iPhone X is a user interface disaster

Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal's personal technology columnist created this cheat sheet for figuring out how to use the iPhone X’s interface. That's what happens when you get rid of the home button.



Editor’s note: There was an error in the original regarding disabling FaceID. Updated here. pic.twitter.com/O2EQm2CoyK


— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) November 3, 2017



From FastCo Design:



Now, to fully take advantage of an iPhone or an iPad, you have to know to cast spells like Dr. Strange. Here’s one: “Place four or five fingers spread out on the screen, and move your hand upward. Swipe up with four fingers to close multiple apps. Once you’ve opened the App Switcher (what Apple calls this screen you get after doing the above gesture), you can close apps that are running in the background by swiping up.” Then there’s “simply swipe up from the home bar at a 45-degree angle towards the right of the screen and then let go, and the app switcher should move straight into view almost immediately.” You may argue that the latter was unavoidable because they had to take out the home button. But remember that there is no home button–or TouchID–on the iPhone X because of Apple’s own inability to make it work with its edge-to-edge screen. This is a new problem that didn’t exist, and now has a bad solution.


The simplicity of Apple’s UX made its devices computers for the rest of us, which is why their popularity was so universal. Nobody needed cheat sheets to use them to their full potential. Then, little by little, a divide opened between two types of iOS device users–between regular users who use the iPhone in the simplest way possible and have no idea about most of the hidden gestures and the power users who know the secret ninja moves. Today, anyone who buys the iPhone X, whether regular or power user, will have to learn new arbitrary conventions–a convoluted navigation system that instead of solving problem adds a new layer of complexity to an already complex device, replacing the elegant, simple, intuitive solution that came built-in with the original iPhone.