I’ll admit it; I’m a tad obsessive. For example, I’m a completionist. I scan through every single tweet in my timeline, I look through every single item in my feed reader, and I read every single e-mail that hits my inbox. This is a lot of work, of course, which is why I follow very few people on social media sites, and I aggressively unsubscribe from virtually any and all e-mails being sent my way, that aren’t actually important to me (I do not willingly subscribe to a single e-mail newsletter out there.)
My phone is no exception, of course. Anything, that demands my attention without being of significant importance to me (or, in the case of some social media, my ego,) has notifications disabled. My tolerance in this regard is especially low, as a notification entails vibrating in my pocket, disturbing me and, due to my obsessive nature, forcing me to stop what I’m doing to check my phone. Some social media have recently begun employing “growth hacking” techniques such as attempting to inform me of things, that might be relevant to me, but rarely if ever are. This of course means, that I can no longer have notifications enabled for any of these services. Oh, and then there’s the number in the red circle or, God forbid, rounded rectangle, making sure that if I chose to ignore a notification, I’m reminded of my defiance until I submit to the almighty power of the App every time I try to use my phone – or forever, in the case of talentless app developers, who can’t seem to clear the badge when I actually open an application.
But, while these nuisances are luckily manageable through the multitude of settings in iOS, Apple of course see themselves free to impose whatever terror they desire upon helpless souls like me. I’m talking, of course, about the blue dot:
Since iOS 7, any application, that is updated, is now marked with a blue dot, until the application is opened. That’s the only way to make it go away. While the semi-transparent blue dot of course isn’t anywhere near as agressive nor prominent as the red badge, it’s still there, and visibly so. Why? Most likely to make people check out new applications, when significant updates are made. But, since most updates to apps are arguably in the form of some sort of “fixes,” there oftentimes isn’t any significance to me, whatsoever. If I use an app regularly and there is a significant update, I’ll notice it when I use it. If, as is the case with Snapchat, I don’t use an app particularly often, chances are its utility to me is limited, and I’m not really missing out on anything.
Yet, I’m forcefully made aware of every single bug fix to applications I use maybe once or twice a year. And I cannot disable it without jail-breaking my phone. I’m guessing the argument for this has the word “simplicity” in there – how ironic is it then, that it actually leads to a worse and more complex user experience for people like me?
In lieu of a toggle, I am now forced to open every single application on my phone, every single time it is updated, to get rid of those infernal blue dots. I’m sure it looks great in someone’s aggregate analytics (“let’s ship a bug fix or whatever! It’s great for our usage rates!”)