21 votes

Apple / iOS rant

Having been on Android since day 1, I've had to pick up an iphone for work purposes recently. It's a great, high end one. The hardware is clearly fantastic.

But the software. How do people put up with this? I've been trying to get accustomed to it, but it's so clearly lackluster.

Aside from a plethora of minor issues I've been encountering, what's most unbelievable to me is how clear the lock-in is all over the place.

Things like the story about all browsers having to use the Safari view really seep out, for example I can't change the launcher/home screen to something that doesn't suck (lets me position things around and doesn't have the display density of a toddler's typewriter).

And then it was a chore to even figure out how to disable iMessage (unpopular in Europe) so I'm only sending sms via the .. sms app.

Incompatibilities all over the place. Hotspot sharing doesn't work across my 6T and iPhone, it looks like iOS hotspots are again some kind of proprietary crap. Pictures and videos being in not quite standard formats. AirPods sound quality only being decent in the Apple ecosystem as well; couldn't release an Android app to support whatever Bluetooth enhancements they're doing?

And of course, the Lightning connectors which only exist in the apple ecosystem. I agree they feel better than usb-c even, but, more of those same incompatibilities.

It almost feels like a parallel universe where everything works slightly differently, and doesn't quite have as many freedoms.

I can't deny there's some nice things in there. I actually like Safari's hold-preview for example. I also appreciate the very fine grained permission system and warnings such as "such and such app has been accessing location in the background a lot". And FaceID is really well built. But, whew, i do not know how so many people swear by it.

Some things are just different and that's okay, but some things are shockingly inferior and incompatible Just Because, and that feels super insulting 🙃

Thanks for hearing my rant.

35 comments

  1. [8]
    babypuncher
    Link
    This frustration doesn't make sense to me. iMessage is automatically disabled except when sending a message to someone else who uses iMessage. There are no downsides to using iMessage when...

    And then it was a chore to even figure out how to disable iMessage (unpopular in Europe) so I'm only sending sms via the .. sms app.

    This frustration doesn't make sense to me. iMessage is automatically disabled except when sending a message to someone else who uses iMessage. There are no downsides to using iMessage when chatting with another iOS user. It's 100% transparent.

    25 votes
    1. [7]
      ali
      Link Parent
      Only if you know that blue bubble = iMessage and green bubble = textmessage.

      100% transparent.

      Only if you know that blue bubble = iMessage and green bubble = textmessage.

      5 votes
      1. [6]
        babypuncher
        Link Parent
        That doesn't matter though. It's not like it tries to send iMessages to Android users, and it's not like iOS users have trouble receiving iMessages. There just isn't a conceivable reason to turn...

        That doesn't matter though. It's not like it tries to send iMessages to Android users, and it's not like iOS users have trouble receiving iMessages. There just isn't a conceivable reason to turn off iMessage.

        13 votes
        1. Weldawadyathink
          Link Parent
          Also iMessage will fall back to sms if you do not have data service available.

          Also iMessage will fall back to sms if you do not have data service available.

          9 votes
        2. [4]
          Rocket_Man
          Link Parent
          Integrating SMS and IMessage into the same application is typically what leads to Iphone users sending content that cant be properly displayed to other users. They should probably be separate...

          Integrating SMS and IMessage into the same application is typically what leads to Iphone users sending content that cant be properly displayed to other users. They should probably be separate applications, so It could make sense wanting to force IMessage to act within one system or the other.

          1 vote
          1. babypuncher
            Link Parent
            Once you split them, you essentially kill iMessage. I like iMessage because it gives me a feature rich, encrypted chat platform and getting my parents to use it requires no effort or education...

            Once you split them, you essentially kill iMessage.

            I like iMessage because it gives me a feature rich, encrypted chat platform and getting my parents to use it requires no effort or education from me. Getting them to install and manage something like Signal is essentially a non-starter.

            9 votes
          2. [2]
            Weldawadyathink
            Link Parent
            How so? If a user does not have iMessage, you can only send things compatible with sms or mms. It doesn’t let you send any rich content to a user that does not have iMessage.

            How so? If a user does not have iMessage, you can only send things compatible with sms or mms. It doesn’t let you send any rich content to a user that does not have iMessage.

            5 votes
            1. frostycakes
              Link Parent
              I wish they would have kept going with the lack of rich features for SMS fallback and not enabled the reactions to messages via SMS. I'm so tired of getting the "Loved (message you just sent)"...

