Want to listen to music via a 3.5mm audio source, while simultaneously charging an iPhone? That used to be easy, but all new iPhone models have done away with the longstanding headphone jack, which once allowed users to easily connect their iPhone to home stereo systems, car stereos, headphones, and other speakers and audio interfaces via the 3.5mm AUX port, while still maintaining the availability of the Lighting charger port.
With the familiar AUX port gone for good from iPhone, Apple now instead offers a dongle connector with every new model iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus devices. The dongle serves as an adapter interface allowing you to plug it into the Lighting port, and then connect to an AUX cable if need be.
But, using that dongle means the lightning port is taken up, which is also how you charge the iPhone. Thus, if you want to listen to music via a 3.5m audio source while also charging an iPhone, you’re out of luck since the lightning port is occupied by the aux-to-lightning dongle. Or are you?
These dongle solutions will effectively solve the listening to music via a 3.5mm AUX cable while charging an iPhone simultaneously problem, something that a substantial number of iPhone owners experience in their car stereos and home audio systems.
You can find other similar adapters available on Amazon as well, but you’ll notice some of the much cheaper adapters are rated incredibly poorly and many of the reviews suggest they either don’t work at all, or fail quickly. Thus if you’re interested in a splitter cable like this, it’s probably best to spring the extra bucks for the higher quality and well-rated Belkin model.
Another option is to buy more of the AUX to Lightning dongles for every 3.5mm AUX cable you use, and then just hot-swap a charger cable when needed to power a device up, but that won’t solve the listen-while-charging issue which is a pain point for some audiophile iPhone owners. Or you could simply upgrade every speaker system you have to a Bluetooth stereo or Bluetooth receiver, whether in the car or at home. But that’s going to probably be more expensive than a $40 adapter.
Of course if you primarily listen to music from an iPhone over Bluetooth to a stereo system (car or speakers) then you can always just keep the iPhone plugged in via the single lightning port, and it will charge as usual. But if you use a lot of 3.5mm audio cables still, this just might appeal to you, so head on over to Amazon or Belkins website and grab one of the splitter adapters and you’ll be able to use an AUX port and lighting port simultaneously again.
If you’re buying a used iPhone or repairing an iPhone, you may wonder if you can find out if the iPhone was bought as new, is a refurbished model, or is a replacement device provided by Apple via a service request.
Wonder no more, you can use an interesting device model identifier trick to discover if an iPhone is new, refurbished, a replacement, or even personalized by engraving. This can be helpful information for buyers of used devices, if you’ve received a device as a gift or hand-me-down, if you’re troubleshooting or repairing an iPhone, and more.
How to Determine if iPhone is New, Refurbished, Replacement, or Personalized
You can decipher the device model prefix to determine the original status of an iPhone (and probably an iPad too) device, here’s how:
Open the “Settings” app on the iPhone
Go to “General” and then go to “About”
Look for “Model” and then read the model identifier next to that text, it will look something like “MN572LL/A”, the first character will let you know if the device is new, refurbished, replacement, or personalized:
M – Brand new device, meaning the device was purchased new
F – Refurbished device, meaning the device has been through refurbishing process
N – Replacement device, meaning the originally bought device was replaced by this model likely due to a service request
P – Personalized device with engraving, meaning the device was customized with an engraving on purchase
That’s all there is to it, now you know how to determine if an iPhone is new, referred, replaced, or other. It’s possible there are some other identifier prefixes for iPhone devices that aren’t listed here, if you know of any do share them in the comments.
I have tested this with a handful of my own iPhone devices that I know are either new, refurbished, or replacements, and it has held up. I haven’t personally seen the “P” identifier however.
By the way, it’s important to note the model identifier shown here (like MN572LL/A) is different from the general model (like iPhone X) and model number of the iOS device (like A1822) – admittedly a bit confusing since they all have similar labels, but they are indeed entirely different things.
The patch doesn’t actually fix the issue, however, and it’s unlikely Apple will ever release an iOS update that will. While researchers and programmers are actively working on ways to reduce the likelihood that your iPhone will ever be exploited using the Spectre flaws, Apple and others have made it clear that these are merely mitigations and not outright fixes.
