is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
People often ask me how I like my iPhone 6 Plus, as if its gargantuan size were some kind of burden that can only be tolerated, at best. It’s true, the Plus’s overall girth is really more than I need, and I occasionally wish it were more easily handled. On the whole though, I enjoy the copious screen resolution and don’t really mind the outsized form factor.
Frankly, what annoys me more are the Plus’s apparently unique software bugs related to screen orientation, as if the device itself is so unwieldy it doesn’t know which way it’s pointing. There are times when the interface can’t successfully make the transition from landscape to portrait or vice versa, like so:
The device doesn’t fare much better when the keyboard is retracted, either. (The rather odd exchange with myself depicted below was captured from a test SMS that I sent to my new Nexus 6.)
Sometimes, while clearly holding the 6 Plus in portrait mode, I’ll unlock it only to discover that the home screen is stuck in landscape mode. I wasn’t able to capture a video of that bug, but I did take this screenshot of a similar bug in multitasking view, where the rules of gravity sometimes seem fungible:
I haven’t exactly conducted a formal survey, but anecdotally these problems don’t seem to plague owners of the smaller iPhone 6. Maybe I’m wrong about that? Anyway, none of this makes me regret buying the iPhone 6 Plus. On the whole, it’s a mostly pretty good device that I’m happy to own, especially for its superb camera.
If I sound less than fully enthused by the device, it’s because I still have the same reservations about its industrial design that I wrote about last fall. What I said then was that both the 6 and the 6 Plus seemed to lack conviction, that they didn’t seem like an emphatic step forward. I had thought perhaps that after owning one for several months I might come around from that viewpoint, but that’s not the case.
Update: Okay I should have done more research. Apparently more than a few iPhone 6 users have experienced the same bug. Consensus suggests that it’s an iOS 8 problem.+