Getting to Know Your New iPhone X - What's Different

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Rumors originally suggested the iPhone X would be tough to get through the holidays, but Apple significantly ramped up supply, so it's been relatively easy to get a new iPhone X ahead of Christmas.

    That means lots of new iPhone X devices are getting unboxed today, and if you're coming from an iPhone 8 or later, it's a big adjustment. Those of us who have been using an iPhone X since November can confirm that it takes a bit of time to get used to all of the changes in the device, but within a week or two, you won't even miss that Home button.

    We've shared a lot of details on the iPhone X over the course of the last month, and this post resurfaces some of that content along with a few new tidbits and tricks that will help you get used to your iPhone X more quickly.

    The iPhone X Interface

    Not having a Home button is on the iPhone X is the most immediately jarring change, because there are new and unfamiliar gestures to learn.

    Instead of pressing on the Home button to get to the Home screen of the iPhone X, you swipe up from the bottom of the display. This minimizes any app that's open.


    On earlier iPhones, a double tap on the Home button brought up the App Switcher, but on iPhone X, you swipe up from the bottom and then pause for a moment to get to the App Switcher. Closing apps is no longer done with a single swipe -- you'll need to hold again on an app in the App Switcher until the red "-" appears, and then tap it or swipe up on the app.

    To activate the display of the iPhone X to see your notifications, you can use a new "Tap to Wake" gesture, which, as the name suggests, means you just tap a finger on the inactive display. Pressing the side button also works.

    Getting to the Control Center is going to be one of the most difficult gestures to learn. Instead of swiping up from the bottom like you're used to, you swipe down from the top of the status bar that displays battery life and cellular signal.


    A swipe down from the top of the iPhone X anywhere else on the display brings down the Cover Sheet of the Lock screen so you can see all of your notifications. Accessing Siri is now done by pressing twice on the side button instead of holding down on the Home button.

    Additional Reading:

    [*]6 Interface Tricks for iPhone X
    [*]Top 10 iPhone X Tricks
    [*]iPhone X First Look
    The Notch

    The iPhone X has an edge-to-edge display that does away with all bezels, except for a "notch" at the top of the device. Many criticized this design decision ahead of the release of the iPhone X, but in practical use, it's something you acclimatize to after a week or two of using the iPhone X, and it fades into the background instead of being a focal point whenever you're using the phone.

    Apple needed the notch to hold all of the sensors for the TrueDepth camera, but it was implemented in a way that takes up as little space as possible, with two ears at the sides that house status information.


    Apple, in developer materials, encourages developers to embrace the notch rather than to hide it away, and that's the path most apps and games have taken. In portrait mode, the notch is easy to ignore, but it will be a bit harder to get used to in landscape mode.

    Additional Reading:

    [*]Embracing the Notch
    [*]iPhone X Notch: Everything You Need to Know
    [*]Apple Approves Notch Remover App for iPhone X
    [*]Prime Real Estate: The Fight for Space in the iPhone X
    The Display

    The iPhone X is the first iPhone from Apple to feature OLED technology for true-to-life colors, deep blacks, and an improved contrast ratio. At a resolution of 2436 x 1125 with 458 pixels per inch, it has the highest resolution and pixel density ever introduced in an iPhone.


    It is the best display we've seen in an iPhone, and it's one of the features you're likely to fall in love with immediately after unboxing the iPhone. It supports HDR, wide color, 3D Touch, and True Tone for adjusting the white balance of the display to match the ambient lighting.

    Additional Reading:

    [*]Apple Says Minor Screen Burn-In and Shifts in Color When Looking at iPhone X Off-Angle Are Normal
    Face ID

    Face ID, like the removal of the Home button, is a major change in the iPhone X. A fingerprint is no longer required to unlock your iPhone because it's using a 3D facial scan instead. Face ID works through a TrueDepth Camera system that projects thousands of tiny dots onto your face, which are read through an infrared camera.


    For most people, Face ID is as secure as Touch ID, but it can sometimes be fooled by masks, twins, and children.


    Face ID is identical to Touch ID in terms of what it's used for (Apple Pay, device unlocking, password replacement in apps), it just uses your face instead of your finger. Developers have no access to Face ID data, nor does Apple, so it's just as secure as Touch ID.


    Built-in machine learning features allow Face ID to adjust to facial changes. It can recognize you with sunglasses on, when you grow a beard, when you cut your hair, when you wear a scarf, and in other similar situations.

    Additional Reading:

    [*]Apple Shares In-Depth Face ID Security Info
    [*]Face ID Unlocked With Mask
    [*]Face ID Twin Tests
    [*]10-Year Old Unlocks Face ID on Mother's iPhone
    [*]Face ID is Faster than Touch ID in Day-to-Day Usage
    [*]Face ID Works With Sunglasses
    [*]Face ID Works in the Dark, With Hats, and With BeardsAnimoji and Third-Party Apps

    The TrueDepth Camera isn't just used for Face ID -- it powers a new feature called Animoji, which are animated characters that mimic your facial expressions. Animoji live in the Messages app, so you can send friends and family messages featuring animated characters with your voice and facial expression.


