iOS 10 on iPhone 6 - the cons


I have updated to iOS 10, and so far, I'm really not impressed, since it brings so few features that I care about that work on my iPhone 6 and in my region.

I did the over-the-air (OTA) update after the 10.0.1 patch was released. As per the new norm with Apple, the early adopters had bricked iPhones and iPads (for example, see Wikipedia's iOS 9 entry for the bad updates with 9.3.2 error 56, 9.2 error 53, etc.) Apple's closed ecosystem, limited product range, and sky high prices make this unacceptable!

I digress. Here's what's changed and my gripes with iOS 10 so far:

Lock sound and keyboard click sounds

I hate the new lock sound. It goes "te-duk" like you dropped something. That's a couple of sounds, close together. Horrible. I'd prefer to revert to the previous single "cluck" sound.

The keyboard "tock" has also changed. It's more muted and lower in pitch. And there are different sounds for space and backspace too.

Widgets and notifications

Also dislike the new widgets screen to the left of the home screen (slide right). Previously, on iOS 9, the top section was Siri Suggestions which contained my frequent / recent contacts and Apps, and the bottom was the News.

Now, Siri App Suggestions only contains Apps. Now, I do not know where to find recent contacts! And it's not in the multitasking screen either or when you pull down to search, like in iOS 8. Dumb.

Both the Notification and Home screen show the exact same widgets . Now News, it's in both places, taking up too much space. I've removed News for good now. Apple should've allowed different widgets on the Notification and in the Home Screen.

Next, I dislike that swiping down now always opens Notifications. Previously I could have sworn it'd default to Widgets if I was last looking at that. This ruins my workflow because I use iLauncher to toggle to another app, and love that I can handily press the status bar to go "back" to the previous app. Plus now I get an alert asking me if I really want to launch the app the first time. So now, not only do I have to swipe down, I have to swipe left, and then answer an alert. Dumb and dumber.

(iLauncher is now defunct, but there are other similar apps)

Plus it's now card-like. I hate the wasted space and the cards. I'd buy an Android phone if I wanted cards! And now some widgets get cropped if they are not updated for iOS 10.

iOS 10 Siri App Suggestions widget

A more convoluted Lock screen

Worse. More swipes. More presses of the Home button. Where the heck is the PIN entry? And get ready to be unable to unlock your phone when the button is broken!

If you are using Touch ID, the additional Home button press can be mitigated though. In Settings, find General > Accessibility > Home Button and enable Rest Finger to Open (how is this "accessibility" and not under Touch ID and passcode?)

Wish this Rest Finger feature just be on all the time when my phone is locked.

So far, I have experienced two intermittent problems unlocking my phone - either the power button does not turn on the phone or Touch ID does not trigger no matter which finger I use.

Also, as with the Notification and Home screen, the widgets in the lock screen should different. But that would be too much like Android, eh?

No News is bad news

The region I'm in has no news, appaprently. In fact, the News app does not even appear. But the hopeless aforementioned News widget is available, but it's nothing but a bunch of random links to local sites that I don't even care about. Most of it not even in English, but in other languages - just because I live here does not mean I'm a native speaker.

This has been the case since iOS 9, and Apple barely gives a crap. Give me the News App, and let me set the region I follow (a la YouTube, CNN, etc.). What's wrong with that, if the other world wide regions are not available? I mostly follow tech and global business news anyway!

iPhone 6 users are already left behind

As of today's posting date, the iPhone 6 is only one generation, since iPhone 7 is not readily available yet. But now, there are even more features that are not available for iPhone 6:

  • More functions with 3D Touch I can't use - like with Quick action widgets and in the Control Center, and even exclusive functions like setting flashlight intensity (this is not possible without 3D Touch, i.e. on iPhone 6 or earlier).
  • Raise to wake - only on iPhone 6S and newer, due to new A9 chip pre-requisite. Duh.
Messages vs iMessage

Apple's decision to combine Messages (which to me is a.k.a. SMS) and iMessage (a.k.a. chat) is foolish. And yes, the former is plural and the latter is not. Right?!

As a frequent traveller without a roaming data plan, and as a user who prefers not to connect willy-nilly to any free and un-trusted Wi-Fi access point, I rely on SMS getting though reliably. Which turning on iMessage totally ruins. So iMessage remains off, and I'm told, I'm loosing out of the latest features.

But seriously, who wants stickers, thumbs up, bubbles, hidden messages, giant animated emoji, third-party plugins (nooooo!) and such?

I'll still need WhatsApp anyway, since everyone can use WhatsApp (even Windows Mobile and Blackberry for a little while longer anyway).

More crap I don't care about

Of course everyone will have a different view, about what's useful. But gosh, how my view really contrasts with Apple's iOS 10 marketing spiel:

  • Better Apple Maps - that still barely works in my country. I'll stick with Google Maps, thank you very much.

  • Apple Music redesign - but I still hate iTunes and the subscription model. I'll never run Apple Music ever. Use any competitor instead, any I say!

  • Smarter Siri - but Siri is pretty useless where I live. Besides I talk on my phone, do not talk to my phone.

  • "Deleting" apps - which merely hides the icon and does not really do anything (hence the inverted commas). I'll just leave the apps in a folder and ignore them like I've have always been doing.

  • Home app - this door is closed. I'd love to see the day when an update bricks a house literally. How about that, two puns in a row!

  • Apple Pay for Websites - not available in my region, and I won't want credit card companies to pass the 0.15% of Apple's cut to to merchants or consumers.

  • Safari unlimited tabs and split tabs on iPad - but still no tabs on iPhone. Come on, we can exchange a bit of screen real-estate in exchange for so much more convenience.

  • AirPlay Mirroring to AppleTV - this is a sign of things to come that AirPlay would only work with Apple TV. I'd been hoping AirPlay would work on my Mac, and, hope against hope, even Windows. But no, swipe up to the Control Center and press AirPlay Mirroring. Now it says clearly "Looking for Apple TV". Worse.

iOS 10 AirPlay Mirroring to AppleTV

Black clock is the new orange

And finally: Why is everything in my Clock gone black with orange tints? It's totally out of place. Don't tell me it's just because of the Bedtime feature? That's illogical!

But here is a screenshot of the new analog stopwatch... all in deep black:

iOS 10 Clock analog stopwatch

Closing words

Of course I haven't tried all the new features yet, nor would I in some cases (bilingual keyboard, voicemail transcription, etc.) but will separately post what I like and other changes once I try Photos, Announce Calls, WhatsApp VoIP call in lock screen, Magnifier and so on.

Hopefully after a bit of use I'll have a more balanced view of iOS 10. I'm certainly not an Apple fan-boy but I also do not like Android... so maybe it's just my resistance to change.

In fact, I really thought about reverting to iOS 9 but Apple simply stops patching old versions (I'm talking about security patches and bug fixes not new features). With the recent Trident/Pegasus zero-day exploit for iOS and OS X, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

And so should you... irrespective of features we may or may not like.