Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 31st Oct 2017 09:45 UTC
Apple

Update (original story below): the real review embargo has been lifted, and it turns out Apple gave reviewers only 24 hours between handing over the phone and lifting the embargo. This raised another red flag for me, and my red flags may have merit: it turns out Face ID is not exactly without issues. Nilay Patel details that while Face ID works quite well inside, it has issues outside in the sun or under fluorescent lighting. It regularly just wouldn't recognise his face in these environments.

The other problem is actually much more interesting: almost all of the early questions about FaceID centered around how it would work in the dark, but it turns out that was exactly backwards. FaceID works great in the dark, because the IR projector is basically a flashlight, and flashlights are easy to see in the dark. But go outside in bright sunlight, which contains a lot of infrared light, or under crappy florescent lights, which interfere with IR, and FaceID starts to get a little inconsistent.

I took a walk outside our NYC office in bright sunlight, and FaceID definitely had issues recognizing my face consistently while I was moving until I went into shade or brought the phone much closer to my face than usual. I also went to the deli across the street, which has a wide variety of lights inside, including a bunch of overhead florescent strips, and FaceID also got significantly more inconsistent.

I'm not spending a lot more time on iPhone X reviews today, because it's impossible to review a phone in 24 hours. Beware of the reviews you're reading online today, and to Patel's credit, they clearly label their "review" as a work-in-progress draft that they'll be updating based on questions from users. As such, it doesn't carry any advice or grades or anything like that, which is commendable. I haven't had time to dive into other 24-hour "reviews" just yet (it's the middle of a workday here, after all).

All in all, this is a very strange launch and review situation, and while it's too early to tell if Apple is truly insecure, the early signs of Face ID issues definitely don't help to alleviate my red flags.




Apple's iPhone X - its most anticipated new phone in a very long time - goes on sale this Friday, Nov. 3.

So sometime this week, as usual, you'll be able to read and watch a bunch of serious-sounding reviews, as Professional Gadget Reviewers critique everything from bezels to battery life.

But Apple did something different this year. It invited a handful of YouTubers you probably haven't heard of to its fancy penthouse in New York, gave them some early hands-on time with the iPhone X, and let them publish their videos a day or more in advance of the official reviews. (It also let Wired/Backchannel's Steven Levy write a "first first impression of the iPhone X" post because Steven Levy. It also gave one to Axios co-founder Mike Allen, who had his nephew play with it. And Mindy Kaling for Glamour. And The Ellen Show.)

This is quite remarkable. Why would Apple invite a number of relatively unknown YouTubers to a fancy event, hand them a few restrictive talking points and an hour or so of hands-on-time, and allow them to call their videos "reviews", well before the real review embargo is lifted? This is basically just a repeat of the hands-on time journalists, bloggers, and YouTubers got after the launch event a few weeks ago.

This is a carefully orchestrated "control the message" type of thing, and all the videos are practically identical, with the same limited number of talking points, all shot in the same fancy nondescript loft-like Apple Store (?) somewhere in New York City.

Apple clearly wanted this to be the first thing people saw of the iPhone X. No critical reviews by detail-oriented people like MKBHD, Dieter Bohn or heck, even John Gruber (who is not happy with this). No, Apple invited small-time YouTubers who are easily impressed to make the video of their lifetimes to ensure they'd get nothing but shallow, fuzzy good press.

It reeks of insecurity, and if I didn't know any better, I'd be very worried about just what the heck is wrong with this phone.

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Comment by pmac
by pmac on Tue 31st Oct 2017 10:11 UTC
pmac
Member since:
2009-07-08

You must be feeling a little pang of schadenfreude at John Gruber's acting like a spoiled child over this? I wonder if he got a review unit at all. I think it's hilarious, personally.

I actually preordered an iPhone X, but it doesn't ship for 5-6 weeks, which I'm now very glad about as it'll give me a good window to cancel the order if the phone is a disaster. It'll be interesting to see if Apple lifts the regular review embargo before release on Friday.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by pmac
by pmac on Tue 31st Oct 2017 10:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by pmac"
pmac Member since:
2009-07-08

The embargo must be lifted already: https://sixcolors.com/post/2017/10/iphone-x-tomorrows-iphone-today/
https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/31/16579748/apple-iphone-x-review

And the reviews seem positive.

