Do you think Apple will allow us to hide the Bluetooth icon?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Presonance, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Presonance macrumors regular

    Presonance

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    #1
    There are more and more reasons to leave Bluetooth always on. Bluetooth headphones, Airdrop, Continuity, Handoff, the low power consumption of BTLE, and now the Watch.

    Does anyone else think there should be an option to turn off the Bluetooth status bar icon, much like on OS X?
     
  2. saving107 macrumors 603

    saving107

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    #2
    I'm pretty sure its their top priority for iOS 9.
     
  3. Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #3
    I think it makes sense.

    Now that Bluetooth is incredibly efficient, it's not a big deal to leave on, plus so many features require it now. I never turn my off.
     
  4. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Location:
    Hamburg, NY
    #4

    Mine is always off. Every little bit of battery life I can save I do. Maybe I would leave it on if I could hide it. Idk.
    Something like this would be nice. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1426952112.702685.jpg
     
  5. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
  6. fousfous macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Location:
    France
  7. Presonance thread starter macrumors regular

    Presonance

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    #7
    Sorry, I was talking about hiding the Bluetooth icon on the iPhone. We'd have to always leave Bluetooth on on the phone.
     
  8. KauaiBruce macrumors 6502a

    KauaiBruce

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Kauai, HI
    #8
    Forgive the stupid question but why do you want the icon to not display?
     
  9. Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #9
    Space.
    Since the status doesn't really matter (other than to see if there is an active connection, which I assume will be all of the time with the watch), I don't care for it to be there. It's not really showing any information.

    I'm one of those people who have the battery percentage disabled, too, so maybe I'm a little obsessive compulsive about it.
     
  10. Presonance thread starter macrumors regular

    Presonance

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    #10
    Aloha from Maui :) For me the reason is mostly to reduce visual clutter on the status bar. Bluetooth is always on so the existence of the icon doesn't indicate anything useful to me. There are already a lot of icons up there. Removing the icon would aid in "glanceability" of the status bar as well as aesthetics. For me anyway.
     
  11. KauaiBruce macrumors 6502a

    KauaiBruce

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Kauai, HI
    #11
    I would understand that if that 1mm spot was somehow crowding something else out but it is not. If I was going to get rid of something I would not have the icon AND the percentage but I would always want the percentage.
     
  12. Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #12
    Why not?
    The information is irrelevant imo

    Plus I don't sit around an agonize over the drops in single percentage points when in all reality it doesn't matter on that specific level.
     
  13. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #13
    Battery percentage? Seeing that something has dropped 1% is what anal retentive people thrive on and why Apple didn't make that the default battery icon.
     
  14. KauaiBruce macrumors 6502a

    KauaiBruce

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Kauai, HI
    #14
    I often turn off Wi-Fi when at work because one of the places I work has 5 nearby routers that I have no access to and half the time I look at my phone it is asking me to log onto one of them. SO, to get rid of that I turn it off. It is easy to accidentally turn off Bluetooth at the same time. Later I will realize my Pebble stopped getting notifications or that my car did not connect when I got onto the road. It is quite handy to see at a glance that the Bluetooth is off.

    Now I know that I am tech savvy enough to just check the settings but I would expect that most people are not so the icon would help them. Not sure if it is worth Apples development time to create yet another option that does not really do anything. And even though it sounds like a simple change there is not telling how many lines of code have to be touched to implement it (depends a lot on the internal design).

    Another reason for that icon is that there are places that require you to turn off Bluetooth. Maybe they HAVE to display it for some reason.

    ----------

    I'm not worried about 1%. I'm worried about 70%. My old phone had an issue and if I had not had that percentage I would not have known about the sudden drops by 40%. It is tough to see a battery issue with an icon that just has 3 or 4 stages. THAT'S why I would prefer to see a percentage over an icon.
     
  15. Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #15
    I haven't turned off BT since I've had my phone because it is so energy efficient these days. There's really no need to display that icon unless you REALLY a want to see if there is an actively connected device. If you merely wanted to toggle Bluetooth or check its on/off, you can easily swipe to CC. But this is all me and I'm assuming that many people don't toggle BT since the cost isn't as great anymore.

    I highly doubt that it is complicated since they have 4 different toggles for showing items up there and even one that is finely tuned into the OS operations. Plus, I have the background to be very confident in the simplicity of a Boolean switch.

    --

    On the flip side, even without the battery indicator, you'd notice between 40-70% draining from the icon.
     
  16. DC Wallaby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #16
    No offense intended, but I think that's what it comes down to.

    The Bluetooth symbol serves a purpose, and it's nice to have an immediate indicator when it is actively connected to a device. (It also displays battery information for some connected devices, like my Bluetooth earpiece.) While I certainly agree that the option should exist, I don't think it's something Apple should devote any serious time to because the Bluetooth symbol serves a purpose in regards to the status of your device.
     
  17. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #17
    That's an inefficient way to do it. Just switch "Ask to join networks" to off in settings and you won't be bothered.

    What might those places be? Flying doesn't count because they require more than bluetooth off and displaying the airplane mode is sufficient.

    Are you still on your old iPhone? If not, battery percentage is making you (and many people) unnecessarily anal retentive.
     
  18. KauaiBruce macrumors 6502a

    KauaiBruce

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Kauai, HI
    #18
    I never turn it off on purpose. Just accidently hit that with my big fingers a few times. I could probably implement it myself if I had an hour with the source code.

    However, deciding to do it with the process required would take a lot more hours than anyone would dream. There is documentation, and god knows how many meetings with different departments to decide that the code can even be written. Even QA staff would be assigned to it. Even the simplest change costs a fortune.

