So it ‘s been nearly a month since iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 5 was released “ and I ‘ve seen lots of speculation just lately that A) we won ‘t be seeing any more betas released and B) we ‘ll see the final release of OS 3.0 very soon, maybe as soon as during the […]
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iPhone OS 3.0 Release Soon, No More Betas?

OS30Spotlight

So it ‘s been nearly a month since iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 5 was released “ and I ‘ve seen lots of speculation just lately that A) we won ‘t be seeing any more betas released and B) we ‘ll see the final release of OS 3.0 very soon, maybe as soon as during the WWDC next week.

If these predictions prove true, I have mixed reactions in terms of whether that ‘s good news.  On the one hand, I ‘m as keen as the next person to see 3.0 in all its glory, with push notifications turned on, and hopefully video recording / editing features (even if restricted by device), and all the rest of it.  On the other, I don ‘t think the current Beta 5 feels as solid and polished as I ‘d like it to feel.

Beta 5 is by no means terrible or way off being good enough for final.  I ‘ve been using 3.0 and its various betas constantly for over 2 months now, on my single, everyday phone.  So it is certainly solid enough and many of its elements look more than ready for prime time “ copy&paste works very well and really has been implemented elegantly and effectively, the Spotlight search is superb, apps compatibility is mostly stellar, and so on.  It ‘s already  a better overall performer than OS 2.0 was when it first emerged last year.

But there are still some things that “ for me “ do not feel good enough as yet, and that can be very frustrating to deal with.  I ‘ve even done a reset of all settings and a full restore over recent weeks to try to get past a couple of these, but so far no joy. 

Here ‘s my short list of things that do not feel ‘done ‘ on the latest OS 3.0 beta:

Intermittent but persistent WiFi issues “ where it takes the iPhone from 30-60 seconds to ‘see ‘ known WiFi networks when coming out of sleep mode. 

‘Missing ‘ icons after new app installs “ this one usually fixes itself on a restart, but still shouldn ‘t be happening.

No force quitThe ability to shut down flaky-performing apps has been sorely missed throughout the 3.0 betas process.  My (probably over-optimistic) hope is that something better is coming down the pipe.  Something cleverer for helping us manage running apps / processes.

Update: As psylichon has pointed out in the comments below, I keep forgetting that force quit is not missing, there is just a new way to invoke it “ so the truth is, I forget to use it.  The new method to invoke it is to hold down the Power button until "slide to power off" comes up, then let go of the Power button and hold the Home button until the app exits.

Worst of all by far “ the worst memory leak / memory management issues I ‘ve ever seen on any version of the iPhone OS.  I frequently open up the (excellent, free) Free Memory utility and see less than 4mb of free memory during normal operation of the iPhone (having run Mail, Safari, a game or two, a productivity app or two “ and no huge, crazy games either).  And of course when free memory is continually dwindling, more and more apps misbehave in worse and worse ways.  Bottom line, reboots are required more frequently than ever before due to this issue.

Others using the betas may have experiences that are different and better than mine in regards to the above problems, but I ‘ve tended to find that if I ‘ve seen something (and continued to see it after a restore) then quite a few others are seeing it as well.

The optimistic view would be that Apple are now well aware of these issues, and have got them dealt with, so they ‘ll not be a problem when 3.0 is released.  I hope that ‘s the way it turns out, because otherwise there will be lots of users complaining and very little tolerance on these issues once they are no longer being seen in just beta versions of the OS.

Oh, and just on a completely tangential side-note, I love the fact that my Spotlight search for ‘pub ‘ (shown in the screencap at the top of this post) returns Judie Lipsett (my favorite blogger in the universe and the founder of the superb Gear Diary site) as its second result.  🙂

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