Apple has warned that that there may be an impact on your iPhone’s performance. They shouldn’t be severe, but in some cases, they may be noticeable. Security researcher Melvin Mughal created a bit of a stir recently after he posted iPhone 6 benchmarks (since removed) showing a hit as high as 40 percent, but those results shouldn’t be common.
We tested an iPhone 6 with an original battery both before and after installing iOS 11.2.2, and the results were much more in line with what Apple told us. Here are the Geekbench 4 numbers we got, before and after installing iOS 11.2.2:
iPhone 6 bechmarks for iOS 11.2.1 (left) and iOS 11.2.2.
iOS 11.2.1 benchmarks
Floating Point: 1244
iOS 11.2.2 benchmarks
Floating Point: 1223
That’s roughly a 2.5-percent performance hit, a far cry from Mughal’s findings and not enough to be noticeable in common tasks. But your mileage may vary. So here’s what to do if you find your iPhone is sluggish after installing iOS 11.2.2:
The best way to fix PCs with lowdown issues is the best way to fix an iPhone too. Before you start fiddling with settings, simply turn off your iPhone by holding down the power button on the right side, slide the button to the right, and wait for it to turn off. Then start it up again.
Check your storage
Low storage is the biggest culprit for iPhone slowdowns, so check your available space by heading to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Inside you’ll find a breakdown of how much storage you’re using on your iPhone and which apps are using the most. Then, you can easily delete or offload the app (which removes it from your phone but keeps the data).
Reset safari cache
If the sluggishness is related to Safari (and neither of the above options help), you can try resetting the browser cache. In the Settings app, scroll down to the Safari tab, and scroll down until you see the Clear History and Website Data button. Tap it and you’ll zap your history, cookies, and browsing data to start fresh. If you want to keep your history, Select Advanced at the bottom of the page, tap Website Data, and Remove All Website Data at the bottom of the page.
If Safari is running slow after installing iOS 11.2.2., there are some ways to help speed it up.
Get a new battery
Apple has already admitted that it is throttling some older phones to compensate for declining battery life, so that could be the issue here. To swap out your aging battery for a new one and bring your performance back up to speed, head over to Apple’s support site and make an appointment.
Trust your eyes not the numbers
Benchmarks aren’t always accurate, and since the mitigations Apple is implementing for Spectre directly affect the way the chip and OS interact, it could throw benchmarks out of whack. So if your phone feels the same as it did before but Geekbench is telling you it’s way slower, don’t panic. Try some of the above fixes, keep your eye on things, but above all, keep calm and carry on.
Your battery might be making your older iPhone slow. This is because, apparently, iOS system software sometimes slows down older iPhones when the internal battery has degraded to the point where it can no longer sufficiently power the device at the expected performance level.
According to Apple, the throttling of device speed is intended to prevent the iPhone from crashing or shutting down unexpectedly due to a worn batteries diminished capabilities.
Unfortunately, that device speed throttling could have an annoying side effect of making the older iPhone noticeably slower to the end user. This is often noted after new iOS system software releases, though it should be pointed out that sometimes any observed performance degradation irons itself out over time, or can be successfully resolved with various iOS troubleshooting steps and settings adjustments on the impacted device. But, sometimes an older iPhone or iPad just feels persistently slow, and that could very well be due to having an old degraded battery.
This battery and device speed issue has gained considerable attention lately, after a series of iPhone users discovered that system benchmarks were notably underperforming on older iPhone models. For example, a widely tweeted set of screenshots and report from Twitter user @sam_siruomu showed performance benchmarks where an iPhone 6 was under clocking itself down to 600mhz, but after replacing the battery with a new one the speed corrected back to the proper 1400mhz. That anecdotal twitter report has been captured in a screenshot below:
The device benchmarking company Geekbench also seemed to confirm an occasionally observable underperformance of older iPhone models based on referencing their own benchmarking data.
With considerable hubbub generated online, and plenty of related rumors and conspiracies, Apple released a statement to TechCrunch and Buzzfeed that said the following:
“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.
Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”
That statement and admission from Apple is interesting, because there has long been speculation and conspiracy theory that Apple intentionally slows down older iPhone (and iPad) devices with iOS system software updates, but until now most users didn’t know why, they just anecdotally observed it on their devices. That notable performance degradation led to countless theories about why it might happen, along with other theories denying it happens at all and insisting it was imaginary. Well, it turns out that some observed performance decline may directly relate to the older devices battery age and quality.
