It Just Works (except when it doesn't)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jollyreaper, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. jollyreaper macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2011
    I was a dumb phone user until I finally got the 4S. Became a convert to IOS with the Touch 3. All I was looking for was a decent mp3 player and ended up getting a kick-ass palmtop computer in the bargain. So eventually getting a 4S was a natural step.

    I've never really liked any of the other phone computers I'd seen up until the iphone. Palm had a mix of good and bad, anything using WinCE was wince-inducing. Hated everything that tried to replicate the desktop metaphor on something that obviously wasn't a desktop.

    The Touch was a little laggy but I didn't really appreciate by how much until I got the 4S. The UI screams. Good stuff. Was there room for improvement? Yes. But none of those problems were addressed in ios6.

    What I like:
    1. It's a freakin' digital brain augment hooked into the digital world. It's out of science fiction.
    2. Every fact necessary available at a click, wikipedia or wolfram-alpha or anything else I care to google.
    3. Maps was very, very well-done. The original Map App, that is, not what we have now.
    4. Always downloading podcasts, streaming music from Pandora, Youtube clips, audiobooks, etc.
    5. Amazon app is very useful, especially the visual ID/barcode scanner.
    6. All of my contacts, emails, phone numbers, reminders, at my fingertips.
    7. Siri, when she works which is sporadic, is very useful.
    8. Netflix streaming. Whee!

    What I don't like:
    1. Podcasts could have used a subscribe feature. (more on that later)
    2. Keyboard keeps auto-hiding in Safari, necessitating that I switch to another tab and then go back to the previous to get it back.
    3. Itunes. Worthless abomination offensive to all mankind. I want to put my music on my phone when I want like with a normal mp3 player, just plug it in and copy. Apple refuses.
    4. Can't manage photos easily. I can plug into a PC to pull off but I can only create folders and reload images onto the phone via itunes.
    5. Inability to easily load content not formatted for Apple onto phone. As in I can't just hit a podcast site and download the mp3 into my phone. If it's not through itunes on the phone I can't cache it, I could maybe play it via an on-page widget. Walled garden again.
    6. Walled garden approach with app store. Apps I like have been pulled due to arbitrary Apple decrees. Loved this one wifi tool that Apple went and banned.
    7. Inability to backup my app data. I want to go in, get the save files and move them somewhere. Apple hides and obfuscates this. So I can do a full backup to the computer but if something breaks in what's installed, there's no way to do a clean reinstall of everything and then reload the data.
    8. Many of the touted new features that come along with new updates means big drains on battery. Location reminders use GPS, kills battery. Push doesn't just kill battery but feeds it through woodchipper.
    9. The app store has been pretty difficult to use for browsing. Item 75 looks interesting, you open it, go back and the list resets back to 1. Sure, I can search for an app if I'm told about it but if it's not in the top 10 list anywhere, I'm not likely to find it on my own. I've had some games I've really liked that I've tried to "find" with casual browsing. They've never even made the list. If I was not specifically told of them, I'd never have found them.

    What do I really dislike that's represented by IOS6? Windows upgrades. What's a Windows upgrade? Microsoft pretty much had the OS nailed down by Win2K. Stable enough, fixed Win9x's issues. All the necessary features were there, everything worked. But they kept releasing new operating systems because, hey, they need a revenue stream. So we get XP which is just a facelift for 2k. Fine. And then we get Vista which was like an unlicensed back alley facelift for XP. Then we get 7 which was reconstructive surgery trying to repair the damage done by the last operation. Ok, fine. And then 8 comes out and it's like they went to the surgeon who made Michael Jackson's nose fall off. It's not like they changed any of the functionality of the system tools you actually use. Control panel looks different and there's ten more clicks to get anywhere but the actual controls once you figure out how to open them are the same. There's been no refinement, no improvement, just rearranging crap and calling it a new version.

    IOS is stuck in this loop. Weather app is reskinned. Who cares? Here's News Stand and Passbook nobody cares about. Put them on the screen you never go to. Game Center? Another pointless thing to move. Notification center! Great, and now all the apps can constantly hammer the web and kill my battery faster.

