iOS's most egregious UI fuckery -- number 5 might surprise you by appearing 3rd!

It's baffling to me that these problems still exist. Do the developers not actually use this OS?

  1. Someone sends me a series of text messages. They hit "send" at the end of every sentence, because that's what people do and you really can't talk them out of it. My phone beeps for every single one of them. Apparently it has never occurred to any Apple employee to throttle this to, say, one beep per sender per minute.

  2. I pick up my iPad for the first time in 16 hours, having been using other devices in the meantime. I unlock it, and for 30+ seconds, I'm unable to touch any control that happens to be within the top 1" of the screen, because the iPad insists on displaying notifications for every email message and text message that has come in during the last 16 hours... holding each on the screen for a full second. No elisions like "....and 20 more mail messages". And the notifications are there even though I have already read them all on other devices.

    More generally, why the fuck are they showing me notifications that I've dismissed on other devices at all? This problem is solved by the snoopery that iCloud does: it works for iCal notifications, for example. I guess all this "push from the clown" shit is hard. Maybe they'll figure it out some day.

  3. Finally, when the iPad has come out of its notification firehose panic, I get to the desktop screen and my iMessage app icon still shows 10 unread messages. Until I click on it to launch it, at which point the message count goes to zero like it should have been all along.

  4. Several of my mailboxes permanently say "1 unread message", which is false. The only way to reset it is to delete and re-add the account. I've lost track of how many times I've done this, so I just stopped believing the unread count at all.

  5. It's over a year and at least one or maybe two major revs of the OS, and still my text messages are showing up out of order -- and not out of order in some sane way, but out of order like, it comes in now and gets inserted into the list not-at-the-bottom. Apparently whichever Apple intern is assigned to typing "ORDER BY 'date' ASC" is still trying hard to figure that shit out.

FFS, Apple.

(No, I'm not interested in hearing about Android's differently-fuckery. I'm sure it's lovely.)

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31 Responses:

  1. Rich says:

    It's just like the desktop ui libraries: every single one of them still allows a new dialog to pop over, steal focus, and start taking input for its default action even though I was already typing into my text editor when it was spawned. Woz has been complaining about this shit for so long I was still at school when I first read about it. And it's still a bug.

  2. Jacob says:

    I try to hide as many badges and notifications, especially on devices I don’t use as often like iPads.

    • jwz says:

      "Don't display any notifications" is a poor solution to "notifications are displayed stupidly."

      Obviously if I thought "have no notifications" was a reasonable fix I'd have done that and would have no complaints.

      • Jacob White says:

        Sorry, wasn’t trying to present that as a solution for you. Just stating how I cope with notifications being terrible on iOS.

        I hope Apple makes things better.

  3. Ben D. says:

    Messages in iCloud came out of beta a few weeks ago and addresses #5, and it supposed to sync unread status across multiple devices. It requires the latest iOS and macOS updates and has to be turned on in Settings.

    Swiping on a notification and clicking “Clear” will remove that message from the unread count. Currently it’s per message, so you have to clear each one to remove the unread count completely. Apple’s WWDC preview of iOS 12 showed new grouped notifications so you can clear all notifications at once, and also addresses the notification firehose.

  4. Phil says:

    iOS 12 will (finally) group notifications, at least.

  5. Glaurung says:

    The one that really gets me is how starting with IOS 11, it takes mail a second or two to mark a message as read after I display it. This shit just worked in previous versions, but naturally now that someone has gotten around to recoding Mail from scratch, it's become laggy and stupid. I should be thankful it works at all, it seems.

    Also, ten years on, your sent emails are still not deemed to be data worth saving when you do a backup and restore.

  6. robert_ says:

    I always got the impression that Apple's default response to any criticism of their useability or UX was "That's the way we've decided to do it and you'll damn well like it".

    (If they say this at a WWDC presentation, follow it up with fanboys cheering maniacally)

    • Cat Mara says:

      "Thank you, sir, may we have another?"

    • Nick Lamb says:

      On top of "the way we've decided to do it" the usual insistence is that Apple undertook lots of research and found that this was the best possible. They spared no expense in delivering the exact thing Science has proved can't be bettered. If you think competitor products are superior in any way, you're wrong because Apple's research shows that's impossible. Until it's time for the new model, whereupon what do you know - new research shows this is much better...

      Remember when Apple only made one size of iPhone because ergonomics proves that's the correct size for a phone to be? Sure, the size changed for each model. But whatever the latest model was, that had always been the proper size for a phone. No wait, later Apple decided there should be two different sizes of phone, any company offering phones in a single size is now stupid and not catering to users like Apple does.

      Given how much $$$ cash Apple has slopping around I assume that at least some of the time they actually pay somebody to do "research" to support this type of crap. It's demeaning but it's a pay cheque and often the stuff actually worth doing doesn't keep the lights on. 16:10 is the only correct screen ratio for a laptop? Sure, I'll have the article sent over right after your cheque clears and then I'll get back to my work curing sick children...

      It's a little bit annoying actually, because when you want to pay scientists to actually do research you have to take painful meetings where you spell out that no, you genuinely have no idea what the "correct" answer is, you want them to go find out.

      • Glaurung says:

        "Remember when Apple only made one size of iPhone because ergonomics proves that's the correct size for a phone to be? Sure, the size changed for each model. But whatever the latest model was, that had always been the proper size for a phone."

        Your history is factually incorrect in almost every way.

        With smartphones, in pocket/in hand comfort and one handed reachability of buttons on the screen are at war with having significant amounts of content on the screen at a readable size. Thus you have to make trade offs. While Jobs was alive, he got to dictate those trade off decisions, and so the Iphone stayed at the same screen size for five models (through iphone 4s), and then two more years at a just barely larger size. After Jobs died, there was no longer a dictator at Apple who made all those trade off decisions based on his personal preferences. So Apple put out three sizes of phone - small, medium, and large - and now customers get to decide what trade offs they want to make.

        Apple is good at spinning whatever decision they have made (for whatever reason) as the best thing since sliced bread. It's called marketing. Apple's changes in direction come from various factors (reducing costs, trying to head where they think the market is going to go next, etc). Sometimes they make a wrong turn and have to backtrack, which results in the marketing spin changing its tune from time to time. But that's no different than any other company. The only difference is that other companies will just issue a new product and keep the old mistaken one for sale as well until it's no longer profitable. Apple kills off their mistakes right away (even the popular and profitable ones if they think they need to change direction) and never looks back.

  7. Nate says:

    > “push from the clown”

    Thank you! The trajectory of my career in software over the last 15 years suddenly makes a lot more sense.

  8. Steve Allen says:

    My unfavorite - after power on the screen stays lighted to enter the passcode, but if I get distracted and start the entry late, the screen light times out while I am partway through the entry, and I've lost one try before the device decides to slow my next try or wipe the device content altogether.

    • rakaur says:

      The device takes 5 attempts and then throttles them in such a way it would take over three hours to enter 10 incorrect attempts and wipe the device.

      Pretty sure you're safe.

  9. Every update I hate Apple more. Why can't they make it better?

  10. Bai Hui says:

    Dump that shit and switch to Android.

    • Derpatron9000 says:

      "I'm not interested in hearing about Android's differently-fuckery. I'm sure it's lovely"

  11. Derpatron9000 says:

    "Do the developers not actually use this OS?". You know the answer to this already is 100% no. Otherwise the problems would be fixed.

  12. UnlikelyLass says:

    You know what I’d like to do with my fancy iOS device? Create an iTunes playlist and then manually sort it into a particular order and have it actually reorder. Can I do that today? No, I cannot. Every once in a blue moon it works. Then it stops until the next blue moon. Why? Who can say! Certainly not Apple!

  13. Sahin Habesoglu says:

    I think they just might have resolved #1 in iOS 12 with grouping the notifications.

  14. Kaleberg says:

    I'm guessing some of this has to do with Apple moving messages into the clown where they can fix whatever 1975 god awful SMS retains. I am hoping that Apple will be able to lean hard enough to put non-Apple SMS in the clown if this makes things better.

  15. People hitting send/enter after each sentence drives me bonkers in my work Slack. Paragraphs motherfucker, do you speak them?

  16. Phil says:

    For what it's worth: iOS 12 beta solves issue 1 by grouping notifications, and won't buzz for each one in a given convo within a specific timeframe.

    If you're using Messages with iCloud it also resolves 2 and 3.

    • Other Jamie says:

      "Fixing" the sort of notification-loop hell you'd expect to be noticed in the second prototype by requiring me to store comms on someone else's machine is so mind-numbingly idiotic it has to be revenue-related.

      Being actively hostile to people who don't want to store their private comms with more third-parties is just normal fuck-you-serf eat-it-and-smile behavior these days.

  17. For the entire time iOS has existed, my phone has consistently roamed to the wrong WiFi networks because there's no way to prioritize networks in iOS the way you can in macOS. (There's a network I want to use if and only if the better network isn't available.) There's been an open Radar for this problem (setting a priority order for WiFi networks) for nearly the entire time iOS has existed, I know because anyone who files a new one gets it closed as a duplicate. Fixing this would probably not take very long, but instead we have talking shit animoji now, which I don't care about, and I still have to go in and change which network I'm using twice a day, which I do care about.

    Oh, and I really, really, really hate that turning off bluetooth in the slide-up screen no longer turns off bluetooth. No, I don't want to disassociate from the current bluetooth endpoint, I want to turn the fucking thing off, but now I have to go to Settings to do that.

  18. Joe says:

    You can swipe up on the ‘toast’ notification to immediately dismis it.

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