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Can’t even get the services upselling to work properly. Well, I’ll just check manually then. Nope!

It’s been a week of using iOS 15 for me now, I wonder if I finally ran into the last of these. Gotta catch them all! There has to be a better way of highlighting new features – when I open an app it is because I want or maybe even need to use it, right now. And more often than not this means that I do not have time or peace of mind to learn about new features.

Setting aside the sheer insanity of this interstitial coming up during completion of a payment transaction, I have been using your shitty app for literal years. As a matter of fact, I had it opened about two minutes earlier to confirm logging in on the webpage.

Of course “Remind me later” is the only prominently displayed action. A “Leave me alone” button would be perfect here.

Pretty amazing, my 256 GB (or rather 247,09 GB I guess) iPhone has 44,74 + 106,44 + 13,16 + 103,25 = 267,59 GB used, but not to worry because even though it’s completely full according to the chart there is still 96,22 GB available, making for a total of 363,81 GB. Impressive! A bit confusing, because neither 247,09 nor 363,81 appear to be 256, but impressive.

Obviously photoshopped to show all detail popovers at the same time, but otherwise sadly not faked. Why don’t you just drop local sync support entirely, you cowards. At least then I’d have a reason to look for alternatives which then also had a better chance of actually coming into existence.

For reference, here is what the iPhone itself reports. It’s really amazing how not a single number matches up with anything from the numbers on the Mac. Let me know if you find anything – I tried a lot of combinations, but even accounting for 1024/1000 I can’t find any exact matches.

iPhone storage settings

Another thing I really, really dislike in iOS15 is the new “location usage indicator” next to the clock display. It’s always there, but most of the time it’s just a hollow outline. When you switch to an app that is requesting your current location information, the indicator lights up in blue.

The gif above can’t properly capture just how much this draws your eye towards it. I’m sure I’ll get numb to it soon enough, but right now I always have a kind of “Oh, new notification?” impulse-like reaction before realizing that it’s just this dumb thing lighting up again.

And what is it good for? No explanation, it’s just there. You can’t even tap it. You just have to know (and in fact I have no idea if my explanation above is correct, just my best guess). It’s not even in the same style as the location usage indicators that are explained at the bottom of the Location Services page in the Privacy settings. How exactly does that help consumers make more informed choices about their privacy?

To me, this new indicator is about as useful as a cookie banner. Both inform me about something I’m basically aware of anyway, and neither really give me more choice.

The new “text recognition” feature in iOS15 is absolutely magical. It’s one of those things that instantly makes you think “Damn, we’re really living in the science fiction future of the old movies now”. It works ridiculously well and I imagine it will be extremely useful. If my phone wasn’t new enough to support it, experiencing this feature would probably be reason enough for me to upgrade.

There is different ways to trigger/use it, and sadly one of them is driving me up the wall. Before iOS15, tapping into an empty text input would present you with only one option in the context menu that pops up – “Paste”. And when you selected text, “Paste” would be on the right edge of the context menu. I don’t know exactly how long it has been this way, but at least a couple of years. More than long enough for my muscle memory to deeply and thoroughly internalize the “tap empty space, instantly tap rightmost spot of context menu.

As you can see on the screenshot, in iOS15 that rather valuable position1 has been taken by this fancy new icon – to trigger “text recognition”. Tapping it replaces they keyboard with a camera view in which you could then select recognized text. Sadly, it’s not even automatically dismissed by tapping somewhere into the conversation or the text input field (as is the case with e.g. the photo picker which occupies the same space as the text replacement camera view). The only way to cancel is tapping the “x” in the top right corner.

I’ve been using iOS15 for less than 24 hours and already I have accidentally triggered “text recognition” instead of pasting something so often that I’m just glad I have not yet thrown my phone out of the window in anger. It’s extremely jarring and stops you in your tracks while doing something that previously only took a split second. Maybe I’ll get used to the new placement quickly, but as of now it just feels needlessly disruptive.

  1. It’s not quite the same, but I can’t help but think of Fitt’s Law here. ↩︎

Gee thanks, Apple Maps. Exactly what I needed while trying to check my ETA at the dentist here in my hometown in lower Bavaria. I might out myself as the fun-hating, at-cloud-yelling grandpa I am deep down inside, but why the heck are there any “Editor’s Picks” in my maps app at all?

But as a more concrete nitpick: When you have properly detailed calendar entries with location/address filled in in, Apple Maps (or rather: ON-DEVICE INTELLIGENCE Siri) normally does a pretty good job of suggesting that as the target location when you open it within a reasonable time frame before that meeting. In that suggestion, which you could tap to start proper navigation towards that target, they already show the ETA based on your current location.

Before taking the screenshot at the top I used this several times to check my ETA. I was running a little late and wanted to see if I had to keep up my brisk pace to make it on time. Worked perfectly fine, but from ten minutes before the appointment it was no longer a suggestion – hence me scrolling down in confusion and stumbling upon the Editor’s Picks.

Not suggesting appointments that are very close makes no sense to me, isn’t those final ten minutes when most people would open the app to check where exactly they need to go after arriving in the general area?

Too bad there is absolutely no space left on this entire screen for them to put this new “source” indicator, so instead the icon has to be put on top of the album art.

Why would you place the “Next” button in the left corner? During the ten pages of this Google Form I almost accidentally cleared the entire form twice due to how ingrained the “correct” placement of a “next page” button is in my brain.

Today in “native apps excellence”: with some amazing responsive web behavior. (The screenshot on the right is for reference, that’s what it’s supposed to look like.) Happens every other day for me, I suppose it’s not getting the memo about retina resolution quick enough or something related to that?

I really can’t believe how is still so ridiculously bad. These are all from within one year, after the great rewrite of the macOS version. And we didn’t even publish everything that’s bad about it, because some things are so hard to capture. Most of all, it is so damn slow all the time. I often send ":D" instead of “😃” because I hit the enter key faster than the text replacement happens. Philipp regularly sends me all kinds of broken texts for the same reason.

Seriously, what is going on there? How can it be that the richest company on the planet is unable to maintain at least some semblance of quality in one of their flagship apps, in one of the strongest lock-in components in their entire portfolio? There is no end of articles about how important the blue bubbles are. I used to be elated when my contacts used iMessage, these days I dread it. Encryption issues aside, how is it possible that Telegram has better UI/UX in every conceivable way than iMessage?