              I wish they would have kept going with the lack of rich features for SMS fallback and not enabled the reactions to messages via SMS. I'm so tired of getting the "Loved (message you just sent)" texts from friends and family with iPhones.

              1 vote
  2. [10]
    Akir
    Link
    As someone who switched to Apple semi-recently, I have to say that after getting used to everything, you'll be very happy with it. The software is just leagues better on average than Android...

    As someone who switched to Apple semi-recently, I have to say that after getting used to everything, you'll be very happy with it. The software is just leagues better on average than Android software is, and things run much more smoothly overall.

    That being said, the ban on other browsers is complete and utter crap. It's so bad that I feel the US government really needs to step in and fix this. Why is it a monopoly issue to have one browser on Windows but not on the single most popular cell phone on the planet?

    There's also a lot of annoyances that you might be able to live with workarounds, but why on earth should you have to? Why can't I transfer files through bluetooth, the same way I've been able to do with other cellphones for decades? Why is it that the only way I can generically share files directly with computers AirDrop - which is nice if you have a Mac, but complete shit if you have anything else because AirDrop is proprietary and Apple doesn't support it on any other system! If you happen to have a spare lightning-USB cable, you can transfer your files... through iTunes.... Other than that you have to use a third party web service where you will doubtlessly have to upload it to someone else's servers first. Probably iCloud.

    But when I'm not doing these things, everything is just amazingly smooth to run. Swapping between apps is so snappy, and things that use the hardware features don't feel weirdly tacked-on like most Android apps are. While some third-party apps aren't so great at using them, Apple's nearly-ubiquitous gestures are a complete game-changers for usability.


    I don't get your gripe with iMessage, though. If you message someone with the Messages app, it seamlessly switches between iMessage and SMS. Most of the conversations I have on my phone are with people on Android and they have no issue with any of the SMS messages I send through Messages with iMessage enabled.

    Messages is probably the best feature of iOS. I have a Mac and it allows me to synchronize my iMessage/SMS conversations with my computer so I don't have to bother with my phone when someone messages me or I need to contact them. When the next version of iOS comes out, they are also going to have a web version of Facetime available so you can video chat with your non-Apple friends seamlessly.

    13 votes
    1. joplin
      Link Parent
      I mean, it’s basically a way to ensure that Google’s monopoly on the desktop doesn’t come to the phone. Frankly, I appreciate it. It forces web developers to test at least one other browser. Haha!...

      Why is it a monopoly issue to have one browser on Windows but not on the single most popular cell phone on the planet?

      I mean, it’s basically a way to ensure that Google’s monopoly on the desktop doesn’t come to the phone. Frankly, I appreciate it. It forces web developers to test at least one other browser.

      Why is it that the only way I can generically share files directly with computers AirDrop - which is nice if you have a Mac, but complete shit if you have anything else because AirDrop is proprietary and Apple doesn't support it on any other system!

      Haha! Don’t kid yourself! Airdrop is absolutely awesome when it works, but it only works about 50% of the time on my Mac. God forbid your Mac is on an older revision and the protocol has changed slightly since then. God forbid one device is on Ethernet and the other is on WiFi connected to the same router. God forbid one device is on the 2.4 GHz network and the other is on the 5GHz network of the same router! Then it doesn’t work at all. It’s infuriating.

      Other than that, I agree with what you’ve said. I also find Messages to be great because it supports both SMS and iMessages.

      9 votes
    2. Parliament
      Link Parent
      Haha, I have my own workaround! I use apps that allow me to transfer directly to/from my NAS at home, which I can access remotely. I do this to back up my photos and videos or access random things...

      There's also a lot of annoyances that you might be able to live with workarounds, but why on earth should you have to? Why can't I transfer files through bluetooth, the same way I've been able to do with other cellphones for decades?

      Haha, I have my own workaround! I use apps that allow me to transfer directly to/from my NAS at home, which I can access remotely. I do this to back up my photos and videos or access random things I need. It's not perfect since all the transfers go over wifi rather than the lightning cable, but it does everything I need without much fuss. Pretty ridiculous that you can't browse the phone like an external hard drive when it's plugged in though.

      2 votes
    3. [4]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      For the record Android SMS can do that as well now (it’s not a custom protocol either, it’s just synced sms). Maybe my gripe with iMessage is irrational yes. I don’t particularly like being opted...

      I have a Mac and it allows me to synchronize my iMessage/SMS conversations with my computer so I don't have to bother with my phone when someone messages me or I need to contact them.

