Gokhan Arik

Gokhan Arik

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I switched to the iPhone after years on Android, and immediately switched back

Disclaimer: This is not an Android fanboy post where I criticize Apple recklessly. Please continue to read and let me know if there is any mistake in the post, or if you think I am not being fair.

TL;DR If you came here to see the list; jump there

People around me know that I’ve been using Samsung for the past 6-7 years. I bought my first Samsung device because of my interest in the open-source Android platform. As an Android app developer, using an Android smartphone in daily life helped me to better understand the platform and gave me the perspective of an Android user when developing apps.

When developing apps, I heavily focus on the user experience side of the things, rather than just coding. Delivering better user experience is what makes users stay in your app. I’ve deleted many apps from my phone after downloading and going through 3-4 screens only.

I’ve been planning on getting an iPhone for a while, especially after the introduction of the FaceID. It is always a good experience to get out of your comfort zone and try something different. I believe (or used to believe) the hardware is quite powerful.

After moving to Sydney, my wife and I decided to buy iPhone so we both would benefit from being on the same platform. We could use FaceTime without needing a 3rd party app or send silly memojis to each other.

I used iPhone XS Max for a month before I switched back to Samsung. And the main reason behind this, as you can guess, is the bad user experience. Here is the list of the things that annoyed me the most.

1. 📞 The screen is active during a phone call causing accidental touches

Here comes our candidate for the “You had one job” award. All I wanted was to put my headphones on, call my friend, lock the screen when he answers, put the phone back in my pocket and talk to him as I walked down the street without hanging up the phone on his face several times.

I thought, maybe Apple doesn’t want me to hide my fancy iPhone by keeping it in my pocket. So I grabbed it from the centre of mass and started spinning on my hand so I could keep my hands busy as I talk to my friend. Nope. That didn’t stop me from accidentally hanging up the phone either.

I came to the conclusion that holding the phone in my hand wasn’t enough for Apple. So immediately opened Apple Maps and searched for the nearest Starbucks. I picked a table, built a tower using my MacBook, a real book, my wallet and the iPhone XS Max of the House Circle 1, the Unlocked, Queen of the Apples, Breaker of the Jails, the First of Her Name, the Rightful Queen of the 7 iPhones and Boulevard of Broken Screens. And never touched to her until he hanged up. Am I expecting too much from a device that has the word Phone in it?

2. 🔊 There is no way to disable Camera shutter sound

Unless you completely mute the phone or play some music, dance for a while 💃, put the volume down, and then take a photo.

One of the hacks to disable the camera shutter sound

When it comes to disabling the shutter sound, your options are endless.

New cut-off adapter dongles are now available at Apple Stores for only $999

3. 🗑️ You can’t delete multiple contacts

Deleting a single contact on an iPhone is already a long process. If you want to delete a contact, you need to tap on the contact, scroll to the bottom, tap on Edit, tap on Delete Contact and tap on another Delete Contact button from the confirmation dialog.

Deleting multiple contacts? Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Aint Nobody Got Time For That GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

This is not about “how often do you delete multiple contacts”. In this mobile-first era, the company who led the innovation of the smartphone software and hardware industry for years should have some basic standards around modifying items in bulk. On top of that, I’m not the first person to discover this. People have been requesting features like this for years and it surprises me that Apple hasn’t done anything about it.

4. 🔆 The screen is automatically dimmed while gaming

I searched for this issue in detail and I’m still not satisfied with the answers I got. This is not related to auto-brightness. Apparently, the iPhone dims the screen if the device is overheating. And the games I play are CPU intensive, so iPhone decides to dim the screen to prevent overheating.

That sounds nice at first. You have a company that cares about you and your phone. But what happened to the best smartphone ever made? We have been told at every single Apple event that the iPhone is the best smartphone ever made. How come my Samsung doesn’t overheat when I play the same game all day long, but my iPhone decides to dim the screen after 1-2 hours into playing?

5. 🈸 Bilinguals are not welcomed

To all my bilingual friends juggling between multiple keyboards trying to find the emoji keyboard to insert this 🙈 How is the life in keyboard jungle?