    Animoji were popular just after the release thanks to "Animoji Karaoke," designed to make it look like the Animoji characters were singing hit songs, but that has died out over the last few weeks.

    The TrueDepth Camera can send a rough facial map of your face to developers for ARKit apps. Snapchat, for example, can use this additional data from the TrueDepth camera to make its built-in facial filters more realistic than ever before.

    Additional Reading:

    [*]Privacy Advocates and Devs Raise Concerns About Third-Party App Access to TrueDepth Camera
    [*]Animoji Karaoke Takes Over Social Media Following iPhone X LaunchApple Pay

    Apple Pay on iPhone X is as simple to use as Apple Pay with devices that have Touch ID, but the checkout process is different.

    Instead of confirming a payment with a finger on the Touch ID Home button, you'll need to unlock your iPhone X with Face ID, hold it down towards the payment terminal, and then press twice on the side button. The video below walks through the steps required:

    Wireless Charging

    You can still charge the iPhone X via Lightning port like any other iPhone, but it also supports wireless charging functionality. It will work with any Qi-certified wireless charger, with or without a case (with the exception of cases with a very thick back, aluminum cases, or cases with built-in magnets).


    Wireless charging is about as fast as charging with the standard 5W wired charger from Apple, but it's slower than other wired charging methods and charging speeds can vary based on factors like ambient temperature and the amount of power being delivered by the charger.

    Aditional Reading:

    [*]iPhone X Charging Speeds Compared
    [*]iOS 11.2 Supports Faster 7.5W Wireless Charging on iPhone X
    [*]Comparison: Belkin and Mophie's Wireless Chargers
    [*]Discounted and Upcoming Qi Charging Pads

    Compared to older iPhones, the iPhone X cameras operate in much the same way, but there are some improvements and tweaks to be aware of. The iPhone X's rear-facing cameras are vertical rather than horizontal, but in practice, they work the same way.

    Portrait mode, limited to the rear-facing camera in older Plus iPhone models, is available on both the front and rear facing cameras on the iPhone X. With the front camera, Portrait Mode is enabled through the TrueDepth camera system.


    The rear facing camera is much improved, with an improved 12-megapixel sensor, new color filter, and a new image signal processor for better automatic adjustments and faster autofocus. Also new is optical image stabilization for the telephoto camera, meaning better portraits and an overall improvement to both lenses in the device.


    For both the front and rear cameras in the iPhone X, there's a new Portrait Lighting effect that works alongside Portrait Mode to let you adjust the lighting in your image to introduce studio-quality effects.

    For video, iPhone X supports 4K video at up to 60 frames per second and slo-mo video at up to 240 frames per second, and all of the aforementioned new hardware brings better stabilization for reduced blur and shakiness.

    Additional Reading:

    [*]iPhone X Camera Overview: Portrait Lighting, Video Improvements, Front-Facing Portraits and More
    [*]iPhone X Low Light Photography Test Demonstrates Improved Telephoto Lens
    Other Features

    There are a ton of other new features in the iPhone X, including a new battery design for more battery life and an A11 Bionic processor that's incredibly fast and powers all of the iPhone X's camera functionality, but these are under-the-hood inclusions that won't be an immediate change from former iPhones.


    For more information on all of the new features included iPhone X, make sure to check out our dedicated iPhone X roundup.

    Article Link: Getting to Know Your New iPhone X - What's Different
  2. democracyrules macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2016
    Thank you for an excellent article. It will help a lot of new iPhone X users. I love my beautiful gorgeous stunning eye catching attention getter silver best iPhone since November 3rd.
  3. mrr macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2008
    I don’t miss the home button at all but I still can’t get used to command center being moved from the bottom to the top. Bad move.
  4. radiology macrumors 6502


    Feb 11, 2014
    Westlake, OH
    I got my wife a X in November. It’s a very nice phone and the camera is great, but quite frankly, I couldn’t find a single feature that would convince me to make upgrade from my 6 (other that a new battery of course). Although my wife appreciates her new phone, she shares the same opinion.
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Is it possible to change the battery charge display on the lock screen from a bar to numerical? As far as I can tell, this is not an option on the X.
  6. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    It's not an option (at least so far). The alternatives are basically to use the Control Center to see the battery percentage and/or add the battery widget and use that.
  7. B4U macrumors 68000


    Oct 11, 2012
    Undisclosed location
    The notch fades into the background because most 3rd party app are still not supporting the full screen making the iPhone X look just like the 6s without the home button at the bottom. Such a disappointment!
  8. thadoggfather macrumors G4


    Oct 1, 2007
    this is a great thread for X noobs / new owners after X-mas
  9. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    I got my new iPhone X three days ago, and I'm surprised how fast I got used to the new gestures, even bringing up the control center from the top right.

