Oct 09, 2013

    FaceTime gets in your face on iOS 7

    The New York Times

    THE answer: Six. The question: How many chins do I have when I send an image of myself to people while using FaceTime accidentally?

    Last month, Apple released its iOS 7 software system, with snazzy improvements, large and small.

    But there are certain features of the phone that are proving daunting to users who are otherwise fond of the upgrade.

    For example, there are the parallax effect and zooming animation, which have produced threads on Apple sites dedicated to motion sickness.

    Equally problematic is the FaceTime button.

    Something about its subtly closer placement next to the button used to initiate a call means that one tends to hit FaceTime inadvertently - and is startled, again and again, by the unexpected looming image of oneself.

    Given the closeness and the angle with which we hold the phone, it's not our best look.

    The discomfort of FaceTime is that you see your own face when you least expect it: Uncomposed, unadorned. It's the shock we have all had when we snap that gorgeous tangerine sunset and, instead, are confronted with a deer-in-the-headlights selfie because we forgot to turn the camera's rotating lens back to its normal position.

    Dr Howard Sobel, a dermatologist, said: "FaceTime is, well, in your face, and some of my patients are so disturbed, they're removing FaceTime from their phones altogether."

    Unbeknown to Dr Sobel, you can't remove it. The best you can do is disable it. I'm too old to figure out how to do this, but I have handed the phone to my 12-year-old, who will do the job. Soon, I should be able to use my iPhone again without weeping.