      For the record Android SMS can do that as well now (it’s not a custom protocol either, it’s just synced sms).

      Maybe my gripe with iMessage is irrational yes. I don’t particularly like being opted into this custom chat, transparent as it may be. If I told you on Android google transparently replaced sms with google chat messages if available, wouldn’t you find it weird?

      1 vote
      1. hamstergeddon
        Link Parent
        There are a lot of things Apple does that would bother me if Google did them (and they often do). Google's entire business model is built around harvesting your data and using it to advertise to...

        If I told you on Android google transparently replaced sms with google chat messages if available, wouldn’t you find it weird?

        There are a lot of things Apple does that would bother me if Google did them (and they often do). Google's entire business model is built around harvesting your data and using it to advertise to you, whereas Apple's is selling hardware and running an app store. I trust Apple (and yes, definitely less given some recent news), whereas I don't trust Google at all.

        11 votes
      2. [2]
        Cycloneblaze
        Link Parent
        If you're texting someone who also has RCS enabled, it... does?

        If I told you on Android google transparently replaced sms with google chat messages if available, wouldn’t you find it weird?

        If you're texting someone who also has RCS enabled, it... does?

        3 votes
        1. Adys
          Link Parent
          RCS is a standard protocol which is intended to replace sms. It's not exactly the same. IMessage is a closed, proprietary, inauditable system :/

          RCS is a standard protocol which is intended to replace sms. It's not exactly the same. IMessage is a closed, proprietary, inauditable system :/

          2 votes
    4. [3]
      GoingMerry
      Link Parent
      Is there a ban on iOS browsers? I live in Canada and have DuckDuckGo and chrome on my iOS device and used to run Brave mobile on here too.

      That being said, the ban on other browsers is complete and utter crap. It's so bad that I feel the US government really needs to step in and fix this. Why is it a monopoly issue to have one browser on Windows but not on the single most popular cell phone on the planet?

      Is there a ban on iOS browsers? I live in Canada and have DuckDuckGo and chrome on my iOS device and used to run Brave mobile on here too.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        Yes. Apple technically allows other browsers, but those other browsers are just new decorations on top of Safari. If you come across a website that has a bug that doesn't render properly in...

        Yes. Apple technically allows other browsers, but those other browsers are just new decorations on top of Safari. If you come across a website that has a bug that doesn't render properly in Safari, you're SOL.

        5 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          WebKit, not Safari. And while the renderer is the same, everything else can be different. (Networking, bookmarks, password syncing, and so on.)

          WebKit, not Safari. And while the renderer is the same, everything else can be different. (Networking, bookmarks, password syncing, and so on.)

          5 votes
  3. ras
    Link
    A lot of your complaints are complaints I have about Android, but in reverse. I tried to switch two years ago to a Pixel and the paralyzation of settings, launchers, options, browsers, widgets led...

    A lot of your complaints are complaints I have about Android, but in reverse. I tried to switch two years ago to a Pixel and the paralyzation of settings, launchers, options, browsers, widgets led me to spend so much time fiddling with my phone that I always felt like I was just missing the right set of settings to get the phone to where I wanted it. I don't have nearly the same problem with an iPhone. I'll allow that maybe I'm a dolt who just doesn't know what's good for me. But I vastly prefer the iPhone.

    11 votes
  4. Weldawadyathink
    Link
    Other people have commented pretty extensively about most things, but here are my thoughts. IMessage: I also don’t see any reason to disable it since it is transparent, and will fall back to sms...

    Other people have commented pretty extensively about most things, but here are my thoughts.

    IMessage: I also don’t see any reason to disable it since it is transparent, and will fall back to sms if data is not available. However, it is super easy to disable. Go to settings > iMessage. The top option is a toggle to turn iMessage off. How much easier do you want it to be? Until Apple rolls out mind reading technology, I don’t see how they could make it easier.

    Hotspot: Apple has a proprietary layer on top of the WiFi standard that allows other Apple devices to connect to hotspots easier, and pass along things like battery level and cell signal. Besides that, it is just the 802.11 standards. You go into settings > personal hotspot, set the password, and turn it on. I use this often from my work iPhone to my work W10 laptop and it works flawlessly. If you are having issues, I would contact Apple support and see if they can help you. They actually have decent support. Also, try other devices to see if it is an issue with your 6T.

