The list of concerns for iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro purchasers continues to grow. Following activation errors with iMessage and FaceTime, bugs with CarPlay and data migration, and random reboots, owners are now reporting a variety of new issues.
They surfaced after popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee questioned iPhone 14 owners about their experiences with the new lineup. The overwhelming majority of the approximately 5,000 responses were about bugs, and three, in particular, stood out.
To begin, the lock screen. While iOS 16 contains numerous bugs that affect all iPhone models, buyers of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro appear to have been disproportionately affected by lock screen bugs. These include glitching data and a bug that causes the lock screen to automatically rotate.
Second, the island of Dynamic. Dynamic Island, arguably the highlight of the iPhone 14 launch, appears to be extremely buggy and riddled with graphical errors at launch. These include the software bubble moving to the incorrect location, becoming stuck in the middle of an animation, and refusing to close. Several of which can have substantial effects on usability.
Lastly, battery drain I have previously discussed the battery drain issues in iOS 16, but iPhone 14 owners are not immune. Brownlee cites an “alarming” number of individuals affected by it. Intriguingly, Brownlee may have identified a possible perpetrator in iPhone 14 Pro models:
“After disabling the always-on display on my iPhone 14 Pros, I’ve observed a significant improvement in battery life.” It makes a difference that I’ve had a couple of weeks to complete this task.”
The long-awaited implementation of an always-on display by Apple has proven controversial, with complaints that it is too bright and colorful in comparison to competitors. In addition to battery concerns, this gives the appearance that the phone is unlocked. The option of a dimmer or even a black-and-white lock screen would go a long way toward resolving this issue.
Other problems, such as Control Centre bugs and autofocus issues, are mentioned in replies to Brownlee’s tweet, but they appear more isolated. Brownlee also stated that he has been experiencing the previously reported CarPlay issues.
Apple is anticipated to soon release iOS 16.0.3, its third bug fix in less than a month. iOS 16.1, a larger update that includes new features, is expected to be released by the end of this month.
10/10 Update: owners of Apple’s iPhone 14 models are reporting additional issues, this time with the exclusive new ‘Crash Detection’ feature.
According to the Wall Street Journal, certain iPhone 14 models activate Crash Detection mode and automatically dial 911 when used on roller coasters. The report claims that at least six instances of iPhone 14 models triggering false alarms on rides have been documented.
Crash Detection uses a combination of velocity, pressure, G-Force, GