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So here we are. Right on schedule, Apple unleashed iOS 7 beta 3 upon the world, and it was good. Well, better than beta 2 was at least, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

We’re three versions into the beta process for iOS 7 now, and it’s beginning to take shape as Apple tweaks features, alters fonts and generally messes with transparencies with gay abandon.

There’s little doubt that Apple will change yet more things in beta 4, and any subsequent beta releases that follow it, but for now it’s safe to say that things will change yet still. For now though, we’ll have to be content with the beta before us, and on first blush it looks like it’ll do just fine.

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Two weeks ago, I sat here and wrote a similar post detailing my experience with beta 2 after a few hours. I’m writing this further into my beta 3 experience, and my thoughts are much the same. But more so.

With beta 2, Apple added a level of polish to proceedings, making transitions smoother, cutting down the time it took for those transitions to complete and generally making the experience feel more speedy than in beta 1. After two weeks, that still stood, but the crashes had begun to plague those testing the software, and we were certainly ready for beta 3.

Before we go much further though, I’ll add that crashes are part and parcel of beta software, especially operating systems. It’s fine, and we accept it. It’s just nice when it stops happening.

So far, that’s what’s happened with beta 3. Yes, there are the alterations to fonts and animations, but beta 3 feels even more ‘snappy’ than previous betas, and it’s not crashed yet – even when multitasking, which was a sure fire way of making beta 2 hiccup.

Minor things like the new font, more transparent folders and rejigged Notification Center make iOS 7 pop more than before. The Calendar app has its dots for denoting when a day has an appointment back, too. Things are beginning to take shape nicely.

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It’s obviously not finished, and there are still some rough edges to deal with, but three generations into iOS 7′s beta cycle and it’s safe to say that things are shaping up nicely. We’re not there yet, but we’ve got high hopes that when we are, it’ll be pretty darn good.

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