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Why you shouldn't download iOS 12 just yet

As fun as it is to help test new features, it's important to remember it's called a beta for a reason.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

With the release of iOS 12 via Apple's public beta program, it can be very tempting to install the beta on your primary iOS device. Trust me, I get it.

However, it's a beta release for a reason. Features are going to change, apps are going to break and bugs are bound to be found. And dealing with that on a daily basis, it can be enough to annoy you into submission (it is possible to roll back to iOS 11, after all). Instead of installing iOS 12, here are just a few reasons you should wait.

Bugs

In all honesty, the first iOS 12 beta was probably the smoothest first iOS beta I've ever installed on a device. There were only a few graphical issues, primarily with apps not optimized for the iPhone X (£1,149 at Apple). Battery life has been unchanged, and I've only had an app force close on me a handful of times.

Know what else has happened, though? Random reboots, and a lot of them. Fast switching from one app to another would often trigger the reboot.

I find no fault with Apple for this — it's par for the course with a beta operating system, but dealing with issues like that isn't something everyone wants to deal with.

The number and types of issues with each beta changes with every update. So this update could be (and was) a solid beta build, but the next one could very well have horrible battery life. You just never know what is going to break.

Not all new features available

Even though Apple announced group FaceTime calls in iOS 12, that doesn't mean you can actually test that right now. At least, not with friends and family members who are still using iOS 11.

Or take the new Siri Shortcuts feature as an example. Right now, it's really rough around the edges. The custom shortcuts lack instructions and any real actions, not to mention the official shortcuts app is nowhere to be found.

These features as Apple announced them during WWDC 2018 and what is currently available in beta are two very different things. While chatty group FaceTime calls and time-saving Siri Shortcuts are still on the way, this beta shows you where they are at the moment -- and it's important to remember that both are still in development.

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Worst case scenario

I'm only bringing this up because it's happened to me: Beta builds can force you to factory reset your device and lose everything.

In my situation, something went wrong while installing an OTA beta update and my iPhone SE (£412 at Amazon Marketplace) was bricked. A white screen with the Apple logo is all I could get from it, and it took hours of troubleshooting to get it back to a working device.

Again, it comes with the territory and was something I was willing to deal should I need to. Unless you feel the same way, beta builds are best left alone.

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