If you have a single keyboard on your phone, this won’t bother you. You tap on emoji button and switch to the emoji keyboard. However, if you have multiple keyboards on your phone like the REST OF THE WORLD, and you use emojis in your messages like the REST OF THE WORLD you are probably annoyed by this too. Treating the emoji keyboard like a top-level language keyboard causes chaos. I attach emojis to the end of almost every message I send and at the end of the message, I don’t want to tap 3-4 times just to find the emoji keyboard.

Like the song goes the world is on fire she is fixing her hair…Memojis and all are cute, but it would be nice if Apple focused on the basic things first.

6. 🔋 Battery life

I never understood this until I switched over to the dark side. I resisted in the beginning. I insisted. I tried to be strong. I wanted her to be strong. Wanted her to shine bright (reflect?) like a diamond. And I’m sorry; I failed. After a few days, I found my finger unintentionally pulling brightness slider down to make Bat Tery happy.

Image result for meme iphone brightness
Switch to the iPhone give the gift of darkness to your bat.

And here some other things that don’t need much explanation.

  • When you get a call, it blocks the entire screen. You have to answer or wait till they stop.
  • Can’t change the default browser, you are stuck with Safari
  • Alarm Clock doesn’t work when the iPhone is off – (This behaviour is the same in Samsung phones also. Apparently, most of the new smartphones work in the same way.)
  • Lack of Google Assistant (Don’t even compare with Siri)

I could probably add more, however, I wanted to put the ones that bothered me the most. I personally think, when it comes to the user experience, iOS can’t compete with Android.

Let me know of your opinions in the comments.

How to identify a Phishing Email

I’m sure you have received a scam email at least once in your lifetime. A couple of days ago I received a well-designed phishing email. I was explaining to my wife, the techniques they used in the email to make it look more realistic. For people in the information technology field, it is easier to spot these emails, but it might not be the case for everyone.

Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts and using different techniques to trick you into clicking malformed URL. In this post, I will use the email I received as an example, and share a few tips to recognize phishing emails.

Figure 1 — A screenshot of the phishing email I received.

1. Title

The font used in the title might be easy to notice. But when you notice it, did you stop and question the email or just ignore it? I did ignore it when I first received the email. If you look closely (Figure 2), you will notice that the letters “p”, “s” and “d” don’t match the rest of the title. The letter that looks like “p” is a Greek character “ρ” (rho).

Figure 2 — Title (zoomed in)

Why do scammers do this? Email providers actively filter emails and look for patterns. This is not my area of expertise, but I assume they do this to avoid spam folder filtering.

2. From

Every email has a From and To that maps to sender and receiver. It is not hard to send an email with a different From field. In this case, the scammer starts the field with “no-reply”, and fills the rest with random characters. The format of a no-reply address in a legitimate email is “noreply@domain.com” or something similar to this where “domain.com” is the web address of the company.

3. To

This trick is probably the most interesting one. In a genuine email, To field is the address of the receiver. In this case, it is supposed to have my email address or say “Me”, as Yahoo does.

Figure 3 — To field title with misleading information

How did the scammer go around and assign “support@apple.com” to the To field?

Both From and To fields can have an optional Title along with the email address. In a real email, this would be the format of To field: <John Smith> john@example.com. However, the scammer places “support@apple.com” in place of John Smith as a Title of the sender, and this makes you think that the email is sent from Apple Support. One thing I noticed is this trick didn’t work on my smartphone app.

4. URL

Almost %99 of phishing emails have only one goal: to make you click a link. The link they send you, usually, mimics the website of the company; and contains a form so they can make you give them your personal information, login credentials etc. In this case, the URL seems like a real one, because it ends with apple.com. This trick is similar to “To” field trick. Name of the URL is legit, however, the actual web address it points to is malformed. On a computer, if you hover over the URL, you will see actual address in the bottom left corner of your browser (Arrow 5 in Figure 1). You should avoid clicking on links if you don’t know the sender.

Imagine you are working on your computer or watching videos on your phone while having lunch. All of a sudden your phone vibrates, you look at the notification and see an email with the title of “Your Apple ID has been locked”. This could put you in a panic mode. The things I listed above might seem like simple, easy to spot things, however, when you are in a panic mode, you might not pay attention to those small details.

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