« Experts' Expert: Penn Jillette's favorite playing cards | Home | Haruki Murakami on parallel realities »

September 23, 2018

World Exclusive: iPhone XS Ringer Button Haptic Easter Egg

Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 8.11.18 AM

I've only read about twenty reviews of Apple's new flagship in the past week.

It's what a fanboi* does.

On Friday I ventured over to Best Buy to see the new phones and spent some some time playing around with the Max, comparing it side-by-side to my X in various applications.

Conclusion: WANT.

I was expecting huge crowds and lines at the store but that wasn't the case: it looked like an ordinary day.

Contrast that with the mobs in Singapore waiting many hours to buy one.

There are some advantages to living in Podunkville.

Even though you have to wait weeks (should you order today) to get an XS or Watch 4 from Apple, you can walk right into my local Best Buy this very minute and buy either or both.

But you can't try the watch since they have no display models.

It's taking everything I have to resist until I can actually see the watch and try it on and play with it physically in an Apple store, so perhaps the next time I'm in Richmond for a race (I'm doing the half-marathon on Saturday, November 10) I'll stop by the Short Pump store to do just that.

Though it's more likely I'll be so tired and blown out from the race, I'll skip the stop and just head straight home to chill for the rest of the weekend with Gray Cat.

But I digress.

The Easter egg: 


The iphone XS/XS Max ringer on/off button (below)


makes a very satisfying and pleasant "thunk" when you turn it off. 

This is an excellent new feature, which I haven't read about anywhere.

With my X and previous iPhones, if you turned the ringer on or off without looking at it or the screen, you were never dead certain it really was off; if you're anything like me, you always turn the phone sidewise to actually see the red line indicating silent. 

For instance, reaching into your bag or pocket to mute it without anyone noticing up to now has been a crapshoot in terms of your being 100% certain you've turned it off.

A ring at the wrong time can result in very bad things ensuing. 

I'm thinking in court or in the O.R., with job interviews, movie theaters and playhouses, and innumerable other no-ring zones following close behind.

You're gonna love it.

Try it out the next time you see an XS and see if you don't agree.

If not, just let me know, and I'll refund every penny you paid for this tip.


*I rarely see "fanboi" used by anyone else but I think it's an apt extension of "fanboy," applicable to those who — like me — just slurp Apple. Kind of looks Japanese even though it's in English.

September 23, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


I went to Best Buy's Apple store-in-store yesterday to see if the experts there could enable this feature on my phone. While I waited, I tested all their display iPhones: XS Max/XS/X/8+/8/7+/7. All had this feature enabled.

I gave my X to a woman who worked there and showed her the feature on their phones and asked if she could please make it happen on mine, which I'd updated to iOS 12 the day it came out. She spent about 10 minutes doing stuff in my settings — BUT SHE COULD NOT ENABLE THE FEATURE!

Then Ray, the guy in charge of the Apple area, finally got tired of her failure and said "Give it to me." He said that iOS 12 had moved this feature somewhere other than where it had been (though I'd never had it turned on in any iPhone ever since zero day in 2007). It took him about five minutes to hunt down the setting and turn on the feature. I have no idea what he did or how to do it myself, but that's OK; I mean, do you know how to induce general anesthesia?

Posted by: bookofjoe | Sep 29, 2018 4:38:36 PM

This is a great feature!

Posted by: Hena | Sep 24, 2018 2:55:31 AM

This must be an iOS 12 feature. It also does this on my year old iPhone 8. It’s like a double vibrate when you mute it.

Posted by: Dean | Sep 23, 2018 10:28:15 AM

Post a comment