Things about Apple’s iPhone X that drive me absolutely nuts

“For well over two months, my days have ended and begun with the iPhone X,” Jessica Dolcourt writes for CNET. “Compared to older iPhones, the X feels impressively fast, slim and, with 5.8 inches of screen space, satisfyingly spacious. But as I’ve grown to appreciate some of its finer points, I’ve also discovered the traits that make me roll my eyes, gnash my teeth and occasionally erupt with a well-chosen expletive.”

“Face ID, Apple’s replacement for the secure fingerprint reader, uses the iPhone X’s front-facing camera to approve mobile purchases and unlock the phone,” Dolcourt writes. “It works by making a 3D map of your eyes, nose and mouth — except when it doesn’t. Face ID recognizes me often, but fails enough times to make me notice. For example, I have about a 50-50 success rate while wearing my polarized sunglasses.”

MacDailyNews Take: You’re using it wrong. From Apple’s Face ID support document: “If you’re wearing sunglasses designed to block certain types of light, then your sunglasses might be blocking the infrared light used by the TrueDepth camera. Try using Face ID without your sunglasses.”

“When it doesn’t work is when I want it to most: as soon as I wake up in the morning. Part of the problem is biological,” Dolcourt writes. “I’m near-sighted, which means that when I first reach for the phone while my glasses and contacts are resting in their cases, I wind up holding the phone closer to my face than the 25 to 50 centimeters that Apple recommends.”

MacDailyNews Take: So, to quote Steve Jobs, “you’re holding it wrong.”

“I use maps navigation quite a lot. When you pop out of either Google Maps or Apple Maps to do something else, the iPhone X helpfully puts a tiny blue Tic Tac around the clock, turning it into a nifty little button you can tap to pop back into the map again,” Dolcourt writes. “This is great, but Apple stops short. See, you can toggle from any app back into the map, but you can’t toggle from the map back to what you were doing before. So if you’re reading an article, you can pop into the map to check on the directions (using the shortcut) but won’t be able to return to the story (no shortcut).”

MacDailyNews Take: Swipe up and hold. Tap your app. There is no step three.

“But the biggest problem is… The first iPhone was so beloved because — in a world of hard-to-use phones that acted like mini computers with file systems, keyboards and styluses — it was simple. Anyone could pick it up and figure it out. 10 years on, you can’t use the iPhone X without a tutorial, which Apple does provide,” Dolcourt writes. “Apple, in paving the way with some new technologies, had the opportunity to rethink how we use a phone, and wound up making it more complicated to use — not less.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, it got slightly more complex. We’ve found even the most average people can get used to operating an iPhone X in a few days. Technically-minded people can get it down in a few hours. It’s not that hard.

We’ve gladly traded a few hours of relearning for never having to press that damnable Home button ever again! We hate our iPads’ antiquated Home buttons!


  1. I agree. I find it very aggravating to use my iPad Pro 10.5 inch after using my iPhone X. I was not planning to buy a new iPad Pro this year, but if it has Face ID, I will.

  2. Regarding her complaint about the lack of alarm icon (not repeated here), I think Apple has long done this poorly and it never behaved the way she believes. She assumes that an alarm icon in the status bar means an alarm will sound the next morning. However the alarm icon (through iOS 10 at least) only means you have an alarm set, whether it be tomorrow morning or next Tuesday. That’s always been one of those features that has me asking whether Apple’s software engineers even use iPhones.

  3. I like how MDN is so quick to point out that the end user must adapt to and relearn new technology.
    It’s a bit disgusting.
    What happened to the days where Apple would pride itself in shipping devices that were so intuitive that a manual or video tutorial was not required? It shouldn’t take a few days or a few hours to figure out a device.

  4. “You’re using it wrong.” vs. “It’s not really intuitive.”
    Remember, Steve Jobs was keen on making products intuitive to use. In my opinion Apple is not paying enough attention to intuitive usage anymore. And if one has to take of the sunglasses every time to unlock the phone, that’s pretty stupid. I’m staying with my iPhone 6 for now. Sorry, give me one-star ratings if you please!

  5. I am 69 years old, have been an Apple user since Apple 2E & IPhone 3, 4, 5 6s+ and now X. Have loved every IPhone for the technology it brings and ease of learning the new features. With X there was perhaps a few minutes more of getting used to the new features but I am so happy I have the X. I thought I would miss the Home button, but Not! In fact when using my iPad I get frustrated with the Home button. Face ID, I wear glasses, different styles and sunglasses with good sun protection and I have no problem with Face ID even when lying in bed. I will say, I repeated the Face ID three times to get it correct, it would work just OK but the third time was the charm! It was me learning to take my time & not rush the process.

  6. I love the face id… and i love the new UI interactivity.. nothing complex about it! In a matter of an hour or so it becomes second nature and imo much more fluid than the home button UI paradigm.

    So….to me, the Author is nagging for nothing.. maybe she got up from the wrong side of the bed.

    1. That’s the problem about talking about things before they’re released. He was wrong about most of what he thought. In part because he was comparing FaceID to poorer implementations of facial recognition that came out previously. Good God, that Samsung demo looked barbaric.

      I love the way he says he wants the TouchID to be on the back of the iPhone, but then says half the time he turns on his iPhone, it’s laying on a table.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.