Watch: Five ways iPhone X could be better

in iPhone edited December 2017
The iPhone X is hands down the best iPhone ever made. I knew that the second I laid my hands on it when I flew down to Cupertino a few days before it launched. That said, it's not perfect. AppleInsider lists five shortcomings of the otherwise stellar iPhone X in this video.

Going from my iPhone 8 Plus, which was always slightly unwieldy and uncomfortable to use, I can say that Apple has finally got the size practically perfect with iPhone X.

The X is now wrapped completely in stainless steel and glass, giving a luxurious feel and added weight that exudes premium quality.

The back of the iPhone X offers to cleanest design ever seen on an iPhone. Although the camera bump is large, it now houses the microphone and flash, and I think that for the first time ever, it's now perfectly proportioned. Apple has completely removed the manufacturers info -- in most regions -- leaving the simple and clean iPhone text on the back of the X, as well as iPhone 8 models.

The X's edge-to-edge OLED display honestly makes all previous iPhone displays seem ancient. Going back to an older model feels constricting, like you're in a box, but with the iPhone X, you just feel free. You almost forget that the screen is just one of many parts that come together to make up the flagship device.

Apple's Super Retina display is incredible. The colors pop like never before, and it's noticeably brighter than any previous iPhone. The most recent iPhone 8 just looks desaturated and dull in comparison.

Despite all of that, there are a few things that really started to bug me about the iPhone X.

First, Face ID. Although Apple's facial recognition system works better than I imagined it would, with a load of added features like attention awareness and a more intuitive Safari Autofill, it really bugs me to have to swipe up to get to the home screen.

Authenticating via Face ID is an undoubtedly slower process than Touch ID. With iOS 11's Notification Center available at all times, I don't care if I miss a notification on the lock screen, I can just swipe down to view it.

I used to be able to unlock my iPhone 8 when it was laying flat on a table, but now I have to either hover my face over it or pick it up. A wireless Qi charging stand fixes this issue, but I'm not always at my desk.

It's also annoying that you can't register more than one user with Face ID. My fiance uses my phone all the time, and Touch ID on makes it really convenient to do so. Now, however, she has to enter the phone's passcode.

The second thing that bugs me is something that the iPhone X shares with the 8 -- the glass back. Although it looks amazing and feels really solid, premium, and grippy in your hands, it slides off of almost everything. I don't like to use cases, so it may not be an issue for you, but when I place the bare iPhone X on a surface that's not grippy and decently flat, it gradually starts sliding off.

I used to set my iPhone on my leather wallet at work, but the iPhone 8 and X eventually slide off and crash onto my desk. Thankfully I've got a wireless charger to place it on now.

I've since learned to compromise by no longer placing it on my lap, but I wish I didn't have to.

The next thing that bugs me is the new gesture for accessing Control Center. You have to pull down from the top-right corner of the display, and even with my large hands, it's still very uncomfortable with one-handed use.

A better option might be swiping down along the right side of the screen. Siri Search would still work find when swiping down from the center.

Apple does offer Reachability mode, but the gesture for that isn't convenient. It's uncomfortable to swipe down with your thumb when the trigger point is at the bottom of the display, and I find myself constantly messing the gesture up if I don't swipe in the perfect spot.

Double tapping the home bar on the bottom of the screen might be a fix that Apple could implement.

The fourth thing is the screen size. Although the iPhone X has a larger screen specification, Apple measures on the diagonal. So even though it has a 5.8-inch screen, the iPhone 8 Plus' 5.5-inch display actually has more screen space, with 12.93 square inches compared to 12.8 square inches on the X. That also doesn't account for the rounded corners and notch.

While watching a standard 16:9 YouTube video in full screen on the iPhone X, the notch gets pretty distracting and the top and bottom of the video get cut off as well. If you decide to watch it in 16:9 letterboxed mode, the size of the video shrinks to 10.88 square inches, making it more comparable to the iPhone 8, which gets 9.43 square inches of video screen space.

As a result, the 8 Plus with a 12.93-square inch viewing area is actually better than the X for watching videos.

The fifth and final thing that bugs me about the iPhone X is that you can no longer swipe up in multitasking view to close apps. All a swipe does is bring you back to the home screen.

Instead, you have to hold down on an app in the app switcher and wait for an icon to pop up before closing apps. It makes no sense because any other device running the same iOS 11 software still allows you to swipe to force close.

Fortunately, three of the above annoyances are software based, so there's still hope for Apple to fix them in a future update or at least give us the option to choose how we want the GUI to work.


  • Reply 1 of 60
    I agree with some of these and disagree on others. 100% agree on control center. I love control center, especially in iOS 11, but it is awkward st best to reach one handed. Which brings us to reachability which I both agree that the motion is too exacting but also think the swipe down to pull the screen down is more intuitive.  I love the way Face ID works and love the lick screen. It’s nice to have the notifications hidden until I look at the phone. Enough people agree with your point that I think they should maybe give an option to turn off the swipe requirement. As for the app switcher, I believe they’ve made that slightly more difficult in an attempt to discourage people from closing apps. Apple always says it’s not necessary in iOS. I always close Facebook and have discovered that if I just pause for a second when I make the gesture to open the app switcher I can then swipe up to close it. It isn’t one continuous motion but it works pretty well.  As for the physical features, wireless charging necessitates a glass back and a nearly bezel less design gives you an odd display ratio. I will gladly take the trade off. I love the size of the phone and the screen. 
  • Reply 2 of 60
    Accessing control centre is my only real gripe with the X but I am used to it now.

