Apple always had an arrogant, “take it or leave it” approach. It’s in the company’s DNA, whether we talk about the infamous “you’re holding it wrong” moment, or the “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them” attitude, where they give you something regardless of whether you want it or not, and you have to learn to like it or live with it.
At the end of the day, it’s the market that dictates the needs and the prices, and, as long as Apple continues to sell millions and millions of its products, the approach seems to work. Customer satisfaction numbers and ratings also seem to back it up, but wouldn’t things be even better if once in a while you would listen to your customers, Apple?
I’ve recently stated in a previous installment of “The Editor’s Desk” that, at this point, it’s Apple’s stubbornness that keeps a foldable iPhone off the shelves. I also believe it’s the same stubbornness and “we know better” mantra that keeps Touch ID off iPhones at times we need it most.
You see, just yesterday, Mark Gurman predicted that Touch ID will likely never return to the flagship iPhone, and I believe that’s a big mistake.
I have been, ad nauseam, advocating all of 2020 for a solution to unlocking the iPhone while wearing a mask. Obviously, nobody could have predicted the pandemic and that we’re all going to have to wear masks that render Face ID inoperable.
It took Apple until April 2021 to release iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 to allow users who wear a mask to unlock their iPhones without taking the mask off, relying on their unlocked Apple Watch.
It would have been a lot easier, and safer, to just unlock it using Touch ID, but Apple is adamant in keeping the feature away from its flagship users. All of this while heavily pushing Touch ID on the Mac and the Magic Keyboard to unlock, log in, switch users, and approve purchases.
If Apple was able to cram all the hardware required for Face ID into a small portion of the iPhone, do you honestly think it would pose any difficulties in building it into the Mac? Of course not, the problem is the “want”, or “want not” to.
So, on one hand, you have Touch ID on a device you’re most likely using without a mask, and Face ID on a device which you’re more likely to use wearing a mask. Does that make any sense?
Most manufacturers successfully embedded a fingerprint scanner under their displays, and Apple themselves, according to Gurman, have tested it internally. I’m pretty sure the tests were successful, but Apple decided, once again, not to offer users what they need, but instead insist on telling us that we want Face ID.
Here’s an idea, Apple: why not have them both? You can have your cake, users can have their cakes, and we can all just eat.
In this day and age, I don’t believe in limitations, especially when it comes to a company like Apple. But let’s say something pretty darn serious is holding Apple back in putting a fingerprint scanner underneath the display. Here’s another idea, Apple: make a larger power button and put the damn thing in there. Put it on the side as a dedicated region, put it on the back, inside the Apple logo, just understand that it’s something some users really might need.
It’s always easier to not use something you already have, rather than needing something that’s not there. I’m pretty sure there are some clever chaps in R&D who can figure it out …if you only wanted to.
I guess the bottom line is this: dear Apple, it’s OK, once in a while, to listen to your users/customers and give them what they want/need, instead of insisting you know better.
But, in all fairness, at the end of the day, it’s the customers’ choice. If they keep buying your products while wanting/needing features that aren’t there, that just keeps enabling your approach.
So, dear Apple, please listen every now and then! We’ll all appreciate it!
Thanks for reading! Welcome to The Editor’s Desk!