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Left: What I see about 95% of the time when swiping down since upgrading to iOS 16.

Right: What I always want to see when swiping down, and what I always saw when doing so in iOS 15.

I waited many, many weeks to see if maybe it just had to “re-learn” what to suggest, but even a few updates later, “Siri Suggestions” in Search are still completely broken and rendering the feature basically useless for me – I can search for something, then delete the search term again, and most often (but not always…) the suggestions will then be shown. But that defeats their entire purpose: Being a shortcut that lets me skip searching.

As many others, I recently took another look at Mastodon.1 This is the web view that pops up when you’re performing a login in the official “Mastodon for iPhone and iPad” app.

Surely there has to be a way for iOS to understand that a web view is already running inside the very app for which it is showing the Smart App Banner?

  1. You can find me, Philipp and also Annoying Technology there now. ↩︎

A few weeks ago I signed up for a Udemy course and opened an account there for that reason. This was literally the first email I got from them, more than five minutes before normal onboarding/invoicing/etc. mails. I don’t even remember consciously having deselected any “Newsletter” checkboxes during the process – but even if I did that still means I have never signed up for anything in the first place.

Another day, another fun game of “Just a very low priority UX bug, or maybe a dark pattern that they figured out leads to 0.2% more subscribers in the end?”.

Old and busted: Notifications for every Shortcut execution.

New hotness: Getting a notification every single day night about a Shortcut being able to be triggered.

I might have missed it in the mess that are iOS settings these days, but I couldn’t find a way to disable this. The delivery time of this notification has no relation to the content – the automation in question isn’t even time-based, it’s a NFC-based trigger. Which I know because I specifically set it up. I chose to do that. I’m aware of it. Why do I now have to dismiss this idiotic notification every morning since iOS 16? What is this supposed to achieve?

If it’s meant to improve security by making sure no one can set up some evil automation without me realizing, this does the opposite. I’m now being trained to just ignore this disturbance, good job. Why not show this notification only after the amount/details of enabled automations change? Maybe even in an actionable way, where I can confirm that everything is as I want it to be and then not be bothered about it again. I’d even accept doing that more than once, maybe the day after the change and once more a week later. But the current implementation can only be dismissed, and it contains zero additional context. A a malicious actor could just disable my existing automation, add the evil one, and based on the notification I’d happily think that everything was just fine.

Perfectly extracting parts of images, computationally enhancing night pictures, curating memories out of thousands of users photos. None of that is a problem for Apple’s machine learning algorithms.

Now if only we could use a small part of that skill to group transactional one-off messages into one “Notification” group in the

Where the heck is my personal vault?! How do I change accounts in this dropdown!?! Wait, what’s that one pixel line at the bottom? Hold on, can I scro… oh. Wow.

That’s the raw, uncompressed and uncropped image straight out of iOS 16’s if you click the “Share” button. Low quality and cut off.

I feel like I’m going insane, something about the behavior of notifications on the lock screen has changed for me in iOS 16. It’s the same on the actual lock screen, but it’s much easier to screen record the notifications screen that you can pull down from anywhere.

I don’t see any notifications anymore unless I swipe up first. I have missed a ton of things in the last week because I’m not seeing the things on my lock screen anymore that I expect to be there. It’s giving me massive anxiety and I now obsessively perform ridiculous swiping down and up gesture dances all the time, just to be sure my phone isn’t hiding things from me.

The documentation says this:

To see your notifications in Notification Center, do any of the following:

  • […]
  • On other screens: Swipe down from the top center. Then you can scroll up to see older notifications, if there are any.

This apparently already was the case ever since at least iOS 13 – and I never had any issues with it before the iOS 16 update. It should only affect “older notifications”, but how is that even defined? Based on time? Based on me theoretically already having been able to see it? Will a notification be marked as “old” if I accidentally glance at my phone from an angle where it can unlock upon receiving a notification, even if I don’t interact with it at all? Is the iPhone 14 Pro so much faster and better at FaceID that I now face (ha!) an issue I didn’t run into with the iPhone XS? Is there something weird going on due to the always-on screen where iOS now interprets any notification that comes in while the screen isn’t off (e.g. lying face down) as already seen? Am I experiencing some kind of bug? It certainly feels like one.

Look at the notifications in my video above – the top-most one is still showing “Now” for its timestamp. I triggered it seconds before recording the video, and I did not interact with the phone in-between at all. I didn’t see the notification on my lock screen when unlocking it, and the first thing I did afterwards was recording the video – if I hadn’t swiped up, I’d have no idea that there’s a new notification. (Same applies to the four minute old test notification.)

So much for reducing notification induced stress…