Thursday, September 19, 2013

Apple iOS7 Vs The Otterbox Defender

Many pundits complain about the amount of time Apple spends on the design and slimming of iPhones as users immediately put those slim, pretty phones in big, clunky cases. The big, clunky case of choice for many (myself included) is the Otterbox Defender. My son does not get a phone unless it fits in an Otterbox (phone, pad). I am a long time fan of the product and know that they've saved my electronics more than a few times.

Apple released iOS7 yesterday to the general public. A welcome update with many nuances we users are learning. The new OS includes three new significant swipe commands. They are:

  1. Swipe down to access Notifications
  2. Swipe up to access the Control Center (frequently used features), and
  3. Swipe from the middle and pull down to access Spotlight (yes, that's where they've hidden it).

However, after updating my Otterbox Defender clad iPhone 5 so that it runs the new iOS7 yesterday, I find, along with many other dissatisfied owners, that the the Control Center cannot be accessed. The large, hard plastic surround for the button limits access to the part of the screen required to activate the Control Center.

And Otterboxes response is less than useful. Users on the Macrumors Forum have reported that the official response from Kendra was "I am very sorry that you are having trouble accessing your iOS7 software. I recommend that you contact Apple and make them aware of the issue. I am very sorry for this inconvenience. Thank you for your time."

Not what I'd expect from a company selling a $60 case! And of course, the issue is not mentioned on their web site and they are still advertising that the Otterbox Defender works with the iPhone 5.

Edit 10-28-13: It seems that Apple listened and fixed the issue, now allowing swipes from the left side of the lower screen. Thanks to Anonymous (no, not that Anonymous, they have bigger fish to fry) for notifying me of the fix.


Anonymous said...

How is this Otterbox's problem? Apple is the one that updated software that cannot fully function with the most popular case. If swiping down works fine with the defender, why can't Apple make swiping up work just as easily. The defender is an already existing product.

The response should be to contact Apple so they correct the problem in the next update ... which is how I found this blog. How do we contact Apple?

Grendel Khan said...

Otterbox's web site still indicates that the case will work with the iPhone 5 (no mention that it limits functionality with the new iOS and Apple users typically upgrade unlike Android users who have to wait for carriers, etc.). The case will not allow full functionality so that is an incorrect statement by omission.

Since posting on the blog, I have tested approximately 40 other cases and none have the issue (some were also from Otterbox, it is the Defender series for the iPhone 5 that does not allow full functionality with iOS7). My son has an iPhone 4 which is can be upgraded to iOS7. It is also in an Otterbox Defender series case. It functions well (okay, fairly well, the swipe has to be more deliberate than when performed without a case). It was the modification in design that Otterbox made for the iPhone 5 case that is in question.

And I love the idea that Apple (or any phone manufacturer) would modify their OS because a case won't work with it.

It almost makes me want to drink Evian water.

Grendel Khan said...

Also, contact Apple?

Try 1-800-MY-APPLE (really). lists many other ways.

iphonesia said...

woww amazing, strong case for iphone?

Anonymous said...

I also suffer from Defender Block. I notice that the top screen swipe-down motion can activate the drop down from any point at the top of the screen: left, center or right. The problematic bottom screen swipe-up motion is only accessible in the center. All Apple has to do is allow that swipe-up motion from any point across the bottom edge of the screen. I guess they would need to accommodate the camera access on the right side of the lock screen, but that's all. Easy for me to say.

Anonymous said...

OK, this is interesting. After doing the swipe from the bottom motion like a million times with no action, I tried this again and it worked. I swiped from the lower left corner and the settings panel appeared. Are they reading my thoughts? Try it and see if it works for you.

Grendel Khan said...

Thanks Anonymous, seems to be fixed now.