Edited 2017-10-31 10:16 UTC

Reply Score: 0

apple experience
by project_2501 on Tue 31st Oct 2017 10:17 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

not 100% related to the iphone but there is an aura of magic about apple which doesn't exist anymore

i've been logging my painful experience with the hardware and so-called genius and apple customer support - it's as bad as you might expect from a no-name brand - constantly failing hardware, not admitting deep design flaws, runnig you around in circles, wasting time with errors and false assertions, call centre hell, ...

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2017-macbook-pro-13-non-tb-revi...

I spoke with an authorised apple repair centre that I trust - and they frankly told me Apple quality has fallen sharply in the last 5 years - but the secrecy and strong PR and marketing machines keep the sales going...

£1000+ for an iphone X .. if it isn't perfect so many people will feel sore

Reply Score: 4

RE: apple experience
by project_2501 on Tue 31st Oct 2017 11:22 UTC in reply to "apple experience"
project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

The best summary of what Apple was and what Apple is that I heard:

Apple is now a fashion company.

Reply Score: 5

RE: apple experience
by moondevil on Tue 31st Oct 2017 11:38 UTC in reply to "apple experience"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Steve was that aura.

Here in most European countries you could hardly get any Apple systems during the old days (pre-OS X).

Getting an Amiga or Atari ST was seen as much more interesting, those were the companies we were following.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: apple experience
by leech on Tue 31st Oct 2017 11:52 UTC in reply to "RE: apple experience"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

That's because Europeans aren't as big as morons as people in the USA who tend to accept things shoveled into them.

And before people whine about me spouting off about European superiority, I was born and raised in Utah, land of the Mormons! Even most of the rock bands from Europe are superior. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles... Okay, fine, all from the UK, but still...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: apple experience
by shotsman on Tue 31st Oct 2017 15:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: apple experience"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

OTOH, and as a great Floyd Fan from seeing them at the end of the Syd days, I was also into the Dead, Airplane, the Doors and Steppenwolf.

YMMV

As for Apple, I've had just one problem with the Apple kit I have had over the years and that was sorted under warranty. I'm not the most careful person (downright clumsy to be honest) in the world so to me, that is impressive.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: apple experience
by tylerdurden on Tue 31st Oct 2017 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: apple experience"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Oh, Europeans can be plenty moronic on their own right. ;-P

BTW, the European market at that time was not that uniform. Apple did have a significant presence in some Western European countries, while it was completely absent in others. Besides, Commodore and Atari were targeting different market segments.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: apple experience
by Kochise on Wed 1st Nov 2017 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: apple experience"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

That's because Europeans aren't as big as morons as people in the USA who tend to accept things shoveled into them.

And before people whine about me spouting off about European superiority, I was born and raised in Utah, land of the Mormons! Even most of the rock bands from Europe are superior. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles... Okay, fine, all from the UK, but still...

Excuse me dear sir, but we sure have invested into more 'professional' products, but Apple's computers were, well, quite unaffordable. ST and Amiga computers were, and also quite more capable too (laser printer on mega st, spectre gcr, video toaster, soundtrackers, ...) Sure Europa (Germany, Poland, France, ...) has brought Atari and Commodore further than in their home country.

About the musics, "all form the UK", sorry to burst you bubble but there was pretty talented artists all across Europe, yet, they not necessarily sang in english, hence had a lessen impact in the US, as most of you guys were not quite open to foreign languages and cultures and arts, thus remained english-spoken focused.

Edited 2017-11-01 17:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: apple experience
by zima on Fri 3rd Nov 2017 00:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: apple experience"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Even most of the rock bands from Europe are superior. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles... Okay, fine, all from the UK, but still...

Scorpions...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: apple experience
by project_2501 on Tue 31st Oct 2017 12:46 UTC in reply to "RE: apple experience"
project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

I started with a BBC Micro Master Compact Model

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/2817/acorn-bbc-master-compac...

Then I had an ARM based RiscOS BBC Archimedes A3000
http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org.uk/Computers/A3000.html

I still remember the beautiful user guides it came with:
http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/userdata/images/large/PRODPIC-34...

And I used to read magazines like BBC Acorn User.. those covers had loads of effort and art put into them. They even had yellow pages of code to type in...

http://8bs.com/othrdnld/acornuser/AU-Apr89.jpg

... the golden age!

