The public beta of iOS 11 dropped today, and because I’m stupid and a tech geek, I decided to download it on my iPad Air 2, much like I did for iOS 9 and 10 before it. This blog post is about my first impressions with it, from compatible apps to speed.

 

In summary: the basic themes of iOS 10 are now all over the system. The App Store, Photos, and many other apps utilize this new aesthetic, and it seems more elegant. But it has issues.

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Upon booting the iPad up after updating it, I noticed everything was slower. The Touch ID didn’t work as fast, and logging on took much longer. Some of this seemed as if it was intentional, and some of it can be blamed on it being beta software, but it felt really slow. Surprisingly, almost nothing was laggy though. It was slow, but smooth.

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The second thing I noticed were the aesthetic differences. The iTunes Store and App Store icons and apps themselves were completely redesigned, and I like it. It fits the more recent theming, and seems more elegant in my honest opinion. The Top Charts section of the App Store is within the two new sections: Apps, and Games. The new section that greets you as you open the app is tacky, but it’ll be improved. The iTunes store wasn’t redesigned as much, with the Top Charts and most aesthetics remaining the same. They seem to contradict each other now.

The next noticeable aesthetic differences are the control center. The App Switcher and the CC have been merged, with both swiping up and clicking the Home Button twice accomplishing the same thing. The is probably to account for the home buttonless iPhone 8 that is rumored to be coming in the fall. It looks decent, but closing apps isn’t nearly as easy or streamlined. The Control center is really cool, and the brightness and volume buttons are really innovative concepts. The dock also appears on this new screen too, which is helpful for switching apps. There’s also a 3D Touch-like effect if you hold on one of the CC icons. The button expands to reveal more options. This is the only spot where I’ve noticed lag.

The third major aesthetic difference is the dock: A gray-ish background surrounds the apps, and apps you’ve recently used appear to the right. I don’t like the latter of those things: the dock becomes cluttered and It is impossible (As far as I’ve seen) to remove apps from it.

Another difference is that a screenshot appears in the corner of the screen after you take it.

 

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The lock screen is slightly different: the buttons are essentially inverted and the screen slides up to reveal the home screen. It’s interesting, but I’m not sure if I like it. Other than that, it’s not all that different.

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I haven’t yet found a use for the new app, Files, but I’m assuming after a while it may be become useful. Otherwise it’s just wasted space.
The thing I probably hate the most is the keyboard. Hen this on my iPad, I found it to be really slow (keys took five seconds to click), and it’s way too cluttered. I don’t like the look of it at all.


 

The final thing I want to talk about on this post (The first version of my iOS 11 Review) is app compatibility. I don’t have that many apps downloaded, but I did have a few issues. Most apps are compatible with iOS 11 (YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, etc.), but three are not. Apple made true to their promise of removing compatibility with some apps that haven’t been updated in a while. My sketchbook app, an app removed from the App Store, no longer works (I’m sad about that…), and Google Earth no longer works. I know eventually Google is releasing a new Google Earth, but for now it no longer functions. The other app that doesn’t work is WordPress. It crashes upon launch. I hope they’ll make it compatible soon, because I use and like that app. Just a warning that it doesn’t work for now. UPDATE: it works in Split View, but not full screen.

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In conclusion, the aesthetic of iOS 11 matches iOS 10’s more. I personally like most things about that. It looks way more like my Mac, but it still can’t replace it for writing. 

Worst part: The keyboard

Best Part: The new Control Center

Those are my first impressions of the public beta of iOS 11 on my iPad Air 2. I’ll update this post with more comments or critiques soon, and then I’ll write a full fledged review.