iPhone X: The annoyance of surprise screenshots

Jeremy Burge:

Why am I now always taking screenshots by accident? Two things:

The volume buttons are directly opposite the Lock button (aka “Sleep/Wake” button), and The combination for screenshot has changed. On phones with a home button, the iOS combination has always been Lock and Home buttons but is now Lock and Volume Up on iPhone X (due to lack of home button)

Trying to hold the phone with a stable grip while pushing the lock button means my thumb is resting on the lock button, and my index finger is on the volume up button.

Design is hard.

The position/function of the external iPhone buttons has evolved over time, and with each new generation, it seems there’s some design compromise that emerges.

In this case, putting buttons on opposite sides of the device mean that pressing one will require an equal and opposite press on the opposing button. And for the iPhone X, this results in a screenshot.

  • This gets me too. Sometimes multiple times in a day. Worse, tapping and deleting the screenshot thumbnail doesn’t always delete it from my photo stream, so I’m managing the accident twice.

    Design is hard, but introducing a delay (read: press and hold volume+lock for a screenshot would help prevent accidents.

    • Mo

      A delay might help most folks, but I’d miss a few popups before they disappeared.

      • Popups, as in the screenshot thumbnail in the lower corner?

        Couldn’t you have both, a delay and the thumbnail?

        Frustratingly, after deleting the thumbnails I often find the screenshot stayed in my photo stream. Insult to injury, that.

        • Mo

          No, I meant carrier alerts or notifications that disappear quickly.

          Sticky photostream shots have annoyed me, too.

  • Jon

    I think the answer here is simple: Leave the lock button out of it and take a screenshot by pressing both volume buttons. The incidences of accidental screenshots would drop dramatically. I can’t think of a downside.

    • Meaux

      I like this solution.

  • Jason

    Why is it, when something is poorly designed by Apple, we say, “Design is hard.”? This statement is just letting them off the hook. Yes design IS hard. I’m not a designer, I agree with that statement. However, we often let Apple slide by saying that. Why can’t we just say, “That’s a poor implementation.”? I absolutely hate the new screenshot feature. I’ve deleted more screenshots out of my photo library than any previous phone combined. The fact is, the buttons have too many uses and frankly one forgets what they do when there is no muscle memory.

    Stop giving Apple a pass. Make them earn it. I’m not a designer, but I am allowed to criticize/provide feedback because I am a customer and user of their product. The Loop has the ear of Apple, don’t be so quick to forgive. I’m not saying be tactless, but be fearless in your feedback instead of just saying “Design is hard.”

  • upright

    This bothered me at first — but put the screen asleep and the screenshot goes away. Poof, gone.

  • Tommy Kikkenborg

    Does any of you know the reason the sleep/wake button was relocated from the top-right? I think it was the better place for it.

    Very often I accidentally put my phone to sleep, just when I am about to take a carefully composed photo by pressing a volume button. And that is not a magical feeling.

    • Herding_sheep

      While I am good about not taking accidental screenshots, I will say this is the one thing that does happen to me occasionally and can be very annoying.

      It was moved to the top right edge with the iPhone 6/Plus, due to the size increase. To make it easier to press one-handed.

      And yes, while design is hard, I think the real problem here is that Apple is unwilling to accept the solution. They already know the solution. I think this is an aesthetic choice. It would ruin the visual balance and symmetry by moving it further down. Apple knows damn well it would be easier to reach if it was, but they just won’t do it. Lengthening the button but maintaining symmetry with the volume buttons, was their attempt to have their cake and eat it too.

      • Meaux

        I think you have the right idea, but wrong buttons. I think leaving power high and moving the volume buttons down is more ergonomic for the typical righty holding the phone in their left hand.

        • Herding_sheep

          Well, honestly I use the “side button” a lot more than the volume buttons, especially given its expanded role in the X.

          But either way solves the problem of accidental presses on either side. Its just a matter of which is more important to have closer to your natural grip.

          • Meaux

            Me too. The reason I say that is, at least for me, my finger on the right side of the phone is higher than my thumb on the left side, so it’s easier for me to reach higher on the right than the left. Though very good point re: the shutter.

  • isitjustme

    Deleting a screenshot is hard.

  • Loren Finkelstein

    I wear my phone in a case on my belt, and the slightest amount of pressure takes a screenshot as well. On average, I am deleting 10 accidental screenshots a day. It’s not a hardship, but it is a design issue that should be looked into.