Saturday, November 4, 2017

Ten Reasons Why I Canceled My iPhone X Order


The glorious and wonderful iPhone X has arrived. The early reviews are terrific. But how long before the stainless steel edges begin to tarnish? After reading reviews, side-stepping hype and recalling past Apple behaviour, I have come up with the 10 Reasons Why I Canceled My iPhone X Order:
  1. Initial Apple revisions historically have issues. I have learned a few things buying the iPhone 1.0, iPhone 3.0, iPhone 5.0, iPhone 6.0, Apple TV 1.0 and Apple Watch 1.0. These x.0 products invariably have limitations and problems compared to the x.1 or 's' version that follow in less than a year - or less than 6 months when things go really bad. The iPhone X is well positioned to follow this pattern.
  2. Users have reported 'burn-in' (ghosting) artifacts on the OLED screen after one day. This will require software and hardware revisions that will come next year.
  3. Apple has delivered its first optical stabilization camera system. It is proprietary and has moving parts. Apple will need an iteration or two to get it right - particularly with users who are tough on their phones (like me).
  4. The notch (a.k.a., ears or horns) at the top of the screen now hide important data. I don't care about the aesthetics but do care that the battery percentage meter no longer fits. I check battery level 30 times a day. The battery remaining metric is now buried in a menu. #OCDFail
  5. No headphone jack. OK. I've lost this battle but I still like to call out Apple for lacking the courage to keep features that people use.
  6. I live in Canada and suspect our friends in Southern California might learn few things about cold weather usage. Who wants to bet there will be changes to deal with -20 degree performance next year?
  7. No more "sneak peeks"! I routinely do quick glances by pressing the fingerprint reader and looking under the table or off to the side. The iPhone X must be "in your face". Clandestine phone access is no longer possible. 
  8. The battery will suck in the real world. The iPhone X needs active screens, input swipes and cameras running all the time. It will take a while for Apple to figure all this out.
  9. The iPhone X is slow to open and show you the home screen. I can open my iPhone 8 in 50 milliseconds. The iPhone X needs to power up, complete a face recognize and a page swipe to get to the home page. Elapsed time: Up to 2 seconds. Face recognition may be convenient but right now it is slower to open than a fingerprint reader in the hands of a skilled operator.
  10. Existing software will be letter boxed, pillar boxed and improperly scaled until developers adjust to the new iPhone X screen dimensions. Proper coding techniques were supposed to prevent this problem. We are now finding out that most software will need updates.

Which brings us to reason #11. Sorry Apple - I thought I had only X reasons.

THE SCREEN IS NOT BIGGER WHEN YOU ARE ACTUALLY USING IT!!! Sure. The diagonal length is longer than the iPhone 8 Plus. But the screen is narrower. I use the phone vertically most of the time. I want wider rather than taller. The iPhone 8 Plus has a great aspect ratio. The iPhone X is just OK.


I bought an iPhone 8 Plus. I am happy for 10 of 11 reasons listed above. I'm still sad that I have no headphone jack. #HeadphoneUsersArePeopleToo

The irony about the iPhone 8: The combined back button and fingerprint reader is now the best iPhone feature. The home button is always there and it works. The fingerprint reader - with no moving parts and haptic feedback - lets you open the phone faster than ever.

I can also register up to 5 fingerprints. That's two different fingers for me, and three for other family members who need to use my phone occasionally. iPhone X face recognition is limited to just one person 🙈.

This situation reminds me of the MagSafe connector on the MacBook Pro. Just when Apple makes it essential and nearly perfect, they discontinue the feature. Apple calls this courage.  I call it something else.  

(Hint to 🍎: A magnetic MagSafe USB-C connector would be nice. Good ahead. You can use this idea).