April 17, 2024
A green iPhone 15 lock screen.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Tendencies

It’s not an understatement to say I’m an Android smartphone fan, as an Android cellphone has been my devoted companion ever since I began utilizing the HTC Want in 2010. I’ve bounced from cellphone to cellphone within the 13 years since, and I’ve skilled good and unhealthy telephones alike. However in all that point, I’ve by no means spent a lot time with an Apple iPhone. I’m clearly not unfamiliar with iPhones, having used them throughout my time as a tech author grabbing screenshots, downloading apps, and testing video games — however by no means having used one as my major smartphone is one thing of a blind spot.

The Apple iPhone 15 is an effective cause to finish that. In any case, if I’m going to make use of an iPhone, it would as properly be Apple’s newest. Two weeks after booting it up and transferring my information to it, it’s been … a journey. Whereas I can see the iPhone 15 is a superb smartphone, too a lot of iOS’s idiosyncracies rub me the flawed manner. Nonetheless, there’s one function I’ve grown to actually love, and I’m going to battle to stay with out it.

The iPhone 15 is a blended bag

A green iPhone 15 in grass.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Tendencies

I actually just like the iPhone 15 rather a lot. It’s a terrific cellphone! It’s well-designed, and it feels implausible within the hand. I slapped a case on it as a result of I’d simply dropped $800 on the factor — however I actually regretted having to take action. That fabled Apple efficiency can also be apparent. I do know a quick cellphone from a gradual one, and this cellphone is blazing quick. It felt wasted on me, as I actually don’t do something extra demanding than enjoying Cell to Singularity and a little bit of Little Alchemy. However truthfully, even when all of the A16 Bionic is doing is making my every day drudgery scream previous with no hitch, then it’s greater than price it so far as I’m involved.

However even with all that in thoughts, I’m not a fan. The explanation for that’s easy: Apple and I don’t see eye-to-eye. There are a number of design decisions in iOS that merely don’t work for me. Granted, a few of it is because I’ve been utilizing Android for therefore lengthy, and iOS is analogous sufficient to what I do know that coming throughout variations is jarring. Nonetheless, some design decisions are simply … properly, I’m sorry, iOS devoted, however they’re simply unhealthy.

A keyboard on an iPhone running iOS 16.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

The iPhone 15 is an unbelievable cellphone, which makes the actually unhealthy components of the cellphone baffling. Apple followers, degree with me: Is the keyboard some kind of celestial punishment? The autocorrect is so overactive that I believe a curse is guilty as a result of there’s no manner it’s been left this unhealthy on goal, proper? Having to shift keyboard modes to discover a comma is turning into acquainted, however I don’t suppose it’ll ever cease feeling hideously clunky. Critically, iOS followers, does Apple have some collective dust on you all that’s compelled you to just accept this clearly substandard keyboard? I used the keyboard rather a lot, and it by no means stopped being a chore.

I didn’t change from Apple’s default keyboard as a result of, hey, I’m submitting myself to iOS in all its glory — however you can change the keyboard to one thing higher. That isn’t the case the place the notifications are involved.

With out the advantage of a customized launcher, you’re caught with that notification system till Apple decides to provide you one thing higher. And that’s actually horrible as a result of they’re horrendous. On the intense facet, my time with the iPhone 15 did remedy me of my notification-clearing methods, however that’s as a result of they tended to vanish, solely to be discovered a lot later. I missed a lot of essential notifications as a result of iOS made the weird determination to ship them to the shadow realm like they’d misplaced a youngsters’s card recreation.

iPhone 14 Pro Max laying on top of iPad showing always-on display with wallpaper setting off.
The iPhone 14 Professional Max has an always-on show. So ought to the iPhone 15. Jesse Hollington / Digital Tendencies

Another components of the cellphone aren’t horrible, however I don’t like them. The actual fact a $799 flagship smartphone doesn’t embrace an always-on show is completely surprising. I’m not an enormous fan of “present 12 months” arguments, however is that this actually acceptable in 2023? If it was an LCD panel, I might perceive it from a technical standpoint, however the iPhone 15 has an OLED show. It needs to be greater than able to working an always-on show, however for some cause, it simply … doesn’t.

