yet another ios14 annoyance (yaia)

We’re on the cusp of another iOS 14 update, iOS 14.3. Right now I’m dealing with 14.2, and it’s still bugging the crap out of me. Today’s latest is with all those lovely speed dial shortcuts I created with Shortcuts. For whatever reason they stopped working. I’d tap on any of them and the activity circle would just go gray (see the red arrow on the screen capture above). It would hang. No normal actions, such as killing the app instance, would correct it. I tried it on both the today screen as well as the app itself in case there was any issue using the Shortcut’s widget, but it was hanging no matter what. As a last resort I restarted (rebooted) my iPhone, and that cleared it up.

Rebooting a personal computer, especially an iPhone, is so 1980’s. We did that with Microsoft’s MS-DOS and Windows, and Apple’s older Classic Mac OS, before Mac OS X and macOS. This is the third decade of the 21st century, and rebooting your computer to clear up an application problem is very stupid shit. Indicative of poor quality all around. Especially on a smart phone that cost US$1,400 when I purchased mine. Frankly I’m hanging onto mine, rather than stepping up, because Apple continues to demonstrate absolutely no real reason to upgrade to their iPhone 12.

Hardware means nothing when your software and tools are shit. And that’s where Apple’s iOS 14 is right now, with me. Perhaps they’ll convince me otherwise when iOS 14.3 becomes official, but I doubt it.

more (correctable) annoyances with ios 14

I’m currently running with iOS/iPadOS 14.1, which was released last week. Before that latest update I was having issues with screen brightness and color across all my devices. I would sit looking at the device and see the brightness slowly increase, then slowly decrease, or else watch the hue shift from warm to cool and back again. Or both at the same time. That’s part of the feature set, folks.

I got so tired of it, so I went looking for all the ways to turn it off and just set my own screen brightness. First I went into Display and Brightness and turned off True Tone. That got rid of the crazy hue shifting. Then I had to go hunting further through Settings for more…

I finally stumbled upon Accessibility | Display and Text Size and made sure everything there was off. What surprised me is that Reduce Transparency and Increase Contrast were both enabled. I know I never touched those once, because it’s under Accessibility, and supposedly it’s for folks who actually need help accessing their iPhone. Once I disabled those, the look on my iPhone in particular matched what I used to get right up to the iPhone 8 and its iOS version, 11. The overall look when weird after that, which I know isn’t quite the technical term you’d like to read. But it was usable, I was busy, so I lived with the weirdness.

You’d think by now I would have nailed it all, but no, there’s one more setting which I’ll document here. At the bottom of Display and Text Size is Auto-Brightness. You have to turn that off as well. Once that’s all done, then the screen is just a screen, not some magic marketing checkbox.

The controls for controlling these “features” are all over the place in Settings. Silly me, I would have thought Auto-Brightness would be in Display & Brightness, not two levels down in Accessibility | Display and Text Size. Only a sadistic asshole Apple developer would design and implement it that way.

Now, with the latest version of iOS, all I have to do is swipe down from the upper left corner to get a control panel with the brightness widget, and set the screen brightness to a level I like. It really isn’t that hard to do, folks. The automagic capability in iOS is busted in my not-so-humble-opinion. I’m thankful that I can disable all that crap and do it on my own. Right now, I have screen brightness level set between a third and a half of the slider.