Should you upgrade to the iOS 11 public beta?

Should you upgrade to the iOS 11 public beta?

The public betas for Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating systems are here. But should you go rushing out to download? Probably not.

I am what you might call an “early adopter” when it comes to technology — I love new features, hate waiting, and don’t mind glossing over imperfections when there are exciting new features to be had.

As such, even if I weren’t writing about iOS 11 and required to run beta software, I would have signed up for Apple’s public beta program. It’s just who I am.

But is it who you are, reader? The public betas bring a ton of brilliant new features and apps to iOS, to be sure, but they also bring their fair share of unfinished bits: freezing apps, randomly rebooting springboards, slow processing, and things that plain don’t work properly.

If you’re on the fence about whether to jump into public beta land or not, here’s a quick overview of the perks — and problems — that come with running beta software.

Do you have a non-mission-critical device you can test with?

This is the first question I ask people when they’re debating running any sort of beta: Is this a machine or device that, if it catastrophically breaks, will end up destroying your life in any way? If the answer is yes, I emphatically reply: Do not run the beta. If you have an older iOS device, a second Mac, or extra space on your primary Mac to run a partition, you’re in much better shape to consider running beta software.

Granted, I’ve never run a beta that completely wrecked my iPhone; even the earliest of developer previews have mostly played nice over the years. All the same, better safe than sorry: If you can’t risk your…

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