    Coming from an SE, I am blown away with how good the X is. I just find it to be so buttery smooth. It has surpassed my expectations. 
  • Reply 3 of 60
    tshapitshapi Posts: 371member
    The reachability is a good feature, but needs better implementation. The control center is cumbersome to get to. Instead of swiping up for home screen maybe they can use the power button in unison with the Face ID.  

    My issues are with iOS 11 and the glitch software.   Sometimes I find that even after you hold down to close apps the apps won’t let you close them. You have to hit the power button and then go back in.  Also I find my phone freeZes and the only solution is to activate Siri to tell it to open another app.  

    Face ID feels glitchy when used by non Apple apps.  

    I also dont like that it is uni directional. You have to hold your phone upright just to log in. What if I pick up my phone in landscape because I want to watch a video or read an article or play a game.  I wonder how they will address that with the iPad 

    i came feom a 6s and I find I like the all encompassing screen much better.  I even found my battery seems to be better when not doing heavy use. 
  • Reply 4 of 60
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,024member
    They should add the ability to open the screen with a wink. Authenticate > unlock > wink > open
  • Reply 5 of 60
    Eek -- the story mentions "I knew" in the first-person, but the byline is attributed to AI staff. Is there a specific author we should associate with the first-person lead?
  • Reply 6 of 60
    thrang said:
    They should add the ability to open the screen with a wink. Authenticate > unlock > wink > open
  • Reply 7 of 60
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,966member
    I agree that force closing apps isn’t as convenient as it used to be, but as a general rule you shouldn’t be force closing apps unless they are causing issues. Just go to the home screen and forget about the rest. iOS will handle closing the app if it needs to.
  • Reply 8 of 60
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,105member
    1) Notch
  • Reply 9 of 60
    tyler82 said:
    1) Notch
    The notch is a non issue for me. 90% of the time I’m using the phone in portrait not landscape and I don’t notice it at all. While watching videos, I prefer to keep the original aspect ratio so the notch doesn’t come into play then either. 
  • Reply 10 of 60
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,024member
    thrang said:
    They should add the ability to open the screen with a wink. Authenticate > unlock > wink > open
  • Reply 11 of 60
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,077member
    One thing I like about iOS on my iPad is the new dock that can hold a lot more icons for Apps. 

    I think it would have been nice if you could have more icon in the dock even if it meant two rows of icons.   Then you could have an icon for invoking reachability, the multitasker, notifications and control center.   You could keep all the swipes still or even switch reachability to the pull down- I admit I like how Samsung does reachability better.
  • Reply 12 of 60
    Good points, but firstly, Phil S. or another one of the high ups at apple recently mentioned for legal (regarding Apple Pay, etc.) and security reasons, Touch ID was never designed with two users in mind, ideally it's just one. So they kept this, don't expect it to change.

    And for the last point, you CAN swipe up to close apps, once you see the red X's show up, you can start swiping away.
  • Reply 13 of 60
    I would like the option to show the battery percentage without having to open control center. I understand space is limited but I would rather have the percentage than the bar. 
  • Reply 14 of 60
    The lack of landscape mode on iPhone X makes me almost positive that there will be a bigger X next year.
  • Reply 15 of 60
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    Control Center (and Notification) access was the first thing I noticed as a problem with the iPhone X… and I'm waiting for the iPhone X Plus.

    I love what they did with it for iOS 11, at least on my iPhone 7 Plus, but I hope they find a more fluid and less finger-stretchy way to access it one-handed for iPhone X-like devices come iOS 12. That said, even if they do nothing Control Center is so good compared to all previous versions of iOS that if they keep it the way it is now for the iPhone X it's still a huge utility improvement for the platform.
    edited December 2017 patchythepiratewatto_cobradoozydozen
  • Reply 16 of 60
    Coming from 5S, I can state without fear of error that Touch ID is a turdiscle and Face ID is akin to manna. 
  • Reply 17 of 60
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,304member
    Here are my five ways iPhone X could be better:
    Any questions?
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 18 of 60

    "Watch: Five ways a glass half-empty could be better"  :D

  • Reply 19 of 60
    i agree with a few

    1) i don't understand why two actions are need to activate the phone: can't just having face id registeriing my face be enough , why do i have to swipe up?

    2) activating contol center ; yes its not intuitive from the top right, surely an easierway can be found?

    3) multi -tasking activation also badly implemented 

    4) in the car, why can't i touch screen and i use my voice to enter the 8 digit pin, or a pass phrase -  like
    'fuck  samsung" of course i'd never use that when someone is present.

    my gripe->  5) I really believe more voice commands need be to be added to interface to complement gestures. cmon AAPL this isn't rocket science!
  • Reply 20 of 60
    i agree with a few

    1) i don't understand why two actions are need to activate the phone: can't just having face id registeriing my face be enough , why do i have to swipe up?
    Two actions are not needed to activate the phone, the phone will display your notifications with a look to display their contents, the second action is to take you to the home screen and is the standard home screen action. May be an option to automatically take to the home screen but then you would need some mechanism to stay on the notifications.
    BTW, the double action to the home screen has always been present even with touch ID, touch to unlock and press to go to the home screen.
Sign In or Register to comment.