My wife asked me to disable Amber Alerts on her phone. We get them very infrequently, and when we do, they’re always for something well outside of our area.
I knew there was a setting for this because I had disabled it long ago on my phone. I also knew that it must have moved since Apple is always “improving” their software.
So I used the search bar in settings.
Nothing for Emergency.
Nothing for Amber.
Finally, I found it in Notifications.
I also, by the way, searched for “Alerts,” and neither of those settings showed up in the results.
If the settings for your consumer application or device are so extensive and complicated that it requires a search function, it’s time to take a step back and consider a redesign.
I understand that our phones have become pocket computers, and there’s a lot going on in there. But take a look at the settings for the iPhone and tell me how much of it is necessary and how much of it belongs in the same place.
Why do I go to settings to start a backup of my phone? Why do I need to enter my Apple password in settings under iCloud but also in the settings for the App Store…but then I have to go to back to iCloud settings to share a credit card with my family for purchases in the App Store?
Why are all settings for all apps in the same place, except for the ones that aren’t?
But even worse, if the settings for your consumer application or device are so extensive and complicated that it requires a search function, and your search function can’t even find settings with verbatim search terms, your software sucks.
It just sucks.
Apple used to stand for simplicity. One of the Steve Jobs primary aesthetics was minimalism. That’s so far gone from the iPhone (and the Mac) it hardly seems worth mentioning.
This shortcoming is, in and of itself, not a big deal. But it does point to a larger problem; technology is not allowed to stand still.
As a user, I would be happy if my phones and computers just got a little faster and maybe a little smaller, with each release. Additional storage for stuff like more music and applications is nice too, but with the “cloud,” even that isn’t as important. Speed is what’s key. I’m not even sure if it would be as important if it weren’t for the constant addition of new features.
But that’s not sufficient for the all-powerful market. We need new features! We need new capabilities! We need a reason to buy new stuff every year!
So we get laptops with fewer ports. That’s an improvement! We get phones with 1000s of settings, and no headphone jack because that makes it thinner. Unless, of course, you have to carry the external headphone adaptor that’s thicker than the phone was when it had the jack. Or is it because it’s waterproof, which is great if you don’t have to carry the adapter, which isn’t?
It’s not really Apple’s fault. In the long run, everything ends up being crap because it’s not allowed to just be good. There’s no room in the software world for products like that just work.
The iPhone used to be the best. It just isn’t anymore. Period. Will my next phone be an Android? I don’t know yet. Android is just as susceptible to this madness too.
And don’t get me started on my next computer. There’s almost nothing to buy.
But when I do get a new phone, I’ll treat it like any other expensive purchase. I’ll start with research, and make a decision based on dollars and sense. This is assuming I can’t just stop upgrading the one I have at IOS 10, which is mostly usable. I’m hoping I can do that, but chances are some critical security hole will make that unwise. brand loyalty for Apple has left the building.
Either way, my brand loyalty for Apple is gone.