If you’ve ever run an iOS, iPadOS or watchOS beta on a device that you carry day-to-day, then you’ve probably been burned by some unexpected bugs at some point. This is especially true of the Developer Betas, which are the leading edge of Apple’s updates, and even more so early on in the beta process. It’s part of the deal. This is the price you pay to kick the tires on the cool, new toys.
I say unexpected bugs only because they sometimes just come out of left field and catch you off guard. You should always expect to encounter bumps in the road when running a beta, especially early on in the process. However, no one is immune to being lulled into a sense of complacency with relatively stable operation only to have some random stuff suddenly wreck a device. That was my predicament yesterday.
First off, I will say that I have only had a couple of small issues over the last week running the first dev betas of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. They have been pretty stable as first betas go. However, as I was driving to a jobsite two hours away this morning, I encountered a tough one.
First off, I got an error that I had a failed Carrier Update. This completely shut down my cellular connection, which is no small matter considering how much I use my iPhone for work. Thankfully, a quick reset took care of this one. To be honest, I’m not even sure this was iOS 14’s fault, as a later Internet search revealed that this error has come up in previous versions of iOS.
The bigger problem was what happened later. My phone was laggy in a way that it hadn’t been before the issue and reboot. This was especially true for connected apps like Mail, Spark, Flipboard and Safari. In fact, when I got off work and started trying to use Safari to check some things, I couldn’t browse to a single website without experiencing a failure because the page had a “problem repeatedly occurred” error.
I naturally assumed that the problem was due to the failed carrier update, but it turns out it was something completely different. Of all things, it was because of my Smart Battery Case. That’s a pretty random source for a problem affecting Internet use, but as soon as I removed the case, my iPhone was immediately back to normal. I was then able to put the case back on without the issue returning. What a strange one.
Unfortunately it took me a while to find an article that specifically covered this problem. I tried several troubleshooting steps before that, including several reboots, messing with the Cellular settings, toggling Cellular Data on and off, going into and out of Airplane Mode, doing a Reset Network Settings and clearing Safari’s cache and Internet settings. Ce la vie.I’m just happy that I eventually found the answer and got things back up and running.
I am not writing this to complain. Not at all. In fact, I usually think it’s in poor taste when others gripe about problems in betas. These early versions exist so that bugs like this one can be found and squashed. I knew what I was signing up for and I’m good with the tradeoff of taking on a small amount of risk to be able to research and write about Apple’s latest.
The real reason I am writing about this strange beta bug is just to help anyone out who might experience the same problem. There is a post covering this on Apple’s Developer Forums, but I’m sure there are some running the current beta who doesn’t have access there. And there is no guarantee this particular bug will be addressed before the next Developer Beta or Public Beta, so I figured I would go ahead and mention it publicly.
Again, no complaints here. If you also encounter this issue somewhere along the iOS or iPadOS beta track, I hope this post helps. If you aren’t running the betas, just be advised of this specific risk and the fact that you need to accept some issues like this if you decide to take the plunge.