iPhone X – Not Yet

I received the long awaited email – the iPhone X is available for pre-order! It’s time to replace my old iPhone 6. Or is it…? I was about to preorder, but decided to wait.

Since reading the book Deep Work I’m on a “distraction diet”. It means that, among other things, I use my phone only when I truly need to. Apple says that on average we unlock our phones 80 times a day. I probably unlocked mine twice as many time before, but do much less now. It turns out I don’t need my phone that often. Here’s what I do use it for:
– Take or make a call
– Check my calendar (Apple calendar)
– Check or create todos (Omnifocus)
– Log baby related stuff1 (BabyConnect)
– Check the weather (Apple weather)
– Text, WhatsApp and slack
– Take pictures

Not much use, and it definitely not warrants a 1099$ new phone.

But the truth is my phone doesn’t work great. I mean, it looks new, but doesn’t function as one. I’m using iOS 11, which apparently doesn’t play well with iPhone 6. My phone is slow. It hangs and lags frequently, mainly when I open iMessage or the camera app. It also has some serious battery issues. I might have more than 50% battery, but then a second later the battery drops to 13%. Another minute and my phone shuts off. Moreover, to make it through the day, I need to charge it at least twice.

And yet, I’m reluctant to give up on it. I don’t like the conditioning of buying a new iPhone just because mine is 2 years old, and I want to pull myself out of the Apple marketing machine. More importantly, I don’t want to risk my “distraction diet”.

So, I’m making an attempt to revive my iPhone. My strategy:

Remove apps

I’m going to remove every app I don’t use on a daily basis. I will keep “rescue” apps, which I don’t use often but rely on in case of emergency. For example Uber.

Factory reset

If removing apps won’t get my phone to better behave, I’m going to do a hard reset. That will downgrade me to iOS 10 (or even 9), which I hope will be more usable.

I acted on step 1, and removed most of the apps I had on my phone. It looks slimmer, but will it also act that way? Here’s the before and after of my home screen:

Feel free to make other suggestion in the comments. I’ll update this post with more findings, on performance, battery and next steps.

Footnotes

1 My wife and I track every bottle and every diaper of our little one…

21 thoughts on “iPhone X – Not Yet”

  1. My wife’s iPhone 4 lasted 6 years before the battery started dying out. I was extremely impressed. In that period, I changed 3 Android phones just because of battery issues. Am surprised your iPhone’s battery is not lasting more than 2 years.

  2. iOS can store apps in the cloud when they aren’t used often. Use that instead.

    But batteries die over time, that goes for all phones.

    Also iPhone 6 had an battery bug, which they repaired free if affected.

  3. Upgrading to iOS 11 slowed my 6s+ way down. Doing a factory reset back to iOS11 fixed everything. Now snappy as you like.

  4. Get a new battery. Yes, it costs 99$ but after 2 years it is worth it. I am still happily using my iPhone 5S and do not plan to replace it this year (maybe next fall). But I did replace my battery a year ago and that made all the difference.

  5. I always do a clean install of iOS when moving into a major release. iOS 11 wasn’t an exception and I have a feeling that doing that helps with stability. Been doing it since iOS 8. Another thing that I do after a clean install is to turn off “Background App Refresh”. It does wonders for battery life and I have no trouble in waiting for an app to load content only when I open it.
    Like you I also own an iPhone 6 and I confirm that with iOS 11 the lag, specially in UI animations, is noticeable. To make this a little less pronounced I enabled the “Reduce Motion” option in the accessibility settings. Apps won’t load faster but at least you won’t see that sluggish startup animation.

  6. Just get a new battery.

    I went into a random 3rd party repair shop in my town, it took 20min and cost 45€ to get a new battery for my iPhone 6s.

    Factory resets, removing apps, nothing helps against a broken battery.

    Batteries have gotten better, but a significant percentage of batteries still degrades prematurely. And when that happens, you just need to replace it.

  7. great post! My iPhone SE is hanging in there too. It might be time for a factory reset. My phone has an issue where it restarts sporadically (possibly due to nearly full memory). Do you know if other users of the iPhone SE and 6 have that issue?

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