    Specific fails:
    1. Cutting off nose to spite Google. The new maps is a fail. Apple will improve it with time? Last I checked, the motto was "It Just Works," not "It'll work eventually." You never ever ever take away functionality from the end user once you've given it to them. Figure out how to improve a process you bungled, yes. But don't take things away.
    2. Podcast change. Why? It worked fine playing through the music center. You added subscriptions? Wow, that was one of the few improvements I was looking forward to! But it doesn't work. Wonderful. And now I don't even get to see podcast notes because they disappeared. Reviews don't display right either.
    3. App store. Looks like it was designed with a bigger screen in mind. And it keeps timing out, even when on wifi. Still not any easier to navigate and browse.
    4. Live beta testing. Apple is supposed to be giving us mature, tested technology. We're not supposed to be guinea pigs. Siri has a lot of potential but fails too much. She works just well enough I start to rely on her and then she falls on her face. Voice control is the way of the future but it's still a mess.

    Out of the 200 touted updates, the top ten list consists of minor tweaks to existing apps and more BS social media crap nobody needs. Ok, sure, maybe some people might like facebook integration but it sounds like they bodge the contact list with it. I'm not enabling it.

    I think that the reskinning was done mainly to provide a visual overhaul so that people will perceive things to be more different than they are. This is not really a release worthy of going up a version number, it's a point release.

    There are people who are saying that the iphone is getting stale. What does that even mean? You design a tool to fit the job. Once you generally get the idea right, where else is there to go? It's like saying the paradigm of the desktop computer is stale. What? You need a screen, a keyboard and a mouse. How do you improve on that? Ok, you can make the computer small enough to fit in the back of the screen or inside the keyboard. Are you doing anything different with the keyboard and the mouse? It works. Could there theoretically be a better way to control the machine? Yes, but nobody's come up with it yet. You reach a certain level of refinement, there's just not much you can do to improve it, you have a mature product. How much has the mouse changed? Physical balls to IR sensors, from two buttons to one button to a dozen but two is the sweet spot. The scroll wheel is pretty much the only interface refinement of the past decade that was worth anything. The mouse has been perfected.

    The real question is "What would you like the iphone to do that it currently can't?" The software version of that question can be answered on today's hardware and the hardware question would be answered in the next model. Personally, I'd just be happy if Apple would stop throwing gimmicky, ill-conceived ideas at us and just make software that gets out of the way of using it. That's the difference between any Windows phone and an iphone. It looks like we're going to get dodgy crap larded on until it looks like a budget-level Windows desktop, all shovelware and random crashes.
  2. Big.Mac.Daddy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012

  3. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Oct 14, 2011
    In iTunes, select your phone, under Summary, there's a check box to manually manage your music.
  4. Mr Hill macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
  5. iamthekiller macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2010
    Some people love to complain. I'm glad you're happy.
  6. jollyreaper thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2011
    Doesn't work right, can't actually get at the actual data files?


    And this lets me connect the phone to any computer (pc, mac, linux), move music on and off like it's an external drive, take to another computer, do the same?
  7. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    Install itunes, sync, done.

  8. jollyreaper thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2011
    Thanks for your dismissal. Can we have a rational discussion with pros and cons or do we only engage in unquestioning praise?


    I like the iphone. It's the best option on the market right now. The changes being made by Apple are not helping that position at all.
  9. Big.Mac.Daddy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    Have you tried iExplorer?

