iPhone 2.1 – Now with more ambiguity!

Today’s White Whine comes courtesy of the new iPhone 2.1 software, that was reported to fix a ton of issues and bugs (including battery life, which I haven’t seen any improvement with. Grr.) While I appreciate that Apple has addressed a lot of the gripes of us over-entitled iPhoners, I have to raise my own new grievance: SMS Preview settings have changed. Here’s what happened:

There were two options – SMS preview on (which would give you a small snippet of your text message if your phone was both locked or unlocked) or SMS preview off  (which simply showed that you had a new message from, say, Twitter.) Both of these options were only available if you add a passcode, and completely suited my needs. I could see who was texting (and decide to check if I was busy & it was something pertinent or someone I wanted to text with) but I didn’t have to see the exact nature of the message. This latter feature was helpful not only for the 2-second anticipation that came with typing in my passcode and waiting to see what the sender had kindly shared with me, but also saved me the worry of someone inadvertantly seeing something not intended for them. (In short, MYOB, suckers.) Awesome. Useful. Intuitive.

Now, with the 2.1 release, it seems things have changed.


You still have the same options of SMS Preview on (showing the snippet) or off, only now if you have the Preview turned off and your phone is locked, it says "New Text Message" without indicating who it’s from. I find myself waiting on a really important text (read: Happy hour plans!) and instead find myself unlocking my phone only to find it was something un-time sensitive like Twitter or Dodgeball that I only check occasionally. Alternatively, I’m showing a snippet of text that’s meant for me but, given our predilections to rudely keep our cell phones in plain site (often on the table – and I’m totally guilty of this), I’m sharing my biz-natch with everyone. Not that I’ve got anything to hide (Hi, I’m on the internets, life=open book-ish) it’s just more my preference to maintain the little privacy that I have. That, and I’m a totally inappropriate texter, and my friends often respond in kind. (See also: TMI, inuendo, potty-mouthdom.)

My gripe isn’t anything major, it’s just frustrating that the system USED TO WORK. There should be two separate options – SMS Preview (text snippet) and SMS Author (text sender) – that allow you to customize what you see. Because for me, I want my privacy but not at the expense of accepting ambiguity.

2 thoughts on “iPhone 2.1 – Now with more ambiguity!

  1. I agree with this gripe. Two levels of privacy in settings would be great.
    When I first set up the privacy setting before the 2.1 upgrade, I actually expected the behavior it displays now. I was surprised that the SMS preview would still display the person’s name. But I quickly got used to it, and now I agree, just seeing “text message received” is too ambiguous. I’m turning the full preview back on.
    Also, that thing where it beeps again if you don’t read new texts? Really annoying.

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