iCan’t even

For a period of a few months until a recent update, iOS sorta kinda implemented a version of one of these amazing ‘bad volume interfaces‘. It ‘guessed’ what your volume should be based less on preference than on concern it had for your hearing. “You listen to music too loudly”, it would scold in so many words, “I have turned your volume down to…. 58% of maximum. You’re welcome.” There was also no way to disable this function and it would happen daily, sometimes more often, and the inability to turn it off came with an unspoken but louder ‘YOU’RE WELCOME’ from the iOS.

“This sounds a little annoying, maybe, but… I guess I can see the benefit. It wants to save your hearing, why do you listen to music so loudly? Let the robot lady do her thing.”

WELL, that’s the thing… it did it to all audio regardless of whether you had headphones OR, in my case, a Bluetooth stereo you were listening through. If you turn the volume down on the phone, it quiets the audio signal going to the stereo too and now you have to turn UP the volume on it even more and eventually you end up with mismatched audio levels, hissing and crackling from overboosting quiet signals, and general feelings of iRage against the machine that *you own* that’s acting like you have no authority over it.


There must have been a sufficient up-swelling among users who matter (I’m thinking Apple Execs with Airpods, maybe) because as of a recent update, there is now an option to tell it what KIND of Bluetooth audio device is connected and if you tell it something other than headphones, it now grudgingly leaves you in control of your volume and doesn’t mess with it while you’re out walking or dance fighting or all the other things people do while listening to headphones.

You know what, though, if I want to go deaf, I don’t need my phone telling me iCan’t. That’s for my parents to yell at me, and I was able to fix THAT by moving out.