    Lightning: yep, you are right. Luckily the iPad line is switching to usb c. That leaves only headphones and iPhones. I desperately wish Apple would just switch everything to usb c. Lightning is way better than micro usb or 30 pin though.

    11 votes
  5. [2]
    markh
    Link
    Well, I'll give a counterpoint here: accessibility features are so much better on iPhone/Apple devices that Android, Windows, and Linux shouldn't even be considered. These complaints also seem...

    Well, I'll give a counterpoint here: accessibility features are so much better on iPhone/Apple devices that Android, Windows, and Linux shouldn't even be considered.

    These complaints also seem very specific to you. I've had an iPhone for a decade now and I've never had a problem. It just works, and I love it for that exact reason.

    9 votes
    1. imperialismus
      Link Parent
      "It just works" is like, the number one reason anyone would choose an Apple product. I'm not a fan of their stubbornness with having their own proprietary solution to everything, and their general...

      "It just works" is like, the number one reason anyone would choose an Apple product. I'm not a fan of their stubbornness with having their own proprietary solution to everything, and their general attitude of hostility towards alternatives. But I've had an iPhone and an iPad for years, while my computer is a Windows PC... And my phone and iPad just do what I require them to do. Very few hassles.

      I'm a generally tech-savvy person who prefers to do most computer-y things on an actual computer. My phone is mostly used for basic communication (calls/sms/snapchat) and browsing maps and the web while on the go. The occasional photo when I don't have my camera at hand. My iPad is my reader for ebooks, which have almost completely replaced physical books for me, as well as for browsing the web or YouTube while in bed. I also have a (Samsung brand) keyboard-cum-protective case attached to it at all times, so it works decently well as a replacement laptop while traveling. But I would never think of writing long documents or editing photos or playing serious games on it.

      5 votes
  6. vegai
    Link
    My phone is a phone. I have a computer for when I need to do things my way. In Apple phones I especially like that when I upgrade to a newer device, it's essentially the same device as before I...

    My phone is a phone. I have a computer for when I need to do things my way. In Apple phones I especially like that

    • when I upgrade to a newer device, it's essentially the same device as before
    • I don't have to upgrade all the time
    • the supplier isn't doing whatever it can to snoop and mine absolutely everything I do on the device
    8 votes
  7. Gecko
    Link
    Make sure you have the "Personal Hotspot" page open in settings (next to having the toggle switch enabled). The hotspot is broadcasted to non-iDevices only when you also have the settings page...

    Hotspot sharing doesn't work across my 6T and iPhone, it looks like iOS hotspots are again some kind of proprietary crap.

    Make sure you have the "Personal Hotspot" page open in settings (next to having the toggle switch enabled). The hotspot is broadcasted to non-iDevices only when you also have the settings page open.

    I assume it's because the device can't be connected to a WiFi hotspot and broadcast one at the same time. Of course between each other iDevices get around this by probably doing some proprietary BLE broadcasts.

    7 votes
  8. tomf
    Link
    I feel similar when I use an Android phone. We always get used to our OS of choice's quirks. When I first moved from Android (Cyanogen back then) to iOS, I was in a state of perpetual frustration....

    I feel similar when I use an Android phone. We always get used to our OS of choice's quirks. When I first moved from Android (Cyanogen back then) to iOS, I was in a state of perpetual frustration.

    I recently got a 12 mini. While I really like it, there's no jailbreak available and I'm missing some basics that I became used to -- like custom status bars, custom icons (without using Shortcuts as a hack), and some aesthetic changes like removing large titles, grouping apps, system apps and tweak, settings into separate areas... minor things, but they do make everything more logical.

    Anyway, I feel your pain. It won't take long before you're used to the quirks, though. I'm still not used to not having a button for home. Only today did I finally figure out how to consistently bring up the app switcher :)

    7 votes
  9. [5]
    arghdos
    Link
    I feel the same. Got an iPhone ~ last year, and I’m growing too be… ambivalent about it? Some random thoughts: I really hate the settings “app” on iOS, it really just does not work for me at all....

    I feel the same. Got an iPhone ~ last year, and I’m growing too be… ambivalent about it? Some random thoughts:

    • I really hate the settings “app” on iOS, it really just does not work for me at all.

    • I’ve never found a real replacement for BubbleUPnP (which is probably on me, I could set up subsonic or plex, but lost motivation when WFH started), but I really did like it

    • I do mostly like the permissions setup, and generally feel way less sketched out about my data leaking between apps… except that once you denied a permission once, good luck finding and undoing it.