How this all shakes out remains to be seen, as there are already lawsuits against Appleabout the battery issue, and the topic has also reinvigorated Right-to-Repair advocateswho argue that it’s consumer friendly to be able to easily and reasonably repair your own stuff.
This may all sound bad, but there’s actually good news here. If indeed an iPhone (or iPad) device slowdown is entirely due to an old battery, then replacing the battery should theoretically boost performance back to expectations, much as it did for the Twitter user we cited above, and that has been anecdotally reported as successful elsewhere around the web too.
Of course a notable difficulty here is that iPhone does not typically report that its internal battery is old enough to have degraded device performance, nor does the iPhone have an easily replaceable battery. The former situation is something that could be theoretically addressed in a future iOS software update, with a notification along the lines of “battery has degraded and can no longer support optimal device performance” or something similar, perhaps with a link to battery replacement options. The latter difficulty of not having an easily replaceable battery means you’d either need to get an old worn battery replaced by a competent repair center, or take it upon yourself as a DIY project.
If you do have an older iPhone (say an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s) that feels unreasonably slow, and you want to see if a battery replacement will restore performance, you’ll need to either contact Apple or an Apple authorized repair center and pay $80 for a battery replacement, or you can get a Do-It-Yourself iPhone battery replacement kit on Amazon for around $40 or so. There’s no guarantee that replacing a battery is going to speed things up and make an older device as snappy as it used to be, but it just might boost performance for some devices under the right set of circumstances.
With all the fuss about old, depleted batteries slowing down your iPhones, it might be a good idea to at least check the health of your iPhone’s battery. To do this, you can use a free tool called coconutBattery, an app that digs into your iOS and Mac devices to tell you how old they are, and how strong your battery is compared to when it was new.
CoconutBattery is an Mac app that performs a single task — it checks the status of the battery in your Mac, or the battery of any iDevices connected to that Mac. To use it, you just plug your iPhone or iPad into your Mac, and make sure that it trusts the host computer (if you regularly sync your iPhone with your Mac, you can skip the “trust” step. If you don’t, then just follow along with the instructions that will appear on your Mac and iPhone’s screens).
Once connected, you’ll see a window something like this:
All you need to know about your iPhone battery in one place.
That’s the iOS page of the coconutBattery window, and it shows you several pieces of useful info. The top section is basic data about the connected iPhone (or iPad): dater of manufacture, OS version, device model, and the storage space currently used. For more details –serial number, ages in days, and the current kind of charger connected — click on the Device details… button.
Below that is the section we’re interested in: the battery details. Here you will see two bars, hopefully both green. The upper bar shows you the current charge level of the battery (similar to the percentage readout on the iPhone itself), along with the current charge, and the full possible charge capacity in milliAmp hours (mAh).
New vs. old
Below that is a bar showing the “design capacity” vs the current capacity. That is, it shows you how much charge your iPhone’s battery can hold today, vs how much it could hold when it left the factory (the “design capacity” is the official spec for you device — the actual capacity when new could be slightly over or under that number, but it is a good guide).
Thus, you can see just how weak your battery has become over the years. You can also see how many charge cycles the battery has been through.
Works on Mac batteries too
CoconutBattery also works on the Mac.
How to maximize your battery’s lifespan
There are several tips yo can follow to keep you battery healthy for as long as possible. Apple has a support page dedicated to just that, and it’s a great read if you want the truth about batteries from the source. After all, who would know better about battery life and health than Apple, a company obsessed with optimizing battery performance so it can make its devices ever smaller?
Check it out, and maybe you’ll be able to make your current iPhone last a little longer.
If you are running coconutBattery on a Mac with a battery i.e. a MacBook, then you can see this info for your Mac’s battery too. And you can also save the current data in order to keep a record of your batteries’ depletion over time. And finally, there’s a coconutBattery Plus upgrade to let you check iOS batteries wirelessly, and to unlock battery charge notifications, plus advanced viewers for Mac and iOS.
These are the not-so-obvious tips iPhone pros use.
If your iPhone ($699.00 at Apple) is constantly binging and buzzing and you are continually apologizing for missing texts and not responding in a timely fashion, then it might be time to dig in to some of the features in iMessage that can help prevent your texts from taking over your life. Let us begin.
