Julie’s gadget diary – I’m starting to rethink my iPhone 7 purchase

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It’s been two days since I stood in line at my local Verizon store and walked out with a new 32gb Apple iPhone 7. The phone was intended for Jeanne, but I planned to use it for a few days to help me figure out if I want to buy another iPhone 7 for myself or if the larger iPhone 7 Plus is the better choice.

Ever since watching Apple’s iPhone 7 live event on 9/7, I was excited to make the switch from Android to iOS. But now that I’ve had the new iPhone in my hands for a couple of days, the effects of the intoxicating Apple Kool-Aid have started to wear off and I’m beginning to rethink my decision to switch.

Why I like the iPhone 7

When we were waiting in line on Friday, we were told by people at the Verizon store, that the phones we’d be buying had a developer’s version of iOS 10 on them instead of the version everyone was installing. That said not to worry, that all we needed to do was apply the update from the settings area on the phone and we would be up to date. So the first thing I did with the new iPhone 7 was check for software updates. There was one, I applied it, end of story.


Coming from using an Android device for the last few years, OS updates are so much faster and easier with Apple than waiting for Android updates, which each carrier has to approve and then roll out when they see fit. Nexus devices like my Nexus 6P are supposed to get Android OS updates before all other Android devices. Not so this time around. Android’s latest OS update called Nougat was released almost a month ago (August 22) and my Nexus 6P has still not received it. This has left a bad taste in my mouth for Nexus devices.

Hardware wise, the new iPhone feels great in my hand. Regardless of your feelings about Apple, iOS and the whole iPhone hype juggernaut, you have to admit that Apple really knows how to make a device that feels great and looks great. The iPhone 7 feels sleek, solid and almost perfect in my hand and the screen while tiny on the iPhone 7 is bright, crisp and vibrant.

The lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack and a physical home button are both non-issues for me. I use Bluetooth earbuds, so there’s no problem there and the new capacitive home button feels so much like a physical button, that I don’t have any problems with it – at least not yet. When it starts getting colder and I begin wearing gloves, that might change since it’s a capacitive button.

Why I’m having second thoughts about my iPhone 7 purchase

It’s iOS that is making me rethink my purchase. I just can’t seem to get used to it. It feels restrictive compared to Android. A few little things that have me frustrated so far are:

  • General navigation issues that mainly stem from a lack of a back button. I realize that a back link will sometimes appear at the top left corner of the screen if you switch apps due to a notification, but I really miss a dedicated back button.
  • I’ve noticed that sometimes I’ll be asked to sign into the App Store by typing my password when I have already set up a Touch ID fingerprint.
  • Once in awhile Safari will complain that I’m not connected to the internet when I am definitely  connected to my home WiFi
  • Not being able to arrange the home screen list of icons just the way I want them is annoying.

I realize that none of these issues are major problems that will keep me from using the phone, but they are little things that make me frustrated and cause me to look fondly over at my Nexus 6P (even if it doesn’t have Nougat yet) sitting next to me on the desk powered off while I immerse myself in iOS.


It’s like there’s a little green Android droid sitting on my left shoulder whispering to me that it would be really easy to turn off the iPhone and go back to the Nexus 6P. And then there’s the ghost of Steve Jobs sitting on my right shoulder whispering that the iPhone 7 is the most exciting, most spectacular and best phone ever and I should give it a real chance.

So I’m not giving up on iOS yet. I will keep using the iPhone 7 for a few more days before I make my final decision. Will I take the iPhone 7 back to the Verizon store for a refund, or will I hand it over to Jeanne and order my own iPhone 7 Plus to be my new daily driver? Stay tuned.

51 thoughts on “Julie’s gadget diary – I’m starting to rethink my iPhone 7 purchase”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Android user (rooted), have never used Apple anything spanning decades. With that said:

    You are absolutely right about (the inexcusably bad state of) OS upgrades on Android – whatever the reasons. I would be happy with timely security upgrades alone. In fact, that is my preference.

    I still find iOS too restrictive overall but they win, hands down, in this area.