    • the “Firefox is really just safari” thing is trash. I wish I had known. Good lord do I wish I could install ublock and not switch to another browser

    • WiFi call & text is nice, but I bet I could get that on a non Moto-G5/6 android (which I had because they were so cheap).

    I mostly like or am ambivalent to the phone at this point, but I wish there was an every day driver Linux option in the US (everything I’ve seen seems like it would be a project of a phone, and I need more work in my life like a hole in the head :p)

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      Yeah so having worked with iOS app devs apparently this is why they have custom in app dialogs to nudge and triple check whether the user will be willing to enable notifications before asking....

      except that once you denied a permission once, good luck finding and undoing it.

      Yeah so having worked with iOS app devs apparently this is why they have custom in app dialogs to nudge and triple check whether the user will be willing to enable notifications before asking. They can’t put a reason in the request itself and changing a deny is super obscure.

      Funny emergent behaviour.

      I’m with you on the settings app, too.

      3 votes
      1. geosmin
        Link Parent
        I mean it’s two taps from the home screen. Settings > App name

        changing a deny is super obscure.

        I mean it’s two taps from the home screen.

        Settings > App name

        7 votes
    2. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      I feel the same. I got a 2020 SE model iPhone last year after my Pixel 1 XL's battery became unusable. There are some pros and some cons. At the moment I'm happy with the phone but don't see iOS...

      I feel the same. I got a 2020 SE model iPhone last year after my Pixel 1 XL's battery became unusable. There are some pros and some cons. At the moment I'm happy with the phone but don't see iOS as so amazing that I wouldn't consider an Android phone when my SE doesn't do what I need it to anymore.

      This year I got an M1 Macbook from work. While I'd prefer Debian for my OS the hardware on the computer is unmatched. If Apple's push for high performance ARM chips leaks out to other manufacturers I'll be glad to get a personal laptop with an ARM processor. But for now Apple makes what is by far the best laptop SOC.

      3 votes
    3. tomf
      Link Parent
      for upnp, try the foobar2000 app. Its ugly as sin, but it will play anything you want including upnp and has some basic DSP.

      for upnp, try the foobar2000 app. Its ugly as sin, but it will play anything you want including upnp and has some basic DSP.

      2 votes
  10. NoblePath
    Link
    One nit-the airbods enhanced functionality are due at least in part to hardware, the h1 chip I think call it.

    One nit-the airbods enhanced functionality are due at least in part to hardware, the h1 chip I think call it.

    3 votes
  11. [4]
    skybrian
    Link
    Just as an alternative user experience: I use iOS on an iPad mini as a web browser and for reading books with Kindle, not as a phone, and for that it seems fine. I use Chrome and many of the...

    Just as an alternative user experience: I use iOS on an iPad mini as a web browser and for reading books with Kindle, not as a phone, and for that it seems fine.

    I use Chrome and many of the Google apps. Sure, it’s Chrome on top of a webview, but most websites work the same. The keyboard input took a while to get used to.

    I’ve never logged into iCloud since I see no reason to sync things with both Google and Apple, and I’ve never used iMessage because I try to do most communication using my phone.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      I’ve also installed a bunch of the google apps to replace some of the awful native ones. Keyboard is a pain. I installed gboard but it looks like it is still a significantly different layout than...

      I’ve also installed a bunch of the google apps to replace some of the awful native ones.

      Keyboard is a pain. I installed gboard but it looks like it is still a significantly different layout than Android. Not having period on the main layout gets me, as well as a few other small things like … no number row for some reason.

      Idk, I don’t want to complain about these bits too much, it’s just different so I can get used to the differences. And I guess the layout will get me used to tapping double space for period which I should really do on Android too.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        The most frustrating thing about the native keyboard is that it keeps making substitutions I don't want, and doesn't take "undo" for an answer. For example, substituting an ellipses character for...

        The most frustrating thing about the native keyboard is that it keeps making substitutions I don't want, and doesn't take "undo" for an answer. For example, substituting an ellipses character for three periods, which doesn't work everywhere.

        Maybe I'll give Gboard a try.

        1. Adys
          Link Parent
          Ha, I noticed and actually really like that substitution. My custom linux keyboard actually has altgr-period for "…", I use ellipses a lot…

          Ha, I noticed and actually really like that substitution. My custom linux keyboard actually has altgr-period for "…", I use ellipses a lot…