A bug in beta software? I know, I know. Alert the media! However, this one is unique enough to be worth mentioning. Also, this particular beta bug isn’t tied to iOS 11. If you take a look at the image above, you’ll notice that I am running iOS 10 thanks to the older Multitasking App Selector. It is the iOS 10.3.3 beta, to be exact.
Unlike many users who just run the beta of iOS in the lead up to the release of a new version, I usually stay on the beta track after release. Because my backup from my original iPad Pro was made on this beta version, I had to upgrade my two new Pros to the latest beta version to do a restore on them. Up until last weekend, both my 10.5″ and 12.9″ iPad Pros were running the iOS 10.3.3 beta, and my 10.5 still is.
Before going further, one thing I will point out here is that I have never owned or really ever used a 9.7″ iPad Pro beyond a minute or two here or there at a store. I have owned a 12.9″ Pro since late 2015, and that was the size I preferred, so I really never had a reason to. As such, while I know the differences between Multitasking on the larger and smaller Pros, I’ve never experienced it first hand beyond my limited testing. However, now that I have 10.5″ iPad Pro, this shouldn’t be a problem, right?
The first thing I noticed that was off with my 10.5 was that no third-party apps were showing up in the Multitasking App Selector. I initially thought that maybe the apps I had been using so much on my 12.9″ iPad Pro weren’t set up for Multitasking on the smaller for factor. However, after some thought, that explanation just didn’t hold water. Even though the two devices show different app views, once an app is made compatible for Multitasking, it works across all capable iOS devices. At this point, I thought maybe I had just set something up wrong.
I really started to suspect something was amiss under the hood when I tried to use the Apple apps that are available in the Multitasking App Selector. NONE of them work in full Multitasking. I could only use them in Slide Over mode. I immediately knew this wasn’t right. After a little searching on the Apple Support Discussion Message Boards and over at iMore on their boards, I found that I am not the only person experiencing this issue. It seems that there is a bug that affects both the iOS 10 and 11 betas that can cause this. Based on most of the responses, it looks like the issue is tied to the restore process.
The interesting thing to me is that Multitasking worked just fine on my 12.9″ iPad Pro from the start, and still does. I got the two devices a day apart, but I did the same restore to the same iOS 10.3.3 beta on it as I did on the 10.5″. I also didn’t have any issues after upgrading to iOS 11. So, this bug that basically turns an iPad Pro into an iPad Air is a bit random, even with very similar control condition. Based on this, I think I will be wiping the 10.5 and doing the original restore again to see if I get lucky the second time.
I guess this is the price you pay for going beta. Even a stable bug fix release like 10.3.3 can pop up and bite you on occasion. I thought it would be a good idea to write this up as both a caution to anyone considering running the iOS 11 beta, and also to help anyone else who may get bit by this interesting little bug. With a lot of people likely upgrading to the new Pros over the next few weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised if this issues starts to get noticed. That is, unless Apple can put it on ice before then.
Anybody out there continuing to run iOS 10 beta versions? If so, have any of you had issues similar to this one? I would love to hear from anyone else who has. You can let me know in the Comments section below, on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.