    And face-id works also very well. Better than the first generation touch-id.

    All in all a very good first impression :)
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    That's what I figured. I don't miss the option so much as wondered what happened to it. Presumably Apple decided that the bar worked better in the space next to the notch.
  11. Order_66 macrumors member


    May 18, 2016
    Got used to most of the changes within a couple of days but swiping apps away is still taking some getting used to lol
  12. ThatGuyInLa macrumors 6502


    Oct 26, 2012
    Glendale, Ca.
    These videos, while done very well, actually made me want the phone even less! What a mess! The reviewer even says how it’s taking time to get used to everything he highlights but he’s okay with it. Lovely.

    This is coming down much the same as those people who liked Last JEDI and those who didn’t arguments.
  13. Johnnyhandsome macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2017
    --- Post Merged, Dec 25, 2017 ---
    Is it just me, or does the "edge to edge" claim seem a bit disingenuous? Emperor' s new clothes?
  14. rotlex macrumors 6502a

    May 1, 2003
    Good article. Got my X a few Weeks ago. Took maybe 20 minutes to get used to the changes. Funny thing is that now the gestures and Face ID feel so normal using my wife or kids phones feels awkward, lol.
  15. currentinterest macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2007
    Love my iPhone X. I much prefer the new gestures. I find my iPad Pro 10.5 inch to feel almost clunky in comparison.
  16. X38 macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2007
    Having moved from the 5S to the X back in November, the one thing I still can’t get used to is the the size and weight. This thing is just too big. Apple has seriously screwed up not offering an iPhone with cutting edge specs in a 4” screen size device.
  17. pdaholic macrumors 65816


    Jun 22, 2011
    I’ve had my X for a few weeks now, and I’m still not a fan of FaceId, but I do love the swiping gestures. Would love to see a glass-less-rear version to lighten it up a bit. Hard to go back to a smaller screen like my work iPhone 6.
  18. WBRacing macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2012
    I saw my first X out in the wild yesterday. Well sort of, it was in a major electrical retailer on a stand.

    Intrigued as I am by new tech, my overwhelming reaction after tinkering with it for 5mins was that it was "nice enough". Definitely not something I'd be happy to spend a four figure sum on to replace my 6S.

    As for screen looks, next to the Pixel 2 XL and Samsung S8 which were on adjacent stands, from a short distance to me it just looked like another big screen/small bezel device. OS is the only reason I'd choose one of the three over another but with the 6S still for sale, I believe that is the best bang for your buck iphone available at the moment.

    To me the X is is like the Porsche Boxster S - a slightly higher spec product made and sold at a premium as they know that some people will pay for it.
  19. DocMultimedia macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    Apple needs to give us an option to turn off the home bar (I call it the swipe bar). It's really annoying, and after you get used to the iPhone X (took me about 30 seconds) there is no reason to ever see it again.
  20. WhiteHawk macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2008
    Can you stop that, it doesn’t take any time at all to get used to, it’s extremely simple. It would only take that long if you were an imbecile. I didn’t miss the home button, immediately.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 25, 2017 ---
    For real, I’m not a kid and I knew how to use the phone straight away. There’s no need for it there and occasionally it appears for no reason while watching a video and if that video is in safari it’s always there, there has to be an option to turn it off and the pointless little one for the Control Center on the lock screen they added too.
  21. macplay macrumors member


    Sep 7, 2012
    New ipone X! bud it really bugs me to have to swipe up to get to the home screen. Touch id whas still much muster in handling speed. Afther 5 day’s still not so happy.
  22. WhiteHawk macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2008
    It doesn’t take time to get used to anything with the X, only kids, old people and simple people would need time to get used to everything new on this phone.

    Not having any of those issues with mine, I’m also not having any issues with the keyboard either like you seem to be.
  23. macplay macrumors member


    Sep 7, 2012
    It takes 2 handlings to open the home screen > cam scan > swipe > homescreen. With touch-id one and faster press > touch id > boom homescreen
  24. WhiteHawk macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2008
    Raise and swipe, the difference in speed is so small it means nothing, nothing. Task switcher is faster to get to than double tapping the home button, gestures are nicer, Face ID might not work in as many situations as Touch ID (though that doesn’t in all situations either) but it’s plenty good enough and is better in other ways while using the phone.

    I’ve had the phone for 7 weeks, again, don’t miss the home button at all.

    Also Handlings isn’t the correct word to use in that sentence, actions would have been better.
  25. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    The X is a nice stocking stuffer— but it's loaded with the train wreck called iOS 11. No thanks.

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