iPhone XS and XR: It’s like New Coke all over again

I’m a little concerned about the recent iPhone releases. In particular, I’m not sure I like where this “experimental” Face ID thing is going.

Here’s my gripe: as of September 2018, we no longer have a choice about Face ID. At least last year, when the original iPhone X came out, we had a choice whether to adopt this new gimmick or not. The iPhone 8 still had “the button”.

But with this year’s release of Xclusive iPhone Xtravaganza (see what I did there?), I cannot help but think back at a time when Coca Cola decided to change their original loved-by-so-many default flavour with the release of New Coke. A mistake never to be made again. By any major brand.

Unless you’re Apple of course.

The issue I’m having with Face ID is not so much Face ID itself. It’s the fact that Apple have decided it’s the only way to operate my iPhone going forward. I’d like to make that decision myself – and quite frankly, I’m not ready to use it yet. I would like a button to unlock my phone. I’m the customer. I should be able to make that decision.

But I can’t. Because Apple have decided that I no longer need that button.

At least with Touch ID, it was an addition to existing technology. Call it an upgrade if you will. I liked that. It made sense. It still works for what I’m doing. I don’t want anything else.

My wife’s colleague has his iPhone X in his car, in a dedicated device holder. So they’re cruising along the I-95 the other day, when Jason wanted to unlock his phone by the power of his mind face. But no matter how hard he tried, the iPhone X wouldn’t recognise him. It was a combination of the angle and the light. Had he had ” the button”, he wouldn’t have had an issue.

But we don’t have that button anymore. Because Apple decided that less is more. Just like they decided that I no longer need that 3.5mm TRRS headphone jack.

Well here’s a newsflash: I DO need that headphone jack, so that I can plug in lapel microphones when I’m shooting interviews on iOS devices. Fact. Yes I CAN buy an adaptor. And I COULD use it. But I don’t WANT to, because I don’t NEED to. It’s extra cost. It’s extra bulk. And more to the point, I shouldn’t BE FORCED to change my workflow, just because some tech company decides “it’s hip and cool” (and probably more profitable).

My point is that the technology I buy should work the way I want it to work. If it doesn’t do that, there’s no reason for me to buy it.

So I won’t.

There. You can keep your iPhone X, XR, XS and XS Max.

The sad thing is that we could make everybody happy. Face ID could be optional, and then I and many others would still be happy. Let me keep that button. And the fingerprint sensor. And Touch ID. Let me use Face ID in addition, if and when I want to. Not “instead” and without alternatives.

Like our friends from Samsung do. They have a 3.5mm TRRS jack. They have a button. And they have their own version of Face ID. All in one device.

Yes. They have all that. Perhaps the time has come to get reacquainted with Android again. Looks like they have the bigger marketshare these days anyway. Perhaps that’s the future. Open Source. “People” being in charge of what can be installed on their devices, without breaking the law or voiding warranties.

And you, Apple, my dear old friend from Cupertino, perhaps you and I, we’re no longer suited for each other. Go and enjoy doing “your thing” on the new campus. I’ll go and do “my thing”. We just won’t be doing it “together” anymore.

Maybe it is time to say goodbye and take a break from each other. It’s not you. It’s me. No hard feelings. Perhaps I’ll use my iPhone 6s Plus until you find a way to make it unusable through software (even though you would “never do that”, right? Because that would be unfair).

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