iOS 13 developer b3 is rough. Do not install it. Don’t install any iOS beta yet.

I know, this makes you angry. It goes against your nerd self-image to even consider not running iOS 13 beta on at least one device, and you’re probably wondering what makes me think I have the right to say this considering that I obviously do have iOS 13 developer b3 installed on at least one Apple device.

Learn from my mistakes, grasshopper.

It’s one thing to mess up my devices, but for me the worst of iOS 13 b3 is what it’s done to my iCloud Drive. I have 46 copies of my Documents folder, several Drafts folders, and 3 or 4 iA Writer folders (none of which my iPad recognizes, although my iPhone does).

Just some of my many Documents folder duplicates.

Messing with iCloud data is irrevocable. There’s no data isolation when you’re on an iOS beta, because the OS itself and so many 3rd party apps make use of iCloud Drive. And that means your data is at the mercy of the very shaky beta software throttling its neck with both hands.

It’s such a mess right now that iA Writer on the iPad doesn’t see its documents on iCloud Drive. I have to show it the files in the iA Writer “Open” action and categorize them as “From Other Apps” files.

While writing this, iA Writer crashed on me and was unable to see even the documents it thinks I imported from other apps (which are really its own) because iOS was losing its mind and remapping my iCloud Drive again, resulting in more duplicate folders and confusing the hades out of iA Writer even more than it already had.

Anyway, back to the self-identity thing.

I know a lot of self-professed iOS geeks have an emotional investment in getting on the beta, the same as they do having the top of the line of every device they buy. It’s part of their self-identity. We tell ourselves we can’t be proper Apple nerds if other people are running betas and using features and we aren’t.

That’s stupid and is a line of thinking that should be promptly disposed of.

I have been a lot more cautious about betas in the last few years, and if my friend who installed it before me had encountered any of the issues I’m seeing, I would not have installed this. As much as I love the new features in iOS 13 (especially in iPadOS), I would have stayed on iOS 12 quite happily if I’d foreseen the iCloud madness.

Some other weird behavior:

Lots of keyboard behavior abnormalities; pens/brushes in the iOS markup tool not working at all (shapes and text do through); random app crashes; battery suckage on the iPad; many, many, many Shortcuts bugs, including Get Contents of Webpage action crashing Shortcuts 100% of the time; and lots of other random UI glitches.

Admittedly, it’s hard to criticize people (myself included) for purposely FUBARing their data when Apple calls this a public beta, which most assuredly it is, but almost certainly should not be. I can’t imagine turning this loose on the general public in good conscience.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, iOS 13 developer beta 3 build 17A5522g, released on July 8th, did nothing to cure my iCloud Drive schizophrenia. Right now my iPhone, iPad, and Mac (still on the latest release OS) all see three different versions of iCloud Drive truth.