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: apple experience
by feamatar on Tue 31st Oct 2017 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE: apple experience"
feamatar Member since:
2014-02-25

This is the usual myth. Probably more companies purchased Macs in Europe than consumers purchased Amigas and STs. By 1986 it was widely used for desktop publishing and writing all over Europe. Macs were even featured in game magazines like ACE and CVG, because the magazines were mostly made on Macs and PCs, instead of Amigas and ST which simply lacked proper text editing and DTP software until the late 80s. Yeah, they never were £500 gaming machines, and £2000 computers were hard sell for kids as Christmas presents.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: apple experience
by moondevil on Wed 1st Nov 2017 09:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: apple experience"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Not myth at all.

In Portugal, there was a single Apple re-seller in Lisbon for the whole country.

The only kind of places where it was possible to see some LC models being used were at university research departments, the very same ones that also had budget to buy a couple of NeXTSTEP workstations.

All of them (LCs) bought at that single re-seller in Lisbon.

Majority of business were all about PCs, Netware and UNIX systems.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: apple experience
by feamatar on Wed 1st Nov 2017 11:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: apple experience"
feamatar Member since:
2014-02-25

No offense but I did not consider southern europe at all. Only Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Nordics and France. To my knowledge in these countries Apple has a considerable presence in the professional scene, and by considerable I mean 3 to 5 percent of the market. The laserwriter + mac combo was too good to ignore for dtp and writing.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: apple experience
by tylerdurden on Wed 1st Nov 2017 15:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: apple experience"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

There are more countries in Europe. It's dangerous to extrapolate the situation in one to the rest.

Besides, Apple at that time was targeting way different markets than Atari or Commodore.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: apple experience
by feamatar on Wed 1st Nov 2017 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: apple experience"
feamatar Member since:
2014-02-25

That's true but outside of UK, Germany, France and Italy all other countries had way-way smaller markets and their impact was negligable.

For example from Amiga history:
http://www.amigahistory.plus.com/sales.html

Total number of Amigas by country:
United Kingdom 1,500,000
Germany 1,300,000
France 250,000
Italy 600,000
Other European Countries 150,000

150.000 Amiga for more than 10 countries.

Yeah, numbers are arguable, but the order of magnitude is probably correct.

Besides the original poster raised the comparison between Apple and Commodore, not me.

Reply Score: 0

RE: apple experience
by cranfordio on Tue 31st Oct 2017 13:21 UTC in reply to "apple experience"
cranfordio Member since:
2005-11-10

As a service provider, self-servicing for a school, I completely disagree with this assessment. Prior to getting MacBook Airs in our school three years ago we were having computers come in all the time with problems. Hard Drive failures, loose screen hinges, memory coming loose and even the screw holes in the battery breaking and the battery just sliding around inside the case. These were pretty much all the 2010-mid 2012 MacBook Pros, all over 5 years old now. Since the MacBook Airs, then the Retina MacBook Pros and then this year the 2017 MacBook Pro non-TB, we have seen a huge decrease in support issues. We are now approaching three months of school and I have not had a single warranty issue on the 2017 MacBook Pro (some accidental damage). This has not been the case with the Airs or the rMBP, though their issues were less common than the Mid-2012 MBP and earlier. We never had any of the 2016s so I can't say whether or not they were more problematic, but so far I have been extremely happy with 2017s. I feel that their quality has gotten better, not worse.

Reply Score: 5

Next generation
by Adurbe on Tue 31st Oct 2017 13:36 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

Established youtubers are well known what their positions are on Apple products. Most are partisan already.

What I think Apple are doing here is getting some that are up and coming and trying to influence them with bright lights. Never know, in a couple of years, one of these newbies might be the "next big thing".

Ask yourself honestly, if Apple came to you, as a youtuber just starting out and gave you a guaranteed cash cow, on the condition that its a positive review... would you really turn it down? What about when doing so could block your career before it even starts?

Reply Score: 4

Face ID
by darknexus on Tue 31st Oct 2017 13:37 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I'm hardly surprised that Face ID doesn't work properly. After all, it didn't even work properly during Apple's live demo of the iPhone X. Oh yes, I know what they claimed afterward, but...