  3. But you CAN rearrange the icons on your home page – or any page – to just the way you like them. Tap and hold any icon until they all “wiggle” and show the little ‘X’ in the top corner (that’s how you delete apps, too, by the way). Then while still in “wiggle mode”, you can drag any apps you like onto and off the home page or any page, drag them wherever you want them within a page, and even create folders by dragging one icon over the top of another to create the folder. You can Name the folder what ever you like (Music, Photographic, etc) and then simply drop as many similar apps into the folder while still in “wiggle mode”. To exit that mode, simply do the Home button thing. Simple as…. 😉
    However, I’m sticking with my 6S Plus, as the lack of a headphone jack IS a problem for me. I use high quality headphones (Audio Technica AT-50x) while making music on numerous iOS apps. And unless I use the adapter, I can’t use those phones. Bluetooth just ain’t there yet. Not for high quality audio at least. And most certainly not via tiny ear buds. So I’m sticking with my 6S Plus 128GB – does absolutely everything I need and more.

    1. Yes, I’m aware of the method for rearranging the order of icons, but what I really meant is you can’t arrange icons exactly how you please. For example, if you want to put spaces in between icons, that’s not possible. It is on Android.

      1. Exactly. On android my main screen had maybe 5-6 icons. In the center was the weather and upcoming tasks/events. And the 5-6 Apps I used. Anything else was on another screen. I do miss that.

  4. PS: I should have added too, that if I use the Lightning-to-3.5mm jack adapter to use the good headphones, I can’t be charging the phone at the same time. Bummer!

      1. I’ve learned that 3rd party Lightning adapters are twitchy. They work, but the next iOS update sometimes makes them unusable.

  5. I have been using an iPhone for about 3 years now and recently purchased a Galaxy Alpha. I kept it for about 3 weeks and returned it only to get another and also returned it.

    Partly because it came with an older version of Android and a newer version was available and I couldn’t get it. I’m on T-Mobile. The phone was an unlocked AT&T phone.

    Also they wouldn’t connect to my PC. The SD card interface didn’t work as it should on either phone. Also there was AT&T crapware that couldn’t be removed and I found that a bit of a pain.

    Their are programs on the iPhone that can’t be removed but they are integral to the operating system.

    So back to the iPhone which is now running IOS 10 and it is different and much better.

    I do wish that Apple did allow more user configurations but that might hamper the incredible service that they offer. I have used their tech support a few times and they will solve the problem no matter what, it seems.

    Anyway I’m back with the iPhone and am now waiting for the delivery of the iPhone 7 which I ordered on the second day it could be ordered. Currently I have the iPhone 5 which has zero problems, a brand new battery (free) and doesn’t even have a scratch yet.

    Good luck with your decision.


  6. The problem with iOS is that it wants you to use it their way and their way only. No customization at all compared to Android. I still prefer Android’s file system, ease of drag and drop, custom icon arrangements and photo album arrangement. Apple’s iOS is too controlling on user experience. Also, Apple should seriously put a microSD card slot for people to expand storage instead of charging an arm, leg and liver for storage upgrades.

    1. Ah yes, the file system is also a big deal if you move files to and from the device. I sometimes do that when I use my Android phone to take a bunch of pictures and want to quickly copy them off teh device at full resolution instead of what is saved in Google Photos.

      1. To copy photos at full resolution just attach the iPhone to a Mac, run the Image Capture app and transfer them to the Mac. No need to go via the cloud or iPhoto.

  7. -Double click the home button to switch back to previous app(s).
    -After a reboot or power off, iPhone will ask for password to be reentered for both unlocking or app store. If it is asking for the app store more often then that, it may just be a bug with the brand new ios10.
    -Not sure about your wifi, but get the Fast or Speedtest app to check connectivity outisde of Safari
    -Not sure what you are trying to do here with homescreen icons, You hold on one icon for a few seconds until they start shaking (because they are scared of being deleted) and you can move them arround.

    1. I figured out the double click home button trick, but sometimes when I use that, I inadvertently start Siri.

      For home screen icons, I just like arranging them the way I want to arrange them. Sometimes it just so I can see my cool wallpaper better. So the shape of the icon arrangement might be an open box or icons just around the edges.

  8. Hi Julie!
    To rearrange the iPhone’s home screen apps, do the following:
    Tap on an app and hold your finger on it until the icons start shaking.
    When the icons are shaking, you can rearrange them in whatever order you want (icons have to swap places on the screen; They can’t have empty space between them).
    Good luck with your phone decision.


  9. The fact that you had to “wait in line” should have been enough.
    Fake demand makes people think they are getting something special.

    It’s an iPhone, and not that exciting to boot.

    Take it back.

    1. How is it fake demand if there are actually people queuing up to buy it? You can argue that it’s silly to queue for a phone, but the demand is very real.

