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iPhone 6(S)(+) New to forums but back to Apple after 6 years

nickdalzell1

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 8, 2019
1,142
532
Long story so be warned:

I was still using a Nokia 5185i through a prepaid MVNO as late as 2008 (hey it worked and i didn't need more at the time!) So when I heard about iPhone in 2007 i dismissed it as another Newton, ala Newton 2.0. It wasn't until the Nokia couldn't hold charge any longer (and batteries were long out of stock) my boss, tired of me missing his calls, gave me an iPhone 3GS in 2010 he had left over (he had upgraded to a 4) that i started in the smartphone world. Oh, I had 'smartphones' as far back as 2001-05 ala Pocket PC with compactflash cellular card--terrible and always defaulted to my familiar Nokia! But the iPhone was an experience I'd never had given the chance until he handed me that 3GS. The phone would be a lifeless, black slab of metal/glass and transform into a radio, or camera, or cell phone, whatever (I didn't know the reason, Skeuomorphism, was the name) and it impressed the hell out of me. I loved it. how it looked, felt, etc.

I decided two years later to get a 4, even though the 4S had come out, because the 4 was discounted. I then got a 3rd gen iPad to go with it, as the experience was that great! In late 2012 I bought my first MacBook Pro with Mountain Lion.

Sadly, in 2013, the love affair changed. iOS 7 was waiting. I didn't know anything about it but I didn't usually accept updates unless something depended on them or offered some game-changing feature, such as how 6 on my iPad gave me Siri for the first time. So i ignored it as an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" maneuver. I have always been like that.

What i didn't grasp was that I had iCloud backup/sync on, and of course that would happen if it were plugged in and connected to wifi, which both my iPhone and iPad were. Apparently it must auto-install updates too, since I woke up the next morning to the iOS 7 welcome screen. At first I figured my devices had crashed or went into some sort of 'Safe Mode' and that explained the lack of lustre, lack of UI at all. It was bright, white, seemed to be at full brightness, and all the visual delights were gone! I went on my Mac and searched and to my disgust, found out this was how it was SUPPOSED to look! So i attempted a DFU restore, with a previous iOS IPSW file, to find out I can't downgrade. I was disgusted and frustrated. I exchanged my iPhone 4 for another 4 in a store that still had iOS 6 still on it, but it, too, somehow updated one activated. iTunes updates it to the latest version or something. So i had another iPhone with an ugly pastel UI.

During the time i had my 3GS as my only Apple product, I had tried 'Android' which was in 2.3 Gingerbread at the time, and found it glitchy, not nearly as smooth especially when scrolling, and the web browser it used was bad about 'tab discarding' where you left the browser and came back, all your pages would reload and reset where you were viewing them. Long posts i was reading on Reddit would lose my place and go back to comment 1. Although it was kinda neat to root, learn to install ROMs and get a ton of options not normally present. Such as downgrading...

But I didn't want Android. But nothing seemed to be happening at Apple for me. Even my Mac got Mavericks and later Yosemite, which at least i could downgrade back to Mountain Lion (although it took forever). And it always tried to update itself! Fearing my Mac would be also stuck in a pastel lifeless looking future, I tried diverting to Windows 7 for awhile while i kept my options open.

I heard that Android is better on a 'flagship' vs. some generic $49 handset like I was experimenting with, so given reviews and word-of-mouth from family who had gotten a Samsung Galaxy S3, I looked at one at a store and played with it. While unlike my iPhone, it didn't seem to 'transform' into whatever app it used, like, it wouldn't become a tape playing Podcast player for example, it DID have the skeuomorphic UI and icons. It seemed Samsung didn't follow iOS 7's lead, so i went to one. It sucked not having my integration like with Apple, but I could not 'just get used to iOS 7' at all. I started with a Nokia 5100-series which had a monochrome flat UI, then got sold on this high def gloss of my first iPhone, improved iPad and iOS 6 experience, and now felt like Apple was going back in time and flat UI design felt so dated since I've been there before in the 80s during Amiga Workbench, MS DOS and my Nokia in the 2000s. It felt reverse to go back to that time. We had Retina displays and yet were pulling off what appeared to be a LeapPad UI.

