Should I upgrade to an iPhone X?
Sometimes Silicon Valley would rather push the boundaries of “coolness” than provide a more functional upgrade to an important every day product. That is what happened at Apple with the introduction of the iPhone X.
Touted as “the future of the iPhone,” Apple’s attempt to stay “cool” and produce a cutting-edge product has instead caused more users than ever before to look for an alternative to the most popular personal digital assistant ever made.
The iPhone X should have been the iPhone that put the fork in the competition. Instead, it has become the “I can’t take it anymore” event for many long time Apple users. “The future” for Apple exists more and more in the minds of the under-30, overpaid geeks living in Apple’s artificial work world isolated from real world users who buy their products.
Facial Recognition and the End of Privacy
Facial recognition might sound “cool”, but now Apple has a face to go along with all the other information it gleans from the devise that lives in our pocket. As if location tracking wasn’t enough, now Apple can place your image next to everyplace you visit, everyone you talk to and everyone you text.
In exchange for yet another loss of privacy, the consumer gets the inconvenience of having to enter their pass code when its dark or when the camera inside the phone is not positioned properly toward the face.
Apple has eliminated the need for a button most of the time, but not all the time. The much-heralded elimination of the button to make the iPhone easier to use is not only unnecessary, it doesn’t work that way. The facial recognition needs to see your face. If it doesn’t, you must press the side button to wake up the screen and try again.
To avoid having to hit the side button to wake up the iPhone, Apple made the devise more sensitive to motion. The problem is that sometimes apps start when you touch the phone. This could be disastrous if the iPhone calls someone using the phone app, records you using the recorder app or takes a picture using the camera app just because you touched the iPhone the wrong way. That is yet another blow to privacy.
What do we get on the iPhone X by losing the button?
Try closing all the open apps. It requires moving the thumb half way up the screen to get all the open apps to appear. The half flick motion is tricky and must be done just right for it to work. A double click on the button was much more reliable. Then, instead of just a thumb flick up on the app to make it disappear, the iPhone X requires each app to be checked in the checkbox and then deleted.
Closing an app in use isn’t much easier. Instead of just hitting the button to close an app, you now must wave your thumb up on the screen. Waving your thumb up is counterintuitive. We have become used to thinking hat down means close and up means open. This is the new Apple team’s meaning of their slogan, “think different.”
Why does it take so long to text a picture?
The best thing about the iPhone X is the quality of the pictures it takes. At 12 megapixels, the iPhone is finally a legitimate substitute for small pocket camera. The high resolution allows users to download the pictures to a computer and make very professional looking images using photoshop or another professional photo software.
Unfortunately, whether it is because of the higher resolution or not, there is a long lag time if you want to send a picture as a text message. Maybe this is one of the bugs that Apple hasn’t fixed yet and a new version of IOS will address it, but texting pictures is slow. Sometimes it is so slow that you think the screen has frozen.
There is more memory in the iPhone X to store the higher resolution images, but Apple wants you to use the cloud so they can collect an annual fee. So, Apple’s “easy to use” features mean “easy to use the cloud.”
Where is the headphone Jack on the iPhone?
Then there is the loss of the headphone jack to contend with. You would think that Apple would have gotten the message when they introduced the iPhone 7 and that they would have restored the headphone jack in the new flagship model iPhone X. Not the “cool” kids from Cupertino.
Instead, we are forced to either use a Bluetooth headphone or to remember to pack the adapter with our chargers if we prefer to use regular headphones. Apple has decided that everyone should use Bluetooth so they don’t care about the headphone jack option.
If we don’t conform to what Apple wants us to do and use Bluetooth headphones then we need to do some planning before we leave the house in the morning. If we plan to do any private listening through our iPhone, bring the little adapter that comes in the box with the charger.
It is a little adapter so be careful not to lose it. Loosing that short, thin cord it will cost $17 to replace it. Otherwise, just conform to what Apple wants and buy the Bluetooth headphone they sell. Apple’s Bluetooth headphones sound terrible for music playback, but the new iPhone hardware still doesn’t play high resolution audio files. So, the Cupertino kids have decided that no one should care about sound quality?
In fairness to Apple, the Bluetooth connectivity on the iPhone X has improved, but that is probably a function of the more powerful IOS 11 operating system. Next week’s post on this blog will review IOS 11 and the end of iTunes as we know it.