    I use it all the time. It's completely free with no ads and lets you view the file system on your iPhone and copy/paste any file to or from your computer and iPhone.
  10. cal6n macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2004
    Gloucester, UK
    No. Buy something else if this is important to you.
  11. jollyreaper thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2011

    Brilliant. No jailbreak required? Ooooooh, I like the features listed. Will have to try this out tonight. Stoked!
  12. sixteen12 macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    tl;dr this phone had aspects I didn't like as much as I could and improvements could be made. These improvements are the ones you read most on the internet and I refuse to look for alternative methods of doing things and will likely switch to android because itunes is lawl.
  13. jollyreaper thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2011
    You sure put me in my place! Someone else might have had an original retort but an image macro, why, that was entirely original and unexpected! In a battle of wits, you fight open-handed.
  14. Big.Mac.Daddy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    No jailbreak needed. Simply start it and plug in your iPhone and it works like magic :)

    Hope it helps!
  15. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I agree Maps was a one step forward, two steps back experience that is an unfortunate consequence of their spat with Google. However, until Google releases a native app (and I'm pretty sure they will), install the web app from and you'll get back most of the functionality that was lost.
  16. jollyreaper thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2011
    Android is fragmented and immature still. As bad as Apple is about abandoning hardware that's a few years old, their support for iphone with bugfixes is hands down better than any other manufacturer on the market. I use iphone despite itunes, not because of it.

    Heck, I was using a Sansa Fuse before I went with Touch. The unit worked well enough for what I wanted, a simple and cheap mp3 player. Sansa went and completely destroyed the firmware in the next model. When the physical wheel on my old player broke, it was a choice between the crippled new Fuse or something else. Cost was the reason why Touch was my last choice. All of the other features I didn't even buy it for won me over, made me a happy convert.
  17. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    normal people don't have 20 computers just for the hell of it. you sound like me 20 years ago. instead of having things centralized and organized everything is spread around 10 different places
  18. jollyreaper thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2011
    Would it even be approved? Apps that duplicate native functionality are seldom approved. Still not sure how Opera made it.

    I've used the web version of Maps, it's nowhere near as good as native was.

    One other thing that surprises me, the navigation doesn't pause what's playing when it speaks, just mutes it. That would have made more sense. That's one of those little touches. For example, the way audio stops playing if the headphone jack is pulled, that's a perfect little touch. The way audio will suspend during a phone call and seamlessly resume, that's a perfect touch. Same with how audio playback is bookmarked when you interrupt play and resumes when you reload the music app, even if it's been offloaded from active RAM. The Overdrive app (used for ebook and audiobooks from libraries) has had a bug for the last two years where it refuses to bookmark your place except when you use the 15 second rewind button. Any time I want to suspend listening I have to hit the jog or it will have a 50% chance of losing my spot and resetting to the last rewind. That's not Apple's fault, of course, but a perfect example of sloppy design work.


    Normal people also have friends and might want to put music on their computer or take music off of it. Why, here's my phone! But wait, I forgot to transfer the music to my usb keychain at home so no, we can't share. Normal people might also have laptops they take on the road with a bigger PC at home.
  19. vastoholic macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    What? Auto-hiding when? When there's no need for you to type something? If you need you use the keyboard just touch in an area that allows input. No need to switch tabs. Maybe I'm not getting the problem. But it does sound like you're making your life more difficult than it needs to be. Maybe make an appoitment at an apple store for one of their free training classes on how to get the most out of your products.
  20. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Apple has approved lots of other maps applications. I have Co-Pilot Live that I used for turn-by-turn. Garmin and Tom-Tom also have similar apps.
  21. sixteen12 macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    Yeah there is no reason to believe Google won't release its Maps for iOS and no reason to think Apple won't approve it.
  22. jollyreaper thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2011
    Maybe I didn't describe the behavior properly.

    1. Hit reply button
    2. See box to type in
    3. Tap box to type, keyboard appears
    4. Start to type and keyboard disappears, not when I change focus from the text box but while I'm still in it
    5. Move to different tab in browser
    6. Move back to original tab in browser
    7. Resume typing, problem goes away

    It's some sort of glitch and other people have encountered it but so far nobody knows what causes it or how to properly fix it. I used to think I had to restart the whole Safari app so was very pleased to find out swapping tabs fixed it.
  23. KimMelton661 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2012
  24. vastoholic macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    Oh ok. I've had that happen before but usually it is when safari is still loading the page, but I've always been able to click back into it. That's a weird problem.

Share This Page