Despite that, I grew to love my S3, I knew better than to mess with ROMs since they are often full of bugs, battery drain and the like, and it wasn't lacking in RAM or storage like that $49 handset running Gingerbread. But it still looked like Gingerbread and at least wasn't flat and had features that resembled my iPhone, and some extras such as Smart Stay which was handy if i didn't want my screen turning off while i was using it. It did ok on battery, but nowhere near my iPhone 4 battery. I had that phone for two years, then got a Note 3, which was nice but a bit large, and it finally got updated to Android Lollipop which brought over my worst fear--the same iOS 7 lame look but worse since Google had made it even whiter! So it got sold. I went back to Apple during iOS 8 to see if they had come to their senses but alas, nope. Still looks like iOS 7! So I messed around with some cheap no-name handsets that were too low spec to run more than Gingerbread or a skeuo UI. Not great experiences but there was no one else doing it.

I even went so far as to get a Note 2 from Amazon (too old, unlike my Note 3, to get the Lollipop look, plus had similar features to my Note 3, such as the S-pen) for a price of $69. It was nice to have a faster phone even if Android and I could rest comfortably knowing it would never get updated, and everything still worked fine.

It wasn't until I found some smart home accessories that had apps that depended on modern OS that I couldn't keep using my Note 2 anymore. I even had a Note 10.1 I rooted just to remove the updater and freeze it on the older OS and discovered how cheap they are made--it fell 'butter side down' on the floor and shattered its screen.

6 years in Android with all the frustration at times, lack of the smoothness of Apple in better times, I realized my newest purchase, an Android TV, couldn't even run DirecTV Now or Amazon Prime! Forums said 'get an Apple TV it runs it all!' so i did. I never had an Apple TV before, figured it couldn't be as bad as iOS 7...right?

Well, they must have fired Jony Ive or he left since it definitely looked a bit different! Maybe it's just the TVos being visually different but it had style. It had an auto dark mode, had a very nice screensaver, (was an Apple TV 4K) and never once had any 'buffering' issues like the Android TV did. So i decided 'hey i'll try an iPod touch and just keep my Note 2 as my phone for the time being' so i got one of those. It updated out of box to iOS 12 and it had a sort of iOS 7 appearance but not entirely, had a new today screen, and a much nicer to my eyes control center, not that frosted glass bare bones one of iOS 7, but a more colored one with buttons that actually looked like buttons! In Tips it offered to show what iOS 13 had to offer and i went to the site. Dark mode? some nice new home screen delights, some new gestures, and it definitely looked better than 7 ever did. It had some depth to it I can't explain but it just looks nice! Modern, not entirely Skeuo, but it had some of what Skeuo did to me. Icons that seem to have a surface to them, some drop shadows, the control center of course, and that dark mode looked very nice in the site pics.

Looked around town and there's an iPhone 6S for sale at $149!!! My mom, dad, sister and most of my family all have this phone, and of course i can take advantage of iMessage. They seemed to love it, too. So i got it. It's old, yes but it has what my 4 did. a home button, a display that's the same size as my S3, a perfect size IMO, a headphone jack, and would get iOS 13. I love this phone! It's not an X sure but it feels like the love and detail has mostly returned again. I got a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (I know most seem to hate it but i find it neat, in that it has buttons that look like buttons and i can make Safari full-screen and focus on content and use the Touch Bar as a browser toolbar, and I did that with Mail and so on as well) The Touch Bar reminds me of when Laptops had a sort of 'idiot light panel' or digital display showing icons for hard disk access, battery %, caps lock enabled and so on, but modernized and unique. It also has a headphone jack!

Got a new iPad and an Apple Watch 3, sadly I assumed wrongly that it had that new infograph face (i thought it as a 3 exclusive when in reality it's a 4 exclusive d'oh!) And when i wanted to get a Series 4 later on for a discounted price I find it's been discontinued for the Series 5. Figuring they might discontinue that too, I wanted that infograph face badly! Got a Series 5 which works well since i can use my 3 while my 5 charges and vice versa.