It’s truthful to say my time with the iPhone 15 hasn’t been all sweetness and honey. As such, you would possibly anticipate I’m chomping on the bit to get again to an Android handset. And that will be true if there wasn’t one function so distinctive that I can’t consider it’s taken so lengthy for Android to meet up with it.

That function is Face ID.

Face ID is unbelievable

Face ID tick icon on the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island.
Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

I didn’t suppose Face ID can be all that spectacular. In any case, I’ve been dabbling with facial recognition on smartphones for years. My Android telephones have had facial recognition because the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, and it’s hardly ever been central to my use. Why would Face ID be any completely different?

As a lot as I hate to confess it, there’s positively a sprinkle of Apple magic right here. Face ID is quick, clean, and oh-so environment friendly. It’s additionally manner higher than all different facial recognition methods on the market. I’m not talking from ignorance right here, both. I did, truly, apply it to my Samsung Galaxy Be aware 20 as a result of, properly, the fingerprint scanner on that cellphone was horrible. It was advantageous. It labored, more often than not.

Face ID scanning a face.
Apple

Face ID is nothing like that. Not solely is it quick, nevertheless it additionally works at midnight, and it really works for safe apps — and that was a recreation changer by itself. In my expertise, utilizing password managers may be … testing, to say the least. Yeah, they’re safe, and logging in shouldn’t be easy, however when you should log into your supervisor a number of occasions as a result of it used the flawed particulars, that may be irritating. It’s particularly annoying when it’s important to pivot your grip to place a thumb onto an in-display fingerprint scanner. Each. Single. Time.

Face ID minimize that frustration out. Oh, I must log in once more? Wait a second whereas my face is scanned, and presto! I’m in. No extra having to maneuver my hand to place my thumb onto the sensor. Sure, it’s a minor factor to must do, nevertheless it builds up over time. Should you’re utilizing your gadget in a single hand whereas doing one thing else, Face ID is a game-changer — and it’s the improve I by no means knew I wanted.

It’s going to be arduous to stay with out Face ID after I return to Android, however fortunately, it appears Android has lastly caught up.

I’ll return to Android, however I’ll miss Face ID

A blue Google Pixel 8 Pro, laying face-down next to a small pumpkin and squash.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

It’s truthful to say my time with the iPhone 15 hasn’t resulted in a Damascene conversion, however I’ve nonetheless loved my time with Apple’s smartphone. Whereas my record of complaints is longer than I’ve talked about right here, most of those are a results of me getting used to … properly, the way in which Android does issues. Getting used to the way in which iOS does issues can be a for much longer course of for certain, and it’s not one I’m prepared to bear.

There are various components of the iOS expertise I’m not going to overlook, however Face ID will completely be one in every of them. It’s a shining star in Apple’s crown and a stroke of genius. Whereas I’m nonetheless not offered on Dynamic Island as an idea and located the massive cutout blocked content material in a number of of my video games, Face ID made the sacrifice price it. If I’d used an iPhone with the notch somewhat than the Island, I’m certain I’d have felt the identical manner about that, too — although I doubt the notch would have blocked as a lot content material because the Dynamic Island.

Face Unlock prompt on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

So, I’ll shortly be shedding Face ID after I transfer again to Android. However all is just not misplaced. Whereas Apple has had a big head begin, Face ID-like tech is lastly coming to Android smartphones, courtesy of the Google Pixel 8. Whereas it’s not the primary time we’ve seen facial recognition on a complicated degree on Android telephones (that honor belongs to the forgotten Movement Sense on the Pixel 4), it’s the first time the tech could also be right here to remain.

It’s essential to notice, although, that the Pixel 8’s facial recognition isn’t fairly pretty much as good as Face ID. Whereas it has Class 3 certification that enables it for use for banking apps and delicate information, it doesn’t have the iPhone’s infrared array that enables recognition for use at midnight. As somebody with a younger little one who finds themselves sat at midnight on a cellphone rather a lot, properly, that’s an enormous disappointment.

Nonetheless, even a partial Face ID is healthier than no Face ID in any respect, and truthfully, it’s made me rethink my stance in direction of the Pixel 8. It’s odd to confess that the iPhone 15 has made it extra doubtless I purchase a Google Pixel, however right here we’re.

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