A profanity-laden tirade against the new iOS 4.2 text alert sounds - Macenstein

A profanity-laden tirade against the new iOS 4.2 text alert sounds

HOLY FUCK! Having just downloaded the iOS 4.2 GM, I am only now discovering what all you developers have known for some time – that the new text alert tones Apple has added with this build are so fucking bad, they don’t even rate as shit. I have long complained about Apple’s pathetic assortment of Text Alerts, citing it as one of the increasingly hard to find excuses for jailbreaking my iPhone. With each new iPhone software update came the hope of a new set of text tones, ones that were not only actually loud enough to actually be heard, but could actually be used in an office without sounding like I was watching a fucking Looney Tunes cartoon. I have written to Apple at least half a dozen times, and Steve Jobs twice about this. I finally gave up, made my own Text Tones, jailbroke the iPhone, and then patiently waited for the next iPhone update to raise and crush my hopes.

iOS 4.2 – A New Hope

But wait, what’s this? An iPhone update with nearly THREE TIMES as many new Text Tones as before! Suddenly, we’ve got 17 brand new MMS Alerts to choose from, each of which is likely to be a giant leap forward over their predecessors.

iPhone 4 text alerts
Well, even after the 4.2 update, it’s still a toss up between Tri-Tone and None.

Well, if you’ve updated to iOS 4.2, you know the sad truth. Not only are these new tones NOT a step up from the last batch, they are so fucking comical that I doubt SpongeBob would use them on his phone. Faithful Macenstein reader Michael Quinn put it best when he asked “Why do the new iOS 4.2 Text Tones all sound like they were ripped out of Fantasia?” I’ll tell you why. Because Steve Jobs owns the Fantasia library now, and he got a good deal. But while the first batch were bad, this second batch is bad AND ponderously long. In the first round of 6 tones, not one was more than a second long. With these new 17, I doubt there is one UNDER 3 seconds, and some seem to run as long as 45 minutes. Some of these are longer than the Apple ringtones, and the idea that anyone would want to hear one of these opuses every time they get a text is insulting. I defy you to tell me which of these new tones you’ll be switching to.

By giving us so many horrible text tones, Apple is in effect giving us the finger, saying “Oh, you want more choices? Here you go, douche bags!” Why else would they separate them out from the original set if not to show us how much they love their original sounds, and how angry they are at us asking for more? The iPhone has made great strides in the business world of late, but these Text Alert sounds transport the iPhone to an elementary school playground with each new message received.

So, now that Apple has proven that it doesn’t understand the point of a text alert, can they PLEASE allow us to add our own? The answer of course is “No”, but the logic is unfathomable. Surely we could not do a worse job.

30 Responses to “A profanity-laden tirade against the new iOS 4.2 text alert sounds”
  1. brnmbrns says:

    I absolutely love this article. 🙂

  2. Phillip says:

    Hey Doc at least they showed up for you. I still have the same old crap on my phone. The only new thing I got on my 3G was a msg saying: “This iPhone is not qualified for free MobileMe service.”

    Sent Steve an email, but I have more chances of being struck by lightening than getting a useful answer back.

  3. Mike says:

    But letting people put their own text alert sounds on would fragment the market!

  4. Jonathan says:

    Tirades about crap alert sounds, but no such tirades for those on 3G iPhones who do not get airplay? 😛

  5. Kenneth says:

    I have no idea what you’re talking about, because my iPhone is always on silent mode. I wish all the OBNOXIOUS CRAP TONES OUT THERE where illegal. Nothing more retarded than hearing “my humps” when Granny’s cell phone rings. For fuck’s sake, mute that shit and learn to love the vibe!

  6. Jon says:

    Wow you are might right than you know. Also, Sherwood Forest? Really?

  7. Jack says:

    It’s a goddamn text message. You need to be entertained while reading a motherfucking text message? Just pick up the goddamn phone and start poking at the goddamn motherfucking screen, you jackwagon!

  8. while I agree with you entirely that they are horrible they are perfect for someone like my mom who can never hear her phone when a text comes through because they are so sort now these longer ones will help her hear it.

  9. Matthew says:

    Seriously, this is the most you have to worry about in your life? You need to get out more mate.

  10. Chris says:

    Largely I agree with you, though “Noir” and “typewriters” are palatable to me.

  11. Mike Lazarus says:

    Every other phone (even Blackberry 10 years ago) allows you to pick your own ring-tone, but not the multimedia-challenged iPhone

  12. Ruben says:

    I just stick to tri-tone, still the only acceptable one.