1. Mute group text alerts
The ability to mute group texts is, by far, my favorite feature of iMessage. When you get thrown into a group text, you can mute the alerts as the group banters back and forth. From the list of messages, swipe left and then tap the purple Hide Alerts button. You’ll see a little crescent-moon icon to the left, indicating that its alerts are snoozing. (You can always swipe and tap Show Alerts if you want back in on the alerts.)
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET
2. Give a group a name
If you’ve got multiple group text conversations going, it can be hard to keep track of which group is which. Maybe labels can help. You can quickly name a group text by opening the conversation, tapping the “i” icon in the top right and then tapping Enter a Group Name at the top. Now, the name you give it will appear on your messages list instead of a less-than-useful partial list of names.
3. No repeats
I have a strict one text = one alert policy. Alerts for text messages repeat once by default, so your phone will chirp or vibrate when a text arrives and again two minutes later. But once — and only once — is enough. Go to Settings > Notifications > Messages > Repeat Alerts and choose Never to stop text alerts from repeating.
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET
4. Set a special tone for that special someone
Not every text that arrives carries the same level of importance. Your buddy texting you about fantasy football isn’t the same as your spouse or significant other texting about being late. Give that special someone in your life a personalized text alert tone. Open the Contacts app, tap Edit and scroll down to Text Tone and select something other than Default. You can also change the default vibration tone here, too.
5. Block someone
If someone is pestering you via text, it’s easy to block that number. From your text conversation, tap the “i” in the top right, tap the name or number at the top and then tap Block this Caller. Finally, tap Block Contact to confirm. (You can always go back and tap Unblock this Caller if you change your mind and want to resume texting with a blocked contact.)
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET
6. Reply from notification
You don’t need to open the Messages app to reply to a message. You can reply directly from a text notification. Just 3D Touch (long-press) on the notification and you can send your reply.
7. Hide previews
Of course, text notifications mean prying eyes might peep a private conversation. You can turn off text previews completely or just from the lock screen. Head to Settings > Notifications > Messages and scroll down to Show Previews and choose either When Unlocked or Never. You can keep alerts enabled but when a banner alert appears to signal the arrival of a text message, it will just show the sender’s name but no message preview if you have Show Previews disabled.
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET
8. App icon shortcut
To fire off a quick text, you can 3D Touch the Messages app icon and start a New Message or reply to one of three people with whom you were recently texting.
9. Send quick reply
You can also use 3D Touch to fire off a quick response. From the messages list, 3D Touch on a message to open a preview of it and then slide your finger up to reveal three canned responses. If none fits, then you can tap Custom to open the message and type out your own.
10. Forward without copy and pasting
I’ll end here with my second favorite tip, after the muting of chatty group texts. I once thought you needed to copy and paste the text from a text bubble in order to forward it, and it’s always a bit of a pain to highlight text and copy it on an iPhone. Little did I know there is a secret forward-message feature in iMessage. Tap and hold on a text bubble, tap More in the menu that pops up from the bottom and then tap the arrow in the lower right corner. Now, the text will be entered into a new message, which you can now send off to whomever you please. Way easier than copying and pasting.
It’s like Y2K all over again for iPhone users. When the clock struck midnight on December 2, 2017, many iPhones that were running iOS 11.1.2 began inexplicably rebooting and crashing. But if you’re one of the affected users, there’s already a fix.
The bug involves iOS’s “local” notifications, alerts that happen on your iPhone rather than Apple’s push notification service. It’s difficult to know which apps use local notifications and which use remote notifications, but one example is meditation app Headspace, which sends users daily reminders to relax and breathe. Any app that sends local notifications could be a culprit.
Users on Twitter are complaining about their phones randomly restarting.
As a result, Apple pushed out iOS 11.2 in the middle of the night, a major update that also brings Apple Pay Cash, faster wireless charging for the iPhone 8 and X, and a number of bug fixes and visual changes. The sixth beta of iOS 11.2 was released yesterday, just days after beta 5 landed. It was presumably released early as a result of the bug, as Apple doesn’t usually push out major iOS updates after midnight on a Saturday.