    I am retired from Silicon Valley. I worked at one company that had a permission process so awful that the only way we could get something good done in the code was to sneak it in, get everyone used to it and then blackmail management to approve it or it will go away. THAT company is no longer in business.

    The biggest reason I do not expect the Apple Watch 2 for at least two years is that they would have to have half of the development done and any new sensors already designed to get it done that fast.
     
  19. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #19
    There are a number of good reasons to not have bluetooth enabled, like in any situation where high security is a priority. If there is an option that can deceive the user of a device as to the true status of BT setting it becomes a serious security threat, which could potentially be extremely bad.

    My advice: stop pointlessly obsessing over irrelevant s#*%, such as the presence of a tiny icon in the status bar. Form over function is a really bad design practice (and one which Apple themselves is frequently guilty of, one might want to add.)
     
  20. KauaiBruce macrumors 6502a

    KauaiBruce

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Kauai, HI
    #20
    THANK YOU. I wanted to ask why they want to hide that it is on.

    Now lock this thread.
     
  21. Presonance, Mar 21, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015

    Presonance thread starter macrumors regular

    Presonance

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    #21
    I don't think there is any reason to be condescending. Let's keep it civil please.

    Believe it or not, whether an icon is displayed in the status bar or not is the kind of design decision that Apple employees agonize over. It's not as pointless as you might think, and I think it's a topic at least worthy of discussion. After all, one of the very reasons that people appreciate Apple products is for their steadfast attention to this very kind of detail. If no one at Apple put "form over function" (a misleading idea that isn't very productive), we'd end up with monstrosities such as this or this. Is that what you'd like iOS to become?

    There are some situations when there is not even enough room to display all of the icons in the status bar. If you have battery percentage display on, rotation lock set, an alarm set, location status on, a Bluetooth headset with a battery connected, and DND on, a few of those will get clipped off. Seems logical to me to at least have the option to get rid of the Bluetooth icon in the status bar, especially if for many users it will always be turned on (especially Apple Watch users).

    You mentioned security as a reason not to get rid of it. Would you mind expanding on why not showing Bluetooth in the status bar would be a serious security threat?
     
  22. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #22
    Who's being uncivil? Calm down, alright?

    If they "agonize" over it, yet the icon is still there, it must be because they feel it's important that it is there (and they're right, it is important.) Don't you trust their judgment? :p

    It's a tiny icon. Just pretend you're not seeing it.

    Speak for yourself. I know for sure this is not the reason I've bought Apple products in the past. On the opposite, I tend to get annoyed over their more obsessive traits, which often manifest in silly decisions like not putting a power switch on the Thunderbolt Display or Time Capsule for example, forcing me to crawl under my computer table to yank the power cord instead when the device needs to be power cycled, or the giant size of the iPhone 6 and 6+ in particular just because Apple's design practices enforces a symmetrical front face, making the 6+ much larger than other, comparable 5.5" screen phones.

    There's upsides and downsides with everything, and no design is perfect. Only when we buy into the "Apple Cult" mentality (the same which makes Steve Jobs still have an office at Apple HQ, despite the fact the guy's been dead for years now) can we delude ourselves otherwise.

    Form over function is very real, I assure you. Form over function is - to just mention a very few examples - when you have a mouse with just one button on it, a floppy drive with no physical eject button, or a computer startup screen displaying nothing except the company logo (how to start that bloody disk utility thing again?)

    I'll take your word for it, I've never had that happen to me. However, the BT icon is important, so that's why it's there.

    Bluetooth, being 2-way wireless communication, gives an attacker a potential entryway into your device. There's been a number of flaws and weaknesses associated with bluetooth in the past that allowed unauthorized access, and chances are we'll see more in the future too.

    An employer which mandates highest possible security would just turn BT off as a matter of principle, to reduce the number of possible headaches by one in one easy, swift stroke. If the icon didn't display, BT could still be on without you knowing it. An attacker having access to your phone could toggle that switch without your knowledge (or you might do it yourself and forget about it), and would later be able to tap into your device at leisure from a distance.
     
  23. Presonance thread starter macrumors regular

    Presonance

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    #23
    I came here to discuss a design decision, not to start a fight. You told those of us having a simple discussion that we're "pointlessly obsessing over irrelevant s#*," which was not polite of you. Please keep the discussion on topic rather than attacking others.

    I do mostly agree with Apple's design decisions (although not always), but I do believe that most people that appreciate their products can agree with the sentiment that they pay more attention to detail than most other companies, in general. I don't understand why it was necessary to mention "buying into the Apple Cult" when I'm simply trying to discuss the design decision (especially since my opinion is contrary to Apple current implementation in this case).

    I agree that up until a certain point, showing the Bluetooth icon in the status bar was well-justified. My point is that the reasons for displaying it in the status bar are becoming less and less. That's the simple discussion I'd like to have.

    My point about "form over function" not being a productive idea is that design is not black and white. You could slap the "form over function" label on just about any product, but you're not really saying anything. For instance, what if Apple included a status bar icon for every single one of the hundreds of settings in the Settings App? Would Apple have to go that far to avoid the "form over function" label? Design is about tradeoffs and balance.

    Finally, I still don't understand why the lack of a Bluetooth icon in the status bar would be a "serious security threat," especially on iOS. iOS is heavily sandboxed, and iOS's Bluetooth implementation is even more restricted. Can you provide known examples of a remote exploit on iOS over Bluetooth, and would you be able to illustrate a realistic scenario in which the absence of a Bluetooth indicator in the status bar (while still being readily visible in Control Center and Settings.app) would greatly increase security risk on an iOS device? If you do, you'll have to account for the the fact that Bluetooth is a short-range wireless protocol and that iOS heavily sandboxes their limited Bluetooth implementation.
     

Share This Page