  13. Parsifal says:

    Uh, some of us are on call, and use our phones as pagers. While it’s charmingly quaint that you can think of only one use for text alerts, I was very excited to hear about there being much longer, more insistent sounds. In fact, your post was what convinced me to actually upgrade to 4.2 right away; I hadn’t particularly cared about anything else in it until the very thing that you find so awful.

    I do very much agree that it’s frustrating that we can’t use our own, or even have the phonecall ring tones as options. But short of that, this is still a great improvement.

  14. SMS tones says:

    I was on apple feedback page last night, and sent this one as an iphone feedback…

    it’s been about 4 years, now iOS 4.2 came out… and there are some new TONES for SMS,,, but are you for real? honestly? have you or any other engineer or designer listened to those yet?

    I mean they are unbelievably unacceptable, why don’t you pick up a NOKIA and ANDROID and listen to some of those tones and come up with something better?

    I am not moaning, I am saying those SMS tones are horrifying after 3 and half years wait…

    Please edit them or add some decent ones…

  15. savant says:

    lol what a noob. You’ve already said you made your own so what’s the rant about? It’s better shit out here like CallTell that will tell you who’s texting and will even read the text to you if you want. Get a droid :-!

  16. Dlowe402 says:

    I’m on a 3Gs and I don’t even see them…Are they only on the 4 or am I just tarded?

  17. Jonro says:

    I also have a 3Gs and don’t see any new text tones. I guess I’ll stick with Glass.

  18. Derek says:

    What’s wrong with the Glass sound?

  19. Andy says:

    Could it be that this is why Apple fired Mark Papermaster?

  20. ~Apple is in effect giving us the finger, saying “Oh, you want more choices? Here you go, douche bags!”~ This is possibly one of the truest and funniest comments I have ever read about these new text tones. They are so unbelievably obnoxious that I can’t seriously wrap my head around how Steve said “let that ship in the final version”…

    However, I do like Choo Choo, among all the squat they added. The downside to that? When someone asks what the tone is, I tell them, like I’m a highly illiterate toddler who just learned about Thomas The Tank Engine.

    For those wondering why it’s not showing up on their devices, the answer is that they are only on the iPhone 4. Why? Who in fucksville knows. Your processors and ram aren’t good enough to play such long sounds, I guess…

    Great article, Doc.

  21. Why do people pay AT&T for text messaging? Almost every phone has email now, so why waste the extra money for a less effective medium? I was caught in the trap of people from work only using texting to communicate, so I was basically told I had to get text messaging. Enter TextFree – gives you a number that’s just for texting, and costs absolutely nothing. So, although I still think text messaging is the biggest rip-off in the world. The reason they’re so short is because they travel on a carrier wave, and the bandwidth would still be wasted if nobody texted.


  22. Frank Hauser says:

    Are text message tone REALY that big a deal? I’m not sure why some of you are so offended by the selection of TEXT MESSAGE TONES. Kind of ridiculous. Find one you like from the selection and move on. Or jailbreak and go wild. Personally I’d be worried if Apple was spending tons of time on them. Sheesh. Grow up.

  23. Dlowe402 says:

    I am with Matthew on the TextFree bandwagon. Both of my kids have it on non-activated 1st Gen iPhones that were passed down from the Wife and I. It works great for now because most everywhere they are nowadays they have wifi. I will probably activate my son’s when he starts driving next year but for now this works. Oh and now TextFree has voice calls in Beta that work really good. Anyway, when I get all my friends trained to a different number for texting me I might just drop the text plan all together but that’s even a worse nightmare than changing an email address. Why is it so hard for people to update their contacts? WHY?

  24. KC says:

    Ridiculously-awesome article! 😀

  25. Andrea says:

    Quit your whining, Dr. M. :p

  26. Rob says:

    Strange. I too am on a 3GS and I do not see any new tones. I am in the Settings/Sound screen, just as the screenshot above shows…. I do not have the labels “New” or “Original”, in fanct there are no labels at all, simply just the original list of tones.

    WTH is mah ringtones?!?

  27. One other thing about TextFree – it has different sounds…

  28. Webterractive says:

    I hate the fact that every single message now creates a tone. Even if it’s the same person you’re texting. It’s annoying and as for the new tones, wow what crap! Good think Jailbreaking community provided the tools to downgrade.

  29. Raptor007 says:

    I say well put Dr. M, its about time the Apple users stand up and tell Steve he can either adapt to market demands or you will not buy the next one, or will you . . . just cave and get it anyways. Either way good post.

    Since we are nearly over with November and there is no MCOM what do you have for December?

  30. Joe Schuller says:

    I am using the train whistle. I like it, and it is loud enough. Now I can see that the whistle could get annoying if I received 100s of texts a day. Fortunately I am old enough my friends still remember how to talk.

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