If you woke up to a crashed iPhone, here’s what you need to do to fix it:
Turn off all notifications so the update won’t be interrupted by a rogue alert. Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy task, since there’s no toggle to turn off all notifications at once, and local notifications could still slip in with Do Not Disturb switched on. Head over to the Notifications tab in the Settings app, and browse your list of apps to find any that are sending notifications. Tap the name and turn off the Allow Notifications toggle.
If your phone won’t allow you to reach the home screen to change the notifications, try plugging it into your Mac or PC to update via iTunes.
Install the iOS 11.2 update in Settings>General>Software Update.
After the update installs, turn on the notifications you turned off.
If you still have issues after installing the update and turning on notifications, Apple recommends contacting Apple Support.
The story behind the story: Bug fixes are a normal part of OD upgrades, but the December 2 iOS bug is a terrible cap to a week of problems. First there was a major flaw in macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 that allowed anyone full access to your computer by entering the username root without a password. A fix quickly arrived, but that fix broke file sharing. And now it seems that the latest High Sierra beta bring the root bug back and reinstallation of the fix.
Earlier this week, Apple apologized for the macOS bug and said, “Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again.” But this new iOS bug isn’t an isolated problem: Ironically, it was the iOS 11.1.2 bug that caused the issue, which was initially pushed out to fix issues with the iPhone X‘s screen responsiveness in the cold, preceded by the iOS 11.1.1 update that fixed the “capital I” autocorrect bug. So maybe Apple needs to take a hard look at its iOS development process as well.
If this describes what you are experiencing on an iPhone or iPad, your device is likely being impacted by the odd date bug that has now been patched with iOS 11.2.
The problem appears to originate with other versions of iOS 11 and how some apps handle local notifications and alerts, so apps that may try to remind you or alert you of something can trigger the bug and then cause the crash loop sequence.
Tips for Fixing the Crash Loop Bug in iOS 11
If your device is actively stuck in a crash loop with iOS 11, you must update to iOS 11.2 to resolve the problem. You can try the following if you’re stuck in a crash loop:
Put the device into Do Not Disturb mode via Control Center
Or, disable notifications in iOS completely for each third party app (via Settings > Notifications > toggling off per app)
It’s not clear how widespread the problem is, and not everyone will be impacted by the bug because not everyone has one of the apps pushing local notifications to the device which could then trigger the crash.
And as to why it started happening on December 2 specifically is also a bit of a mystery, but perhaps we’ll find that out over time.
The crash loop bug is pretty annoying, and is probably why Apple released iOS 11.2 on a weekend – an unusual perhaps even rushed move for the company, which typically only releases new system software versions during the week days.
Anyway, if you’re impacted by this and have an iPhone or iPad on iOS 11, or you are concerned about being impacted by this, update to iOS 11.2 on the iPhone or iPad. The bug should not impact devices running earlier system software releases prior to iOS 11.
Want to quit apps on iPhone X? Maybe an app is misbehaving or draining your battery, or maybe you don’t want to updating or doing things in the background. If you need to quit running apps on iPhone X, you may have noticed that the traditional swipe up gesture does not work to close the app and instead sends you back to the home screen.
Instead, iPhone X has a new method of quitting apps that uses a two part method composed of both a gesture and then a tap and hold. It may take a little bit of getting used to, but the end result is the same; you can close out of running iOS apps.
How to Quit Apps on iPhone X
Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause for a moment to access the application switcher on iPhone X
Now tap and hold on any app preview card until the red “(-)” minus symbol appears in the corner of each app preview card
Tap the red “(-)” minus symbol to quit the app *
Swipe over to other app(s) and tap the red minus (-) button on those to quit as well, if desired
Swipe up again from the very bottom of the screen to exit out of the multitasking screen on iPhone X
* Once the red buttons appear, you can then swipe up on the preview cards to quit the apps. You can also tap multiple red minus buttons concurrently to quit multiple apps at the same time on iPhone X.
That’s it, just swipe up to access the multitasking screen, then tap and hold, then tap the red button to quit apps on iPhone X. Or, tap and hold, then swipe up once you see the red buttons appear on the app previews. The tap and hold action is a bit like what you use to delete iOS apps quickly from the Home Screen too, so it should be familiar to iOS users. Of course here we’re just quitting the app rather than deleting it, however.
