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Will iOS 17 bring some big fun back to iPhone?

The full releases are coming for iOS in a few weeks but will it just be more of the same?

iOS 17 and iPhone 15

Calming down

iOS 17 promises much, but above all I want it to be hassle-free – oh, and fun too!

If you read yesterday’s story then you’ll know that 24 hours ago my day was not going too well. iOS 16.6 auto-updated on my phone and pretty much screwed everything up.

Having been forced into a full reset on the phone, the hassles rumbled on late into the day. Popping out in the evening to grab some dinner I found that although I’d logged back into the banking apps the cards that I had in Apple Wallet were missing – leaving me pretty hungry!

Messages were a problem as well – Telegram and WhatsApp both needed to be signed into again as did YouTube Studio and Medium. The niggles continued to raise their heads this morning – the digital key to my car is missing too. Surely there can’t be much left to sort now?

Yesterday sure left its mark though.

More of the same

Today Apple Watch has decided to un-friend me!

The app on the phone was in verifying mode for over 30 minutes and then told me it would update tonight…only for the watch to then suddenly switch itself off and I assume start to install watchOS 9.6…I’ll let you know how it ends up!

And you know the way when some days just don’t go your way…I think yesterday was one of those for me. When I went to start editing this week’s video Premiere Pro suddenly lost the ability to bring in audio to the timeline – yet today, it’s perfect!

Happier times

I’ve written before about the nuts & bolts and details of what to expect when the full release of iOS 17 hits us in 5 or 6 weeks with Live Voicemail, Contact Posters & NameDrop being a few of the headliners.

Since writing about iOS 17 though I’ve had a chance to get my hands on a couple of Android phones – the Nothing 2 and Pixel 7 Pro and you know what I’ve had fun.

Whilst I’m not ready to ditch iOS and iPhone and I’m so glad I took the opportunity to take a look at Android first hand as I’m now better positioned to judge what I like and don’t like or want from future iOS releases.

And in a word – it would be fun.

Fun for all

In the intro to this week’s video that I’m still working on I questioned if the Nothing 2 would prove to be a Barbie or an Oppenheimer – meaning would it be a fun-loving phone or a deep, meaningful one?

iPhone is very corporate and for the most part, I’m happy enough with that. I love that it’s designed to get the job done – it’s full of intent and serious about what it does. It’s a workhorse and it does so much so well but iOS 17 could have added some sparkle back into it.

Its camera setup is pretty much unparalleled and it has the best display too – but, isn’t there room somewhere deep within iOS 17 that some levity couldn’t be introduced?

Individual

I’d heard but always dismissed that Android could be tailored far better to suit your character and now I get it.

Nothing outscores the Pixel on this front. You can tell it’s a younger, fresher company with less red tape. It just feels vibrant and alive.

The more I get to play with it, the more I find I like it and it’s the tiny details that make it sing, shimmer and shine and highlight areas that iOS 17 could take heed of.

The status bar for example can be made more intuitive showing not only the battery levels but also your internet speed – a small but handy touch.

The Home Screens layout can be played around with as well with the grid layout having two options and the apps can be labelled or un-labelled depending on your preference. The icon pack can be tweaked to be a more colourful or sombre black & white affair.

And that’s my point – the more I play the more I discover I can do to make Nothing 2 feel like mine. Google’s Pixel needs to watch its back

Those crazy lights

The glyph lights on the Nothing are very gimmicky but the idea behind them is that you pick up your phone less.

You cherry-pick what apps you want to notify you and then choose a glyph to light up with a subtle glow. I’m not suggesting for a moment that this would work for iPhone or Pixel – it’s a Nothing thing, but it does show us that there are ways out there just to shake everything up a bit.

Apple is playing things a little safe and possibly they just need to let their hair down a bit.

Whether you like it or not

The weather app immediately caught my eye. It’s bold and snappy and all the details are so easy to read – sunset, wind speed and the UV index are clear and concise being black and white and very graphically based.

Surprisingly the Pixel doesn’t have a native weather app and although iOS does it feels a touch more fiddly – don’t get me wrong, it’s good on iPhone but just a few little updates could make it even better.

In love with the iPhone

I’m sitting here looking at all three phones and as much as there are bits I like from all of them my heart still goes to the iPhone. The shape is beautiful and iconic. The cameras are legendary and the colour of mine I happen to think is gorgeous.

The Pixel rivals the iPhone for tactility and is more ergonomic and the Nothing has its quirky glyphs, but still, the iPhone wins out for me.

Concluding

I’ve started to dream a different dream as I look forward to iOS 17.

Where I had been just thinking of iOS as just another update I now know it could bring a whole new lease of life into the beautiful body of iPhone. Sadly this year the die is already cast but next year I hope Apple dare to break free.

Despite the problems I’ve had this week I know those same problems could just as easily have happened with either the Nothing 2 or the Pixel 7 – no operating system is perfect, but other OS is more exciting & versatile.

Free of the demands of getting Vision Pro out of the door, Apple will have more resources available over the next 12 months and could engineer a new beating heart for iPhone 16.

I still love Apple, iOS and iPhone but I just want them to get back to their innovative best – thats all. I’m happy enough for the iPhone to remain the Oppenheimer, but maybe we could add a twist of Barbie to it?

P.S. – the watch is now updated!

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