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Summary:

It’s no secret now that Apple is working hard on getting a fix for iOS 5 battery issues out the door. But battery life isn’t the only problem new iPhone 4S owners are having with their devices. Here are three other common complaints.

Cellular-data-iphone4s

It’s no secret now that Apple is working hard on getting a fix for iOS 5 battery issues out the door. It even opened up beta testing of pre-release software to end users, instead of just the usual registered developers. But battery life isn’t the only problem new iPhone 4S owners are having with their devices.

The mute bug

Now that the talk around the battery problems has died down at the Apple Support discussion forums, the new star of the show is a flaw with outgoing calls that sees them often automatically muted. It doesn’t seem to be limited to any one carrier, so the problem seems to be something specifically with the 4S’s hardware or software. I’ve also experienced this myself, though only a couple of times near the beginning of my time with the device. Still, I don’t often make outgoing calls without a headset, so I may just not have noticed since then.

While users wait for an official fix, you can get voice working again by turning speakerphone on and off, or by using a headset to call as I mentioned I usually do anyways. This hasn’t been acknowledged by Apple in any official documentation yet, but it does seem like the kind of thing that could be addressed in a future update, so you may want to pause before scheduling an appointment to make a return.

The 3G or network data drop

Another common complaint at Apple’s support discussions is that the iPhone 4S drops network data connections seemingly at random. Besides being well represented on Apple’s forum, it’s also something I’ve heard of a lot personally from other 4S owners I know. The problem isn’t something that totally disables your device; often data just drops from 3G to EDGE and eventually goes back to normal after a few hours. But sometimes, data can be dropped altogether, which means you won’t know about new voicemail, or get push emails, and measures like turning Airplane Mode on and off are often required to get a connection back.

I’ve seen this on my own iPhone 4S, too, and as mentioned, it’s hard to identify a cause. It seems to happen most frequently when I get or make a call, but not exclusively during those activities. Also, just opening Safari and browsing can sometimes re-establish a connection if you’ve only dropped 3G but still have EDGE.

Again, this one hasn’t been officially acknowledged by Apple, but if it’s happening to you, it’s probably not worth exchanging your device just yet. The problem seems widespread enough, based on the discussion threads related to it, that a replacement will just display the same issue, so waiting to see if a forthcoming software update is the least inconvenient option.

The Siri volume bug

Siri has a nasty habit of maxing out the volume just after use. You’ll notice if you activate Siri, and then press the home screen button to cancel your request, then lock the device. After a short time, the volume goes back to wherever you set it, but for a little while, the volume is ear-splitting, and this applies system-wide. There are many threads in the Apple Support Communities about this issue.

Mostly minor, but majorly irritating

All the bugs listed here are actually quite small, which is why a lot of users report not having returned their devices as a result of encountering them. I, too, have run across each but have yet to ascribe it to hardware fault, since each seems pretty likely to be a software problem. It’s troubling, however, to see no mention of these apparently common problems in any of the information circulating about Apple’s upcoming bug-busting iOS 5.0.1 release. Hopefully they’re filed under the category of “general bug fixes” and do arrive with that update. Otherwise, Apple will have to tackle them head-on sooner or later.

Anyone else seeing these or other persistent problems?

  1. I’ve actually been noticing the mute bug on my IPhone 4 since switching to ios5. Anybody else?

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    1. Here is a great way to deal with any iPhone 4s problems. Oh but you need a 50.cal Barrett Sniper Rifle as well.. Watch and Enjoy!!!

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  2. im reading this on my replacement iphone 4s. my first had the issues above and a whole lot more. ive had every iphone model.
    this is the first to be defective.

    guess what? my second one wont let me into my verizon account. no service. at all. its an ipod touch right now with a
    rockin camera. im trying to decide whether to replace again or jump ship to samsung. argh.

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  3. i have a 3gs that has worked at 100% capacity since i bought it over two years ago. i upgraded to ios5 (prob a mistake based on how old the 3gs is butttt i had to! lol) and it worked swimmingly for a few weeks… now the phone is incapable of maintaining a 3g and/or wi-fi connection for more than a minute or so. i took it to the genius bar at lunch today and the dude pretty much ‘cleaned my sim card’ and sent me packing. the phone was searching for the network before i was out of the parking lot. i hope they fix this soon, as i am unable to use my iPHONE as a PHONE. it is a paper weight right now that has angry birds. oh yea, any app that requires internet is unusable atm. grrr come back steve jobs and make apple awesome again.

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  4. I had both problems on my iphone 4 with ios 5!

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  5. I, too have experienced the issues noted as well as being unable to make a call without the speakerphone going on and staying on (even while using a headset). There’s also an issue of when I make calls and needing to redial as the initial call doesn’t appear to go through. I had brought the phone to my carrier who was basically unable to assist or give me guidance as to what I should do about it. I do plan to go to the apple store in a day or two.

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  6. My iPhone is updated with iOS 5.0.1 beta 2 and I am experiencing the data drop bug daily. I have to reset my network settings for it to come back. Also the 5.0.1 battery fix has not really done a whole lot to fix the drain for me. Battery life is ok, but no where near as good as it was on my iPhone 4.

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  7. My 4s turns off randomly and I have a hard time turning it back on? What should I do? Anyone with a similar problem?

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    1. Me too and really bad pic with the flash

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    2. I just had this problem a while ago and my phone still hasn’t turned back on yet…I don’t know what to do..

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    3. I had that happen to me. I plugged it into the charger and was able to get it to turn on. I pushed the power button on the top of the phone at the same time as pushing the button on the front of the phone. Its an automatic reboot when you do that.

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  8. I often come across the loud volume after i use siri with my 4s but a small irritating problem ive come across recently is instead of getting a single tone when i get text messages i get a double tone.

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  9. Can someone help me. My Siri has gone silent!!! It still carries out commands, but it no longer speaks to me! Has this happened to anyone else?

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    1. Siri has its own volume setting. Activate Siri, and while it’s activated use you volume buttons to set Siri’s volume.

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      1. Even with volume up sometimes she goes silent and the words only appear on the screen

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  10. Absolutely zero problems for me, thing just works and works very well. Actually two of them with no problems. I wouldn’t settle for one with issues, go to the Apple Store and let them know, get it in their system that your phone has issues. Also do a restore and see if that helps.

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