The video below shows how this works, starting from the swipe and pause gesture, then tapping and holding to quit apps on iPhone X multitasking screen:
Note that if you simply swipe up on an app preview card, like how you quit apps on prior iOS devices, you’ll wind up back at the home screen of the iPhone X. But, you can swipe up after the red minus buttons appear on the app preview cards, that will close the apps as well.
If iPhone X is the future, then iOS is the vehicle to get us there. Apple’s latest iPhone introduces all sorts of little changes to iOS that compensate for the lack of Home button and the camera notch, but for the most part, iOS on iPhone X isn’t all that different than it is on the iPhone 8.
In fact, if iPhone X shows us anything, it’s that iOS is a little behind the times. Apple has done well to freshen it up with new gestures and animations, but compared to the sleek curves and OLED screen on iPhone X, iOS feels less modern than ever. And if iPhone X is truly going to lead Apple over the next 10 years, then iOS is going to need to be three steps ahead of it. Here are 10 ways iOS 12 can get the ball rolling:
1. Give us a dark mode
As we can see on Apple Watch, a dark OS theme takes full advantage of OLED, blurring the lines between the glass and the screen, and giving the illusion of an infinite screen. Apple might tout iPhone X as being “all screen,” but in reality it actually has a pretty thick bezel. We can kind of simulate it with the Invert colors toggle in the Accessibility settings (as seen in the picture above), but a true dark mode in iOS would eliminate the visual barrier between the screen and the bezel and make it seem like you’re holding a edge-to-edge piece of glass.
2. Expand Face ID’s reach
Face ID is very impressive on iPhone X, but it’s not quite perfect. Much like Touch ID’s debut on the iPhone 5s, Face ID is very much a work in progress, and Apple is surely going to improve the speed and reliability of it on future iPhones. Two things we’d like to see, though: greater angles of recognition so we don’t have to focus so intently on the screen while unlocking, and the ability to add a second face. With Touch ID, our spouses and kids had fingerprints registered so they could use our phones without asking for our passcode (or our fingers), and we’d like to do the same with Face ID.
3. Go all in on the notch
The camera notch isn’t nearly as bad as we thought it would be. While it still looks a little silly in pictures, in practice it’s not all that distracting, and in the right instances, it’s actually kind of cool. But one thing is for sure: It’s not going away anytime soon. So, if that’s the case, we’d like Apple to add even more functionality to the spaces around the notch, turning the status bar into a fully interactive space that eliminated the need to open the Control Center so often. For example, tapping the battery icon could show how much percentage is remaining or tapping the time could toggle between it and the date. And here’s a really cool one: Reddit app Apollo (seen above) uses the top right space to show sound adjustments so your view isn’t obstructed just because you want to raise the volume.
4. Let us swipe anywhere to unlock
There’s no doubt that at some point in the future our iPhones will automatically jump to the home screen as soon as we look at them, but until that day arrives, we still need to swipe up. The problem is, you need to swipe from the very bottom of the screen where the home indicator is. And we often forget, meaning we have to swipe twice to unlock. Much like Apple removed the bar in iOS 7 and let us slide anywhere to get to the passcode screen, the ability to swipe up in the center of the screen would save literally hundreds of seconds each day.
5. Build an always-on display
Now that Apple is finally using OLED in an iPhone and can take advantage of its power-saving benefits, the time is ripe for an always-on display. A staple of Android flagships for years, it’s an incredible useful feature, showing things like time, battery percentage, and notifications without needing to do more than glance at your phone. We’d love to see what an always-on display would look like on iPhone X, but mostly it would be nice if our phones didn’t light up every time they need to alert us that a notification has arrived.
6. Add a double-tap to sleep gesture
Without the Home button, the only way to turn on the iPhone X’s screen is to press the side power button, so Apple gave us a cool gesture: tap to wake. But it only works when the display is off. To turn off the display, we still need to press the power button. On LG phones, you can double-tap on the home screen to put it to sleep, and it would be incredible useful on iPhone X too.
7. Put the apps in a drawer
We’ve been hating on the icon grid for years, but on iPhone X it’s downright criminal. With such a brilliant screen, we want to see our entire home screen image, but Apple still forces us to clutter our screen with icons. It’s time Apple gave us the option to keep them hidden a la Android’s app drawer, showcasing the iPhone X screen in all its glory.
