9 Ways the iPhone Frustrated, Delighted Users in Its First Decade

iPhones have been with us for 10 years already. David Paul Morris/Justin Sullivan/AFP/Getty/Apple
iPhones have been with us for 10 years already. David Paul Morris/Justin Sullivan/AFP/Getty/Apple

It's hard to believe that the iPhone has been around for a decade, especially since a pocket-sized device with the capability of an iPhone once seemed like something out of a sci-fi novel.

To commemorate the iPhone's first decade, we (not-so) fondly remember some of the struggles of carrying one of these whiz-bang devices — and how Apple eventually addressed our pains. 


1. Ever curse the short life of your iPhone battery? When the first iPhone came out, even checking your email sucked the battery from your phone. Apple claimed you had 250 hours of standby mode, but who spends 250 hours on standby with a phone? As models have gotten larger, the battery life seems to go up, but we're all still yearning for the nearest power outlet.

2. Raise your hand if you've lost your iPhone somewhere in the house and left it on silent mode. Finding your iPhone using the internet only became possible in June 2010 as an added subscription feature using the MobileMe service, which would become iCloud, and became free with the launch of iOS 4.2 (iOS, of course, being the operating system that iPhones run on). Now your phone could tell you that you had left it between the couch cushions and beep so you could find it.

3. Who has stayed up too late doing a whole bunch of nothing on their iPhone? Scientists learned that exposure to the bright light of an iPhone screen would make it harder for you to get any good rest. With the release of iOS 9.3, Apple added the ability to subdue the colors of your phone at night, letting you stay up late scrolling through your feed but still get restful sleep — whenever you finally let go of the phone.

4. Did you ever try to use the camera flash on your iPhone as a flashlight? I did. I thought it might be handy for searching beneath the couch to find my keys. Except it wasn't possible. When the app store launched, I did find a third-party app that would do it, even though it would infect my phone with ads. It wasn't until 2014 and iOS 7 that Apple added a flashlight app as a standard, built-in feature.

5. Before the App store, we were trapped with whatever apps the Apple team thought we needed. Like the Stocks app. People forget that the App Store didn't come around until the release of the iPhone 3G in 2008. With the release of the second iteration of the phone, the world was introduced to any app you could think of, forever revolutionizing the way video games were played.

6. Who hasn't cracked their iPhone's screen? It's annoyingly troublesome. If you get it replaced, it's expensive. If you leave it, you're liable to cut your fingers. Over the years, advances have been made to prevent that, though. Current versions of the iPhone glass are ion-strengthened and have frames made of zinc and aluminum to help absorb the shock of that inevitable phone drop. There are rumors that Apple is considering ditching the aluminum in favor of stainless steel though.

7. Ever want to delete that Stocks app you had no use for? The little black deleting “x” would just never appear above the vibrating app. Mocking you. For years, we've all had a folder full of apps on our phone labeled “Crap I Can't Delete,” but with the release of iOS 10 in the last year, you could finally get rid of all that trash!

8. Remember when you had to put in a whole four-digit password to get into your iPhone, typing each digit individually? I do. It was torture. But Apple managed to eliminate at least three of those keystrokes in 2013 with release of the iPhone 5S and Touch ID. That's when Apple allowed us to start unlocking our phones with nothing but our fingerprint.

9. We've all lost our earphones before, but in 2016, Apple announced they were losing the entire earphone jack for the iPhone 7. Although it's enabled a much sleeker design, the wireless earbuds are now twice as easy to lose as those with the pesky wires. The jury is still out on whether this was a good thing or a bad thing.