(At least) three things I hate about iOS6

With all the uproar about Apple’s new mapping approach, attention has been diverted from other aspects of the latest iteration of iOS – version 6. In this short post I hope to make a start at redressing this balance! So, without further ado…

First – Do Not Disturb. This is the facility to avoid being disturbed by unwanted calls. I won’t deny there are good things about this new feature: the idea of letting through persistent callers is rather clever, for instance. However, what they’ve done just doesn’t work for me.

The timing was what I had been excited about: the idea that my phone could go into “do not disturb” at night, and wake itself up in the morning – a scheduled “silent mode” – was very appealing. In reality, though, the phone doesn’t go into silent mode: the normal keyboard, wake up/go to sleep sounds all fire, making the phone as shared-bedroom-unfriendly as ever. What a missed opportunity! So I am still stuck with my “flick silent switch at night, forget to flick back in morning and miss urgent reminder/text/call” pattern. HOW I WISH Shush! For Android could be used on iPhone.

Next – disappearing email. This one is a nightmare! In fairness I don’t know whether this is just an iOS6 problem or a hang-over from previous versions. However, it is very serious.

The scenario: you are on the road, and you get an important work email. You fire off a quick reply, grateful to have the chance to respond so quickly. Later, you get increasingly concerned to have not had a reply back. In desperation, you check in the sent mail folder to confirm it went to the right address. Then you realise: the sent mail isn’t there. You check the out box: not there either. All trace of the very existence of your important mail has disappeared!

This happens to me sometimes when I am using my phone on 3G, particularly when the signal is low, and is very concerning: it erodes your trust of the whole system. Everyone else manages to leave the message in the out box until successfully sent… I have a very standard setup: Google mail in Apple’s mail app using Exchange. In most respects it works very well, but this is a near show-stopper.

Finally, for now: lack of shortcuts. There are some things I regularly need to do, such as adjust screen brightness. I don’t like to leave the display too bright as it kills the battery, but I do turn it up to view photos sometimes and down at night to avoid flood-lighting our bedroom. Since the update, not only has no shortcut approach been created, even though changes have been made to make it easy to tweet from just about anywhere… Even being able to trade the tweet box would be nice, but no, Apple know best! Again, this is made so much worse for me knowing how much better Android handles this particular problem with pull-down menu shortcuts.

I will add as a post-script the observation that the “200 improvements” aren’t all that visible to me, and that this release feels much like a minor point upgrade rather than a major new release – 5.2 rather than 6.0, perhaps. If this had been the case, perhaps my expectations wouldn’t have been dashed quite so much! So a victory of marketing/positioning over reality.

My conclusion: the phone still has a lot to recommend it, but it could have been so much more!

Has anyone else had any experience with these problems, particularly with email? Any ideas on how to get round them would be very welcome!

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