Alternatively: allowing the user to control the noise cancellation on a pair of headphones from the headphones themselves instead of further cluttering the user's phone is a good idea.
My friend has a pair. On one can is the speaker volume, on the other is the noise cancelling. So effectively one volume knob for your music, and one for the outside world. It’s dead simple and sensible.
One of the advantages of controlling things from your phone is minimizing the electromechanical components required on the thing you are controlling.
The problem with almost all "apps" is that everybody is trying to monetize you MORE even after you spent money. This is not new. Printer manufacturers have been using their drivers to shove ads in your face for years--it's why people despise them.
If the app just did what it was supposed to do and nothing more, people wouldn't be all that upset. At worst, they'd just laugh at the bad interfaces.
So does software :(
The rapidity of settlement of common knowledge in Internet time breaks a lot of the natural frictional mitigations, too.
“Oh, the path dependence is real” (said in the tone of a gaming commentator).
Bad idea. UI complexity should be proportional to the product use and customization complexity. If there are 3 basic levels for noise cancelling, then mechanical slider will suffice. If production quality is good it will last. I don't want to pull up my phone to perform such a mundane and simple task. Leave smart phone apps for more detailed and sophisticated configuration, which is probably not needed at all for such a device as noise cancelling headphones.
I'm wondering specifically about it being common. I would expect to do it rarely and be pleased if "more" and "less" weren't the only options.
On the meat thermometer, I bought an instant thermometer last year for $12. Best money I ever spent. The old fashion mechanical ones I use to leave in a roast are not that great. I use them to show me approximate temps, but I like to get a real temp with the instant thermometer. Works great on the grill also to ensure you don't over do the steaks.
Is it? I expect that a substantial portion of unnecessarily complicated IoT devices aren't really about pleasing the person who buys the device, but rather about establishing a foothold in someone's house to achieve some other business objective.
For instance, it's hard to find a plain TV these days that doesn't have a network connection. Maybe dumb TVs don't sell, but it's also possible that smart TVs are actually cheaper to make because the "smart" part is subsidized by whoever stands to make the most money from its pre-installed apps.
I see what you did there. "Sometimes". :)