Either way I'm glad I came back. Android isn't polished to this day and trying to stay with an older device won't work for long, and I didn't have to deal with the nightmare I see iOS 11 was. I'm just glad they made iOS 13 look a lot nicer than 7 ever was, and MacOS Catalina has a bit of skeuo as well, solid title bars, the icons in the dock, the way windows overlap with drop shadows, Books with hardcover books, etc. I can only hope it gets better from there. But, I won't make the mistake of leaving 'auto updates' on again! From now on i'll do my homework! I learned that lesson the hard way with iOS 7, not going to repeat it!
 

Camarillo Brillo

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2019
398
355
Hey, welcome back

I find it interesting that the thing that drove you away was the change in the design of the OS. I never really thought that was a big deal. I kind of think the look improved from the dated look of older versions - like the way the included apps looked on iPhone 3g? That was my first iPhone too. It was cool at the time but looks really dated these days. But not really a big deal either way - everything still works the same way, just with functional improvements, new features, and most importantly security updates. While I admit I have in the past been upset with some design changes Apple has made in OS updates on both my iPhones and my mac computers (I flipped when I saw the new control center in iOS 11) in the long run I think it’s best to stay as up to date as possible especially on my iPhone which is where all my most sensitive info resides, like bank stuff. On my macs I’m most concerned with Logic Pro working right, so I’m hesitant to update those until I know the bugs are worked out. But I just turn off automatic updates and it’s never been a problem. You should be able to turn off auto updates on mac and iPhone.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 8, 2019
1,142
532
Well i suppose it can depend on how old one is. I'm 40 now; Lived through flat design back when it was due to the limits of old 8-bit hardware. DOS, CP/M, Amiga Workbench, etc. Even had a Mac Classic given to me for free in 1999 but I never liked it--it crashed more than Windows and it required a reboot each time--Windows just closed the program (FYI the Mac forums for Classic Macs are hostile to anyone who spells Mac as MAC, and prefers how windows crashes were handled LOL)

So I have lived through the slow transition to skeuo UI when Windows 98 got high color mode (has nicer IE, etc icons in the tray) and then Windows XP, then Vista, 7 improved the design even more so. I have an old PowerBook G4 lying around and some of my family has an old plastic white Macbook stuck on Snow Leopard so I can see how MacOS got more and more skeuo and nicer with times. I just loved how my 3GS would 'transform' into whatever app it used. My favorite app then was some kind of online radio app that looked like a leather-clad AM radio, with a volume 'knob' that you could spin around with a finger or two fingers, complete with haptic feedback 'detents' and a 'display' showing the genre, such as '80s hits' or 'classic rock' in digital segment letters. It was something no one else was doing and it made the iPhone feel like an all-in-one device when I was used to carrying such a radio with me along with a digital camera and so on. Having my phone become those things and not knowing what it might become made me happy.

iOS 7 just felt like it was the 80s or 90s Geocities era again. Bright, white, blinding and hard on my eyes and why have a retina display to pull off a 2D look?

But, i can see why folks might have preferred that look and there are many who never lived in the 80s through the first iteration of flat design so that makes sense too. I'm just glad we have a kidna mix of both designs in one now. I kept my old Note 2 and such just in case i ever felt like returning, hopefully not anytime soon if ever. But I'm just as deep into Android's ecosystem and Apple's so I don't deal with the switching issues most would. Android still feels half done, Google keeps changing every WEEK (Apple only redesigned once!) and kills apps as soon as I got used to them. Privacy is non-existant, and Hearing about the San Bernardino case made me respect Apple more over time. Android still can't scroll smoothly. Not sure why iOS and all the other Apple devices can, but that's one thing that annoys me about Android. It STILL cannot transition or scroll as smoothly as an Apple and I'm OCD about it. Even my de-Googled Note 2 (i disabled all the Google stuff and used the Samsung apps which at least resemble somewhat the old 3GS apps even though I'll never enjoy that radio app again, can't even remember its name) jitters once in awhile.

Just had to add one more gripe I had with Android during those years. I HATE how Android handles notifications! I love how Apple has the badge numbers and you know which app it is and how many of each; Love how clean the top status bar is. My status bars I feel should only show relevant info aka cellular signal status, battery level, Bluetooth status, that kind of thing. Android has this asinine habit of filling that bar with tons of icons and it drove me nuts. On the Note 2, it could overlap so badly the Bluetooth or Wifi icons would disappear to make room. It was messy and to me, unnecessary.
 
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