8. Make unlocking smarter
We can debate the merits of Face ID over Touch ID all day long, but the bottom line is we shouldn’t need to unlock our phones every time we want to use them. On Android phones, you can keep your phone unlocked when you’re connected to trusted Wi-Fi networks or using certain Bluetooth devices, and a similar feature would be awesome in iOS. How great would it be if you didn’t even need to use Face ID to unlock your iPhone X once you strapped an Apple Watch onto your wrist?
9. Fix the keyboard
iPhone X may give us more screen to work with, but when you’re typing a message or email, you don’t actually get any space benefits over the iPhone 8 Plus. That’s because Apple has opted to position the keyboard with a sizable bit of space below it so as to not interfere with the home indicator. Fair enough, but at the moment, it’s pretty much wasted. Apple has put the dictation and keyboard switcher buttons down there, but why not add a Touch Bar-style row of favorite emoji too? Or at least let third-party developers customize it with their own buttons? Every pixel on iPhone X is valuable, and it’s a shame to have so much blank space.
10. Bring over iPad-style multitasking
iOS 10 brought some serious multitasking abilities to the iPad, but it needn’t be relegated to tablets anymore. Now that the iPhone X screen is nearly six inches, we should be able to run two apps comfortably at the same time. Or use a PIP window and drag and drop. iPhone X’s giant screen and gesture-based navigation opens it up to a whole array of multitasking possibilities, and iOS 12 needs to get on board.
Here’s what the luckiest people in the world are saying about Apple’s new iPhone
While the rest of the world has a few days (or, gulp, weeks) to wait for the new iPhone X, Apple has bestowed review units on a few bloggers and vloggers, and their first thoughts have arrived. And surprise, surprise, they’re very positive.
The impact on you at home: With a phone like iPhone X, first impressions matter, and Apple clearly wants everyone to know just how cool its new phone really is. The hand-picked bloggers and vloggers here are a departure from the usual select-group of journalists, so Apple is targeting a very different audience with these first impressions. When the reviews land later this week we’ll have a more technical understanding of its pros and cons, but for now, iPhone X looks like a winner and the first step toward the next smartphone revolution.
‘Halfway’ to the future
Longtime tech journalist Steven Levy has the first deep-ish dive into iPhone X over at Wired, and he found it to be “dazzling” and “impressive,” with a screen that “will persistently reassure buyers that emptying their wallets for an iPhone X wasn’t folly.” Levy says the camera/sensor notch at the top of the screen is initially an “aesthetic setback,” but ultimately little more than “a tiny distraction in your peripheral vision that you eventually get past.” And he said while the new gesture-based navigation required “some relearning” but didn’t take long to master.
As far as Face ID, Levy notes that the system “pretty much” works, but requires a degree of focus to make sure you’re making the proper eye contact with the sensor. He did, however, note that using Face ID to activate Apple Pay is “a clearer way to do transactions.” He also praised the camera, Animoji, and increased battery life.
Ultimately, Levy sees iPhone X as a “halfway point to that future” rather than a full-on revolution: “Those who shell out the cash for this device will enjoy their screen and battery life today. But the real payoff of the iPhone X might come when we figure out what it can do tomorrow.”
In a somewhat uncharacteristic move, Apple also invited a handful of YouTube performers to New York City for an exclusive iPhone X hands-on event. Booredatwork.com, Soldier Knows Best, and Highsnobiety have each posted videos of their impressions of the device.
All three are enamored with the design and demonstrate Face ID functionality. There were no major gaffes, but Booredatwork.com pointed out that it was a bit of an inconvenience to swipe the screen after Face ID unlocked the device.
Like Levy, Soldier Knows Best wasn’t too distracted by the notch, and he found the Face ID setup method to be easier than Touch ID. And he too found Animoji to be fun, if not a bit gimmicky. Additionally, Noah Thomas and Brian Farmer of Highsnobiety found Face ID and Apple Pay to be “so fast now,” and were particularly impressed by the new portrait lighting selfies and AR capabilities.
“Apple’s on another level,” said Thomas. “Shout-out to Steve Jobs. He’s really looking down and he’s proud of the team.”