A few months ago, when my iPhone Xs Max arrived, I was so excited, I could barely contain myself.
I immediately set to transferring my content from my old X to the new Xs Max.
Transferring was a breeze and I was struck by how far we’d come from the old days of having to manually back up your phone, by physically connecting your phone to computer to synchronize your new device through iTunes.
Although I hit a minor snafu requiring technical support, the resolution was painless and instantaneous.
In hindsight, that minor snafu was a portent of things to come.
Let me explain.
I’m typically not a first mover when it comes to anything Apple.
Usually, I’ll wait about a month before copping the latest device.
I let others suffer through Apple’s missteps (and issue fixes and updates) before stepping into the breach.
I probably would have done the same thing this time, but for Verizon offering to swap my old phone and upgrading me to the Xs Max.
But now I had it, was past the aforementioned snafu, and was getting used to my latest acquisition.
The Xs Max has a bunch of cool features, to be sure.
My favorite I found completely by accident when I was putting my Mous case on the phone.
It’s the battery indicator.
Touch the battery icon on the phone and a larger icon shows up on the center of screen showing you how much battery you’ve got left.
But that was just a gateway find.
Touch any icon on the top of the screen and a larger version of that icon appears.
The actual battery life is probably my second favorite thing about the Max.
Unlike Apple’s previous claims that the battery life of their <insert version of iPhone here> had <insert percentage here> more battery life than previous versions, the claim with the Xs Max actually bears out.
There are a host of other features that make the Xs Max one of the best iPhone releases to date.
But then, there are the things that make me want to smash the phone with a hammer.
Without fail, you can always count on Apple to muck things up.
Like when they got rid of the battery percentage indicator.
Or eliminated the home button.
How about losing the headphone jack?
As excited I was for the Xs Max, I knew – I just knew there was going to be a moment when I would be like “WTF Apple?”
My “WTF?” moment came the first time I tried to attach a picture to a text message.
Ordinarily, when you’re typing a message and want to add a picture, you hit the camera icon next to the text input field and the picture tray slides up from the bottom.
From there, you can simply snap a photo or select from your recents.
If the image you’re looking for isn’t on that tray, you can expand your search by opening your photo library in a new window.
The convenience of having your recent photos pop up in that tray can’t be overstated.
But, true to form, Apple has eliminated that convenience.
Now, instead of having a tray slide up from the bottom of your screen with your recent photos, selecting the camera icon opens up the friggin’ camera!
To get to your recent photos, you’ve got to click the media icon on the top left of the screen, which then opens up your media library.
Then, you can select a recent photo or open up your entire media library.
And this is where Apple has outdone themselves.
Before, all you did was select the image you wanted to use and it would be added to your message.
With the new Xs Max, selecting the image is just that – selecting the image.
Pick an image and the blue check box shows up and then – nothing.
You’re not taken back to your message to continue typing or to send your message.
You’re stuck on the screen.
The first time I did it, I felt like Ben Stiller in Zoolander, trying to get the files out of the computer.
There was no obvious way to get back to my text message.
There was no little blue arrow in the footer to indicate that I was uploading an image.
In fact, there was no footer at all.
There was nothing on the screen that seemed in any way helpful – besides the “x” in the corner – which said to me that I’d be canceling the addition of my selected picture to my text message.
At a loss, I clicked the “x” assuming it would send me back to he previous screen where I could retry my attempt to attach a picture.
Wouldn’t you know that my picture was there?
This convoluted process is now how you’re forced to add pictures to a text message.
I get the desire to thrill and delight users with new features, but why, for the love of god, don’t you leave the things that work perfectly fine, alone?
I could go on about all the other infuriating things about the Xs Max, but why? It’s not like Apple actually pays attention to its users and makes changes in a timely fashion.
Or, more appropriately, they know when they’ve fucked something up. They just don’t care enough to fix it.
There’s another version of the phone on the horizon for me to love – and hate.