Reply Score: 4

like the touchbar
by dark2 on Tue 31st Oct 2017 15:19 UTC
dark2
Member since:
2014-12-30

This is like the touch bar, in that they probably know it will be hated by every tech person out there forever. So as long as the tech people don't get to write the reviews, their primary market will still buy as soon to launch as possible.

Reply Score: 3

mistersoft
Member since:
2011-01-05

Not that I don't see Potential in the Face ID tech...

but colour me very surprised if iPhone XI doesn't have a proper fingerprint sensor/touch ID option on the rear like the other flagships and mediumships on the other side.

Unlocking wise - I think several options is a good thing - pin, pattern, password, Face, Fingerprint.
And the user can pick the best combination of security, convenience and speed to their liking.
Maybe even relagate Face ID for payment confirmations for a while, until UV takes over from IR perhaps? (safety issues??)

Reply Score: 1

M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

colour me very surprised if iPhone XI doesn't have a proper fingerprint sensor/touch ID option on the rear like the other flagships and mediumships on the other side.


Mediumships..? Have you no heart? Has the language not suffered enough already?

Reply Score: 5

Comment by badtz
by badtz on Wed 1st Nov 2017 02:15 UTC
badtz
Member since:
2005-06-29
sunlightgate
by viton on Wed 1st Nov 2017 03:49 UTC
viton
Member since:
2005-08-09

You're holding it wrong at wrong place!

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Wed 1st Nov 2017 09:07 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

Out with the old, in with the new.. They need to sell these, not educate people in choosing.

Reply Score: 3

Blanket statements and journailts' integrity
by arkeo on Wed 1st Nov 2017 09:55 UTC
arkeo
Member since:
2008-04-21

"Suggesting non-nerdy, regular people get an Android phone at this point in time is simply irresponsible."

Are you insane?

Are YOU irresponsible? You're supposed to be a ***journalist*** for crying out loud, Let me get this straight, there's no editor at OSN, right? I'm guessing so because you'd have been fired the minute you posted such a non justified blanket statement. And yet five days later you feel completely happy and free to post an item which goes in the opposite direction.

"For most people"??? I'm about to replace TODAY my father's phone, think I'm gonna shell out € 5/6/700 for that??? Or an S7 for that matter?
Regular people pick Android, regular people recognize Sammy as a trusty brand. Fanbois are welcome to FaceID themselves.

BTW, FaceID this ^^I^^

Reply Score: 2

M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

1. OSNews posts a story five days ago about pre-existing iPhones, includes strong opinion about superior usability compared to Android.

2. New phone then released by Apple, suspicious techniques used in review embargo, some dodgy technology.

3. OSNews posts a second article, pointing out the above problems with new phone, and Apple's suspicious behaviour.

4. You somehow get apoplectic about that chain of events and accuse OSNews of insanity, using many interesting forms of punctuation in the process.

Did I miss something between 3 and 4? Because your comment seems somewhat eccentric.

Reply Score: 3

v Not insecurity...
by steveftoth on Wed 1st Nov 2017 15:40 UTC
RE: Not insecurity...
by yoshi314@gmail.com on Wed 1st Nov 2017 19:10 UTC in reply to "Not insecurity..."
yoshi314@gmail.com Member since:
2009-12-14

the point is whether majority of iStuff users are early adopters or not.

when people notice the X being widely used and fashionable - they will want to have it.

and i doubt just the early reviews will get them to go buy it - if some of them wanted it, they would likely be already lining up to the stores, reviews or not.

the rest will likely want to see the reviews first.

Reply Score: 2

Overstating
by wocowboy on Wed 1st Nov 2017 20:49 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

One less than favorable statement about ONE feature, after using the device less than 24 hours, and Thom is claiming the iPhone X is a bad device and insecure. Evidently one less than favorable aspect of the device according to one reviewer trumps all rest of the favorable comments Patel made as well as all the positive reviews I have read and watched on YouTube so far. This is blatant overstatement. Like Thom also said, these people only had 24 hours in which to use the device, which is not enough time to make any definitive statements on the efficacy of FaceID, battery life, or overall usability of ANY device, be it an iPhone X or anything. Lets wait a few weeks before making any final judgements on the thing.

Edited 2017-11-01 20:52 UTC

Reply Score: 0