Yesterday, Apple released its latest major software update with iOS 10. As far as I can tell, the iteration exists only to cut my battery life in half, make my Messages app unusable, and trick me into downloading hundreds of cartoon Biebers and one George R. R. Martin. Reader, don’t be like me. Don’t update your fucking iPhone.
Because with this update comes a bloated, app-centric, desperate attempt at a Facebook Messenger knockoff that renders something once pristine nearly unusable. In your new Messages app, you can:
- Download stickers directly from the app
- Place them absolutely anywhere, even over text
- Place them over each other
- Beg your friends for money through Venmo
- Play a slow, painful version of chess
- Also play other games (???)
- Send your heartbeat
- Send an animation of a heart breaking
- Send an animation of a kiss
- Pray for death
- Draw a dick on a black background
- Draw a dick on a white background
- Make your texts show up with lasers
- Send your friend the weather (I promise they don’t care)
- Send your friend a song (I promise they don’t want it)
- Send your friend Zappos products they don’t want to buy you
- And far too much more
I would give anything to go back to a time before I had to navigate this GIF-ed up, sticker-laden hell I’m in.
Just look at this shit. LOOK.
What’s that my friend was saying under the animation of a man defecating fire? I can’t remember, and I’ll never know for sure, because while Apple does technically let you delete stickers, it takes approximately five distinct steps to get there, and there’s no way I nor anyone else is ever going to do that. Especially when you’re dealing with something like this:
I think I put hundreds of hammered Hodas and Kathie Lees over whatever message is under there. Is that partially my own fault? I don’t know, who can say for sure? But Apple absolutely should not have made it so easy. What’s worse, it’s not just me suffering for my lack of foresight—it’s everyone else in the message thread. If someone didn’t see that text before I had my way with it, they’re screwed.
All this sticker play, of course, comes at a price.
I charged my phone three times in the span of an hour. As I furiously stickered, my phone started heating up to a degree I’m not sure I’ve ever felt before. So I set it down, and let it rest. When I picked the phone back up 10 minutes later, it was twice as hot. Twice! The only explanation for this baffling degree of ghost heat? Steve Jobs is fucking pissed.
The problem isn’t just that there’s too much going on at once, though. It’s that there’s too much going on and each piece is unwieldy in its own, unique way.
The drawing screen is hard to master, since different gestures supposedly lead to different results but they all pretty much just involve tapping with a single finger. The chess game is fine, I guess, but if you try to transfer over to the desktop app, you’ll be greeted by this.
At which point, you’ll also find that those stickers you put everywhere have turned into miles of this:
Absolutely nothing translates to the desktop counterpart. And every time you send one of your idiot friends the word “hello” surrounded by fireworks or lasers or balloons or whatever ambient background you want to crash your phone to, if they’re on a computer, they’ll be seeing this:
Of course, things like that can be worked out and maybe an upcoming OS X update will straighten it out. But basic, everyday functions aren’t quite as easy to fix—like sending photos, for instance. I couldn’t even make a GIF out of this clip of me trying to send former Gizmodo intern Kyle Wagner a picture. It took too long. Here is the video.
That is insane! What previously took a few seconds now takes 10, and all to make room for a bunch of inane bullshit that I’m never actually going to use for any good or productive purpose.
Still, no issue is black and white, and there is admittedly one benefit to the updated software.
There it is. That’s it.
Don’t update your phone.