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.

about those new iphone 12s

The virtual roadshow introduction of the newest iPhones has come and gone and the pixel dust has finally settled. I’ve decided to give the 12 a pass. I currently have an 11 Pro Max. It has one critical feature I am loath to give up: it doesn’t have 5G support. I’m quite happy not to have a handset with 5G radios that will suck up extra power out of the battery and extra cash out of my wallet. I don’t believe a single word that any of the major providers are saying about their 5G networks. The radios are in place in their networks to be sure, but there’s nothing of significance demanding I drop more money on 5G. I’m more than satisfied with 4G and WiFi, and I don’t see that changing for some number of years to come.

One feature that might be of interest to me is the LIDAR sensor in the camera cluster on the back of the iPhone. It showed up in the last iPad that was also released with Apple’s A14 processor. That’s supposed to provide a “better” Augmented Reality, or AR, experience. But of course, my iPhone was supposed to provide a wonderful AR experience when it was released. Problem was I quickly ran through the AR example apps, and found them all to be gimicky at best, a solution in pursuit of a problem. Sorta like VR…

I’m also not crazy with Apple’s high-handed handling of the App Store, not just here in the US, but around the world. I know I’m the guy who just dropped six grand on a new 16″ MacBook Pro, but that was for a project I’m currently supporting. The Mac’s a far more open platform than the iPhone that will run any tool I can currently imagine. I can do creative work on my MacBook that I can only dream of doing on either the iPhone or the iPad.

The final straw for me was the multiple emails I got from Apple to pre-register so that I could pre-order the iPhone 12. Nope. Nada. They just really annoyed the crap out of me. Even if I wanted to buy a 12, I’m not one to rush out that quickly on something that new. The notable exception to that rule was the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and that’s because I recognized it was the end of a product cycle, the last of the 4G phones, and the one I had has a huge battery that can get me through multiple days on a single charge, especially now that I’m retired. And I haven’t been all that enamored with iOS of late. If you’re curious you can read about my discontent in earlier posts. No, I’m sitting this one out, happy to have what I have, and let the others dive headlong into Apple’s latest iPhone tech. I’m sitting back and watching for the time being.