Humans are interesting creatures of habit. We say what we should not when we should not. We do what we should not even though we know we should not. We know politicians lie but choose them anyway. We know advertising is designed to persuade us to do the bidding of someone else, but we allow it anyway.
Every year at this time certified members of the technorati elite politburo offer up a laundry list of expected new features for new iPhones. Then they explain why said features will not be as good as a competing product. Then explain why Apple is doing it all wrong. Then explain why Apple will fail. Soon. Just wait. It will happen.
‘Why I’ll Never Buy An iPhone Again‘ is a link bait headline that explains everything wrong about technology analysts and their criticism of all things Apple. How so?
Jason Hiner writing for ZDNot:
There are times when Apple swallows its pride and puts product usability ahead of the company’s narrative of being a leader and an innovator. Wireless charging, bezel-less displays, and dual cameras on the iPhone are the most the recent examples.
As usual, Hiner does not explain himself, so let’s assume that being a leader and innovator means getting features out first vs. features that work better. With few exceptions, Apple isn’t first to the line with new features.
One area where Apple is stubbornly holding onto the innovator narrative and badly impacting the usability of its most important product–and that’s with Face ID on the iPhone X, and soon the iPhone XS as well.
Face ID and Touch ID. Apple ditched the latter to make room for the former. Hiner thinks that’s wrong because Touch ID is so much better. Is it?
The problem is that Face ID just isn’t well suited to enough scenarios as the Touch ID fingerprint scanner was.
But Touch ID works in all situations? Cold weather, gloves, wet fingers, greasy sensor, and a host of other issues tell me Touch ID– as great as it has become– has issues of its own.
Face ID doesn’t work well in low light and it doesn’t work well at times when it’s slow, awkward, or difficult to point your phone at your face–like when you’re phone is sitting on your desk and you want to check a notification or you’re sitting at a stoplight and you want to change playlists on a music app.
In other words, it works OK until it doesn’t work OK. I understand the issue of wanting to check an incoming message by glancing at iPhone while it rests near my keyboard. All I had to do with Touch ID was touch the fingerprint scanner, pick up the iPhone, view the message. Face ID doesn’t work that way so it must be bad, right?
Face ID changes the sequence. Lift up phone (one hand), flip the screen to unlock (one hand, Face ID has already unlocked the display), view message.
Hiner’s missive starts with the link bait ‘iPhone XS: The one reason I won’t buy in.’
Apple’s three new 2018 iPhone models will all use Face ID and drop Touch ID. This is a mistake and step backward.
I beg to disagree. Hiner used iPhone X for a few months and couldn’t figure out how to make it work for him. I’ve used iPhone X for 10 months and it works better than Touch ID. Not having Touch ID does not seem to have hurt iPhone sales, so maybe customers have already voted.
No feature is ever perfect for everyone in every situation. If I had to choose I would prefer Face ID over Touch ID. Both would be better but those smartphones with both don’t do either one very well.
I’m a tech journalist and have to stay current and write about these things, I’ve bit the bullet and upgraded iPhones every year since 2007 when the first iPhone arrived. I can’t do it in 2018. I’m going to hold onto the iPhone 8 and its Touch ID sensor until Apple swallows its pride and combines Face ID and Touch ID into a future iPhone–hopefully in 2019.
What if the last iPhone with Touch ID was last year’s iPhone 8, and all future iPhones only have Face ID? We know what kind of technology journalist you are now and your ability to analyze and offer insight next year will only be worse.
Maybe it’s a good thing that Apple sticks with Face ID. No more Hiner the whiner.