The Weirdest iOS 7 Beta Feature (?) Yet

Illustration for article titled The Weirdest iOS 7 Beta Feature (?) Yet

So here's something strange. Syncing from iCloud seems to have changed a bit. And I honestly can't tell if it's a good thing or a bad thing.


After installing the newest beta for iOS 7 and loading up a backup from iCloud, I noticed that my apps weren't automatically downloading as they do in iOS 6. Instead, they were just sitting there, greyed out. The iOS 7 beta's had some trouble syncing and updating apps, so I didn't think much of it. I figured the downloads got stuck, and tried turning the iPad on and off, restarting the network, everything. Nothing worked, until I randomly just tapped on a few, and they downloaded right away.

What iOS 7 is doing, it seems, is downloading the metadata for what is supposed to be there—a lot like SkyDrive's new space-saving feature, actually—but then not downloading the app itself until you specifically request it. That keeps 200 apps from all cramming themselves through your Wi-Fi network and onto your iPad at once. They show up and display as icons, but only download when you need them.

It's not necessarily a bad feature. It clears up the headache of only being able to backup at night, because for the hour or so after you do your iPad or iPhone will be more or less unusable. That's not a very good experience. On the other hand, if you have dozens of updates (which I did! I often do!), well, that gets to be a pain. A single "download all" button to avoid the tap tap tap tap tap tap of forcing every single app in your library to download would be nice.

So what do you think? A welcome change or a pain in the finger?


Kyle Wagner

So, good change? Bad change? Not something you've noticed? I've been trying to reset my iPad to make sure this wasn't just a Wi-Fi hiccup that iOS is handling differently now, or some weird bug, but there's an iCloud error stopping it from resetting.