Apple confirms serious new issues for iPhone 14 buyers

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09/19 Update below. This post was originally published on September 17.

It’s been a bumpy start for iPhone 14 owners. Yesterday, Apple released iOS 16.0.1 specifically to address data migration, authorization, and photo issues with the range. Today, the company has confirmed additional issues with iMessage and FaceTime.

In a new support document, Apple also admitted that “iMessage and FaceTime may not complete activation on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro” and acknowledges that issues can still occur, even after updating to iOS 16.0.1.

Breaking down the issues, Apple states that “After setting up your iPhone, you may experience one or more of the following issues”:

  • You can’t receive iMessage or FaceTime calls.
  • You see a green message bubble instead of a blue one when you send a message to another Apple device.
  • Conversations in Messages show up as two separate threads, instead of one.
  • Recipients see your messages coming from the wrong account, for example from your email address if you had selected your phone number.

While the problems are clear, the solution is not. In its support document, Apple recommends that users update to iOS 16.0.1 “to resolve this”, but a) these bugs aren’t listed in the iOS 16.0.1 release notes, and b) Apple suggests copy steps If you are “still having problems” after the upgrade. These are:

  1. In the Settings app, tap ‘Cellular’. Make sure your phone line is on. If you use multiple SIM cards, make sure the phone number you want to use is selected and turned on.
  2. In the Settings app, tap on ‘Messages’. Then tap ‘Send & Receive’.
  3. Tap the phone number you want to use with Messages.
  4. Go back to the Settings app and tap on ‘FaceTime’.
  5. Tap the phone number you want to use with FaceTime.

The end? Not quite.

In an internal Apple memo seen by MacRumors, Apple acknowledges the activation issues, stating that “there are no current official fixes and support staff should not create a fix.” [case] for the problem.'” The internally recommended course of action is also different:

“‘Connect to Mac or PC with iTunes’ in the initial iOS onboarding process when prompted to connect to a Wi-Fi network and then return to the previous screen and try Wi-Fi again until activation is done successfully,” MacRumors quotes the report as saying.

I’ve reached out to Apple to clarify what’s in iOS 16.0.1 and the conflicting information in the leaked note. I’ll update this post when/if I get a response. In the meantime, I would strongly recommend owners of older iPhones to opt for iOS 15.7 instead of iOS 16, which is currently a dump for iPhones of all ages.

09/19 Update: More issues reported for iPhone 14 Pro models. Picked up by 9to5MacReports are coming in from owners that the model’s new 48-megapixel main camera can’t take photos and videos on third-party apps like Instagram, SnapChat, and TikTok. Also, the glitch appears to be causing physical damage to the lens.

YouTuber Luke Miani (below) has demonstrated the glitch, which occurs when using the main camera in third-party apps. Optical image stabilization does not work properly, causing the lens to shake violently, so much so that noise is audible. Reports of this problem can be found at Reddit and tik tokand Miani reports that after posting about it on Twitter, “a surprising number of people said they’ve also experienced this on their Pros and Pro Maxes.”

Furthermore, this violent shaking can have a lasting impact. “Worst of all, we started noticing damage to the camera itself,” explains Miani. “It became very difficult for him to focus and eventually he just wouldn’t focus on things that were close, even in the stock camera app.”

Bringing the phone to an Apple store replaced the device. Whether or not Apple can fix this in software remains to be seen, but for affected users, it will be a race against time before the tremor physically breaks the main camera. Apple has not yet commented on the issue, but I have reached out for comment.


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