot, and use my iPad for something, because that app crashes under iOS 7. This was expected (and is why I carry my iPad mini) but many people go and complain to the developers about this, when it's no one's fault but their own.

The OS itself, yes, works ok. But I wouldn't recommend to anyone to put this on their daily driver, even though I did. I'm a special case. I know my requirements, and could afford to work around any limitations.

Recommending that just anyone install it on their main phone, is simply reckless, and doing a great disservice to all the people out there.

So, my cousin took my phone and downloaded the ios7 beta...i have no idea how or what she did but i know that she is not a developer. I was just wondering, once the regular one comes out in the fall will i be able to update to that like i usually update without a problem??

I have installed it too and it is buggy as hell... I have had to resort to using my 2nd iPhone 5 to take pics or film videos or to send texts. It randomly restarts, video from the lock screen freezes.. and there is a lot of overlapping of texts, low battery life and app crashes. It is generally unreliable. You shouldn't encourage people to install it on their primary phones because you may not have the same experiences they have. I was so excited to install it but now that I have I am totally over it. I am even considering rolling back to iOS 6 till future beta's come out.

It is not a matter of being a "pussy" and not installing it or installing it on your main device .. it is a matter of installing a beta OS on your main device and then COMPLAINING after the fact.

I would think all developers know this and know they are taking a risk - since it is a beta and not "fully" tested, there is a much greater risk of something blowing up.

I think Rene put it very well in his short article and "Stay Classy!".

I'm going to be honest I am one of those who has it with out paying anything and not being a developer. It actually runs smooth has a little lag on some things but that's a given. All apps I have work flawless really I'm not a professional so I wouldn't know if there are bug issues etc..... But everyone be cool and follow these instructions so that later in the future when can get the other beta versions this way. I'm sure apple can fix this problem easily if they really wanted to.

So, my cousin took my phone and downloaded the ios7 beta...i have no idea how or what she did but i know that she is not a developer. I was just wondering, once the regular one comes out in the fall will i be able to update to that like i usually update without a problem???

I recently got my iPhone 5, sucks that it came with 6.1.3 already =/

After having to deal with the fact that i couldn't jailbreak, i installed iOS7 Beta.

Yeah it's buggy, and some apps like eBay won't even start up.. It's all good though, i'm having a great time with all the new features.

Oh and you're right, alot of ignorant people are trashing the reviews to eBay under the App Store, because of the compatibility issues.. Not cool at all, it's not their fault!

I fully realize it's in beta, however I really am not sure what the best way to send bug reports to Apple is. I've compiled a long list, and while each is pretty concise, it's in freeform. I don't know the correct way to format it or where exactly to send it.

I was an ignorant eager beaver who was sold on the dream of having the iOS 7 early, then read this article and reverted back to good old iOS 6.1.4. Now I'm paranoid about my month old iphone 5's future. Are there any reassurances that all will be well now that I've downgraded?

Why wouldn't your phone be fine? If you're back on iOS 6 and your phone is working I would say you're probably safe. I'm running iOS 7 and will probably just stick with it if I don't run into any major glitches (only been running it for a day, so far so good). I doubt Apple would have released it even as a beta if there was anything that could wreck the hardware of the phone.

Well said. Also I don't think the developers should be so negative about it based just on first impressions. At least give it s few days to settle then give your opinion.

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Wait... Beta versions have bugs?!? Why did anyone tell me?!? Now I need to inform the local media about these massive problems!

I agree with Rene. Installed it and I am not a developer. Went back to 6.1.4 because I honestly didn't like the look for the new 7 and battery life is still pretty bad. There are elements, that are nice but I think this new apple leadership is going in the wrong direction. The new features are great but the look has regressed in my opinion. Not modern at all.

I'll admit, I'm one of the ones that "really shouldn't be". Curiosity got the best of me and I just had to see how IOS 7 functions. It's been a pure pleasure to play with, but I'm probably going to downgrade over the weekend because there are a couple of key apps I use that need an IOS 7 update.

I was tempted to download it without the developer account. But decided to wait for the official release instead. I like to build up the excitement. This to me is like Xmas, don't want to open my gifts before cause it kinds of spoils the fun. Another reason is that my iPhone 5 is my daily driver and I know betas have bugs that need to be ironed out before they make their official release. Can't stop reading about it though and finding out new stuff over the net. Here is too a long wait that'll be (hopefully) well worth it.

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After more than 72 hours of iOS 7 beta on my PRIMARY iPhone 5 I must say that thought there are a lot of bug (expected in a beta one) this is far more smoother than jelly bean on my Samsung N2. Wonder how it compares to unadulterated Jelly Bean ?

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I think they are heading in the right direction for sure. Apple is trying to listen to peoples advice and change up the UI because it seems as though many complain of it looking old and outdated. Hats off to Jony and the crew for breaking new ground. There is no way to make everyone happy. Just rest on the fact that they are listening to us and attempting to give us what we asked for. Be patient and let them fully bake it then see how you like it.

Trust me they are reading everyone's reviews and will take note what people like and don't like.

agreed... people need to understand what a beta is before they install and understand apps are still optimized for ios 6... i risked it on my main phone but thats because i jailbreak my phone and usually rooted and unlocked my bootloader on android phones.. if it breaks well there's always insurance but i always find a way back whenever i screw something up.

I'm so tempted to install, especially as I came from an Android phone I rooted and changed the ROM on all the time. Not sure I wanna give up my jailbreak though.

I am running iOS 7 as my daily driver I'm one of the lucky ones I guess that don't have many problems....and when something does crash and ask me if I want to send a error report I always do....I love helping out on experimental things in beta...I understand there could be big bugs and the risk in taking but I feel as if someone has to run it as a daily driver to see how it reacts that way....just saying if your someone who has done betas in the past (not just including iPhone) and you understand it won't be rainbows and unicorns go ahead install it...but if you expecting it to run as smooth as iOS 6 stay as far away from it as possible...no one want people complaining about a beta acting like it's the full iOS 7

That is such good advice, I hope many of the people that need to hear get to read this. I have yet to download iOS 7 beta and not sure I will be. But I did get the beta of iOS 6 last year and was happy to help by sending bug reports to Apple.

I really hope people will heed to your advice by not giving bad reviews or bringing all these buggy issues to the public, simply send them to Apple so the fall release can be flawless.

I just wanted the control center... three years ago. It's always been an issue of efficiency in connectivity. Getting out the door and connecting to my Bluetooth adapter meant coming to a standstill for twenty seconds while popping in and out of the Settings menu, whereas my Droid Eris (POS), in 2010, could at least allow me to toggle Wi-Fi AND Bluetooth through the control center in just three or four taps. I dropped the Android years ago for the iPhone because of stability and power. BUT... Apple has neglected these aforementioned toggles, almost throwing them in our faces.

So, blah blah blah, I now have the iOS 7 beta, and my control center. It has far exceeded my expectations in the sense that, for a first run, it's not so bad. Rene, perhaps I should not have downloaded the beta, but I did. I have never seen the need to do this before, but I had one reason: efficiency. I have been faithful to Apple for three years, and stay faithful because their product is both stable and powerful. I downloaded the beta because I feel like we deserve a control center. Now I can flip it up, toggle on and off what I see fit, and go on. Save time, save battery.

I will now end with an epilogue:

"First World Problems"


I do agree with the article. I've installed the beta on my main handset and I'm not a developer! So far it seems to work very well for a beta. There are some apps that don't work but I've found ways around that usually, like using mobile web. eBay is one example. What would have been handy in this article is a link to the Apple bug reporting site!

Great article, right on topic. One more thing, if you do spend the $99 and are not really a developer, limit your posts in the developer forums. Read more than you post. You'll find that asking things like "...why doesn't iRadio work for me in Malta." already have been answered and really have nothing to do with development. Don't flood the forums with typical end user questions.

Wow, a lot of fluffy talk from someone that apparently hasn't tried it. It's just as "cooked" as iOS 6 beta was. Been running it since day 1 on 12 phones and I have yet to see a bug that renders the phone unusable.

iOS 7 Beta is quite stable indeed. Just have some apps may not compatible yet and have some bugs on it. And sometimes phone just auto restart when too many apps jam together. The earpiece controls not functioning also.

however, overall i can say it is still fit for daily normal use. I'm not iOS developer, but i register for the UDID at iMZDL.

I did the same thing! Does anyone know how we update to the offical release from iOS 7 Beta? Wll we just be able to update from iTunes or will it automatically pop up on my iphone when it is available.

p.s. I will stay classy about having the Beta version ;)

im not a dev, im on my main iphone 5, the one I use daily, im not complaining and not having any problems so...just saying ;)

i agree. im not a dev and use it on my main one but that's my choice. however i do agree people shouldnt mess up app ratings because they chose to update to a beta and they shouldnt got to the press about glitches in the beta instead of letting apple know about them! well put renee!

I installed iOS 7 on my iPhone 4S and I'm not a dev. I want be but I can because I'm 17 and can't afford it let alone old enough to be one, but I've always been interested in things like this and keep tabs on what bugs I found with iOS 7. For a beta and a beta 1 at that it does run smoothly. I'm looking forward to the beta 2 and what not as well as the final release.

I never send bugs to apple, I never use betas . I am using ios7 and jam sending the bugs automatically. I hope it helps them somehow . I love the OS. I need just .5 inch more screen

I´m not a Dev, so I install it own my risk, I´m not going to complain in any way I know the meaning of BETA, I´m leting know apple the bugs by sending the bugs automatically, thats the way I can help rigth now

Well Rene, I got your point, but please don't fear ppl to write sth negative about ios 7.

Apple has to deal with that critizism, and to be honest, ios 7 icons and stuff looks like it was designed by a Photoshop Noob, I'm pretty sure Steve Jobs would not be very happy about that.

I set my password to a ñ and I could not unlock my iPod. -_- had to restore it back to iOS 6.1.3 I am back at 7 now but I will never again set my password to an accented letter

Is this serious? Considering it a risk on a "main phone" ? Big deal it crashes now and then, other than that it's pretty damn stable and can be used everyday. Get off your high horse, you're an editor not an apple employee, act accordingly.

Do you reckon I should get iOS 7 on my main phone? I have a developer account, and I do have a backup phone in case this one stops working - but still, I'm not sure whether I should. Anybody know whether I should?

I am new to i OS anything. I would have appreciated this warning ahead of time. I was told there was a newer operating system for my device & had little boxes in red asking me to get it upgraded. so I did. Without knowing better, for the most part, when stuff has gone wrong, I have privately contacted app developers. I did leave a review for one of my favorite apps. I paid for it, & their solution was to switch to ads, so I could no longer use the app. I would LOVE to switch back to the previous operating system i liked it just fine. I only wish apple had had a neat write up like this, explaining it in the way you have, it was presented as something I needed to do, & being unfamiliar & new to apple I did. & I've regretted it ever since. Dont' even get me started on the ebay app! everything looks great runs smoothly seamlessly even... till you look at your listing on an actual computer instead & find that it's a disaster. free expedited shipping?! on a 99 cent item, really? not what I selected & not what i just read on my ipad... anyways. This article should have come attached to the upgrade. I would have gladly passed.