      1. The same number of people would buy the phone if Apple didn’t artificially create pretend supply chain shortages. The lines outside the store, at this point, are just social marketing and have nothing to do with “demand”, per se.

          1. Source? The answer is in your question. If Apple cannot “create” demand via these social experiments, then the demand doesn’t exist to start with.

  10. Changing from android to iOS is usually always the reason why people switch back to android because they are used to android , but if you give iOS a chance you will see that it is superior in almost every way except standard customization but if you jailbreak everything is open to do as you please and unlike android the iPhone running iOS never faulters it never stops working it rarely crashes and if it does crash the phone doesn’t require a reboot give it a few seconds and the system will recover. iOS is the most stable mobile operating system on the market period , there are thousands of iOS exclusive apps and what you paid for the iPhone today you can just about sell it for the same price in two years as long as it in good shape if you have a busted screen you can get more than half of what you paid, and then there is iTunes with iTunes you literally cannot brick an iPhone if you soft mod it unlike android if you mess up the rom you’re screwed you can just plug it in to iTunes and restore . And if you activate iCloud on your iPhone and someone steals it or you lose it you can find it anywhere in the world and make it emit a sound at full volume even if it’s muted you can remotely erase it you can put a message on the screen to please return it and if they try to do a system restore it will only go so far without your iCloud password and every thief knows this so they usually won’t steal it because it’s worthless to steal an iPhone because it is impossible to get past the iCloud screen without it you literally have to replace the logic board

    1. The ability to find the phone, make it emit a location noise, and remote wipe the device are all features of Android as well.

      It is not “worthless to steal an iphone” – just like autos these days, the parts have as much or more value as the whole. People doing unauthorized repairs need parts.

  11. apple is an aspirational brand. By definition the *idea* of an ihpone is what they’re selling, and the real-world execution is just an inconvenience. That’s why they’ve never reached 20% marketshare in their ten years, and rarely bob above 15%.

  12. I’ve had Android 7.0 on my Nexus 5x for about a month now. And, I could have loaded the developer beta (like I did on my tablet) months earlier.

    I can’t imagine why you don’t have 7.0 available on your 6P. You *should*.

      1. My son’s 6P just got his v7 update yesterday, he’s excited to see the differences, but considering his device is on blast 24×7 with Snapchat, he’s not likely to notice the difference in battery life, assuming there is one, since he’s tethered most of the time anyway.

  13. Like you I was tempted to leave my Android universe for Apple. The last time I was on Apple was over 5 years ago. I am currently on a Note 5. I too am very frustrated with the deployment schedule of software releases by Google and phone providers. I feel a big part of the issue is that Google allowed the phone networks to put all of their crappy apps on the phone.

    Also like you I find that when I get a hold of an iphone and start to play with it (my hubby is an apple phanboy) I find myself getting frustrated with the lack of an actual back button and the lack of being able to customize the screen the way I want. I use several widgets including a calendar and the audible widget to quickly be able to start by book playing. A bunch of icons on the screen is rather boring.

    I am holding out for Oct. 4th to see what Google is bringing out. I want to try the pure Android experience and hopefully get software updates in a more timely manner. Plus I really want to see what the google watches will look like.

      1. It’s interesting to compare with macOS which is infinitely customisable. For that reason I don’t believe that Apple will ultimately converge on iOS for everything.

  14. Hi, Julie! I was wondering if you could test something on the iPhone 7 while you have it. There have been rumors and talk about how the home button won’t work while wearing gloves or if it isn’t skin on “button” contact. Think you could confirm or refute this?

  15. Julie, didn’t we go through this about a year ago too? Just like any decision, there are pros and cons to each choice. It’s time to decide what matters most. And in the end, there’s not that much difference.

  16. This is my first year where i will not be buying the new phone. I will stick with my 6S until the 8 arrives. Just not a compelling enough reason to spend close to a grand for better water protection and ‘even’ better camera! I know nothing of Android but I have heavily invested in the Apple world so for now I intend to stay there!

  17. “I’ve noticed that sometimes I’ll be asked to sign into the App Store by typing my password when I have already set up a Touch ID fingerprint.”
    This happens after a reboot. The first time you go to purchase something, you need the password in addition to the fingerprint. There also might be a ‘timeout’ if you haven’t purchased within X days, but I wouldn’t think that would have triggered in one week.

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