I have owned every flagship iPhone and many of the other models as well. I love the iPhone. It's a fantastic piece of technology and it allows me to get so much done. As Apple has grown as a company, it has made decisions with the iPhone that frustrate me. I understand that like most companies, their decisions are led by profitability, but that still doesn't stop me from desiring the awe factor we all once had with each new iPhone.
With that said, there are some frustrations I have with the iPhone in 2020 and I thought I should share them before the announcements of the next iPhone coming in a few weeks. Some of these frustrations are better described in the video posted to the State of Tech YouTube channel. You can watch it below.
Apps Not Persisting in the Background
I get that iOS closes and freezes apps to save battery life. I love the long battery life of the iPhone. However, it really grinds my gears when I am quickly going between apps while working on something and the app refreshes. When I am preparing a social media post, I jump between apps. It might be to grab some text, make another change to an image, or to copy some hashtags from a note in another app. Almost every time, Instagram will refresh forcing me to start over. It's not just Instagram, this happens with a lot of apps.
On Android, I can leave something in an app for an hour. When I return, it's still there for me. I know that the iPhone beats just about all Android phones in battery life but I feel like this far into the existence of iOS, Apple should have it figured out. The state of an app should be able to be saved without causing it to reload. I used Instagram as an example but this happens to me in all social media apps and even creative apps such as Canva.
Slow LTE Speeds on iPhone 11 Pro
The iPhone 11 Pro is a phone for professionals, so why is it so slow when connected to LTE compared to modern Android phones? 5G is not very widespread at this point but every Galaxy phone I have owned in the last two years outperform the iPhone 11 Pro in LTE speeds and in signal strength.
Since moving to Montana, this has been harder for me but where I used to live in California, it wasn't that great either. I'm not expecting data speeds that are unrealistic for where I live, I just expect a flagship phone from the biggest technology company in the United States to be able to hang with average Android phones.
My Note 20 Ultra will get an average of 18-20Mbps download and 7-9Mpbs upload. My iPhone 11 Pro Max rarely will hit 10Mpbs download and uploads are almost unusable at 2Mpbs. When in California, it was much faster, but there was still a drastic difference between the two phones. My last tests in California were between the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The new iPhone is rumored to launch without 5G. A month or so later we should get a 5G version of the iPhone. We have seen Samsung do this in the past. People will want the new iPhone so bad that they will buy it on launch. Then a month later the 5G version will launch and some of those people will buy that one as well. Not everybody will do this, but enough will. I hope that the 5G version of the iPhone will support all of the 5G spectrums as many keep their phones for several years. I am not holding my breath. Apple tends to lag behind when it comes to this. Prove me wrong this year Apple!
Lackluster Ultrawide Camera
I am glad that the iPhone 11 Pro Max has an ultrawide camera, but I wish it was better. I would rather it have the camera it has than no camera at all, but the ultrawide leaves much to be desired. The images are not very sharp and there is a ton of distortion in the image. You can see the side-by-side comparisons in the video.
The camera on the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and Galaxy S20 Ultra all produce better images in ultrawide than the iPhone. Again, the iPhone 11 Pro is not holding up to the Pro name.
Password Management is a Nightmare
If you want to use anything other than iCloud Keychain, enjoy a slow death. It is very frustrating to use other password managers on the iPhone. I will say that it has gotten better as we used to have to manually go out into our password manager and copy/paste username and password separately, but it's still a headache.
I am all for Apple making it clean to use its services within its ecosystem, but if they are going to make it frustrating to use others, then their ecosystem needs to be more open. I would be fine using iCloud Keychain as my primary password manager if it was as good as 1Password. If I could store secure notes, bank accounts, medical identification numbers, and other important things in iCloud Keychain, I would consider it. Apple would also have to make it easier to access your information outside of their devices. If I wanted to access my information on a PC, how would I do that easily? How about an Android phone? Impossible!
Outdated iOS User Interface
The user experience on the iPhone is so outdated and boring. I wish it could be customized. Android has allowed third-party launchers to run on its platform for ages. I am sure there is a secure process that would allow Apple to do the same thing. Even allowing for skins would be a huge step forward. This would allow us to make our phones our own.
The problem I have with the user experience is that it is largely unchanged from the original iPhone. Sure there have been refinements and some new bells and whistles added but its just not that exciting.
There is something to be said for familiarity, I will give them that. If they made big user experience changes every year, customers would be frustrated and confused. I don't believe they need to reinvent the experience every year but I do believe they should be innovating an experience that makes us excited each time a new version of the software launches or at least every 3-4 years.
Why Does Carplay Start Playing Apple Music?
I don't use Apple Music. I use Spotify for music, Pocket Casts for podcasts and Audible for audiobooks. If I close out those apps before getting back into my truck, Apple Music starts playing in my truck upon connecting my iPhone. Carplay shouldn't play anything, as all of my apps were closed down, but it connects to Apple Music and starts playing from the top of the alphabet. The first song in my Apple Music library just happens to be, “Christmas Time is Here,” the instrumental version. I don't have any music downloaded to my phone in Apple Music so it just decides on its own to start streaming the song. Why?
Though I have these complaints, they are not enough to make me switch to something else. The iPhone is still the greatest phone. If you add up all the pros and cons of every flagship phone on the market, the iPhone still comes out ahead in my book.
I know I complained a lot in this post and in my video, but we all have some complaints about our technology. It's perfectly acceptable to want more out of the things we pay good money for. If we don't share our frustrations, the companies that make our technology won't know what we want.
What are some of your frustrations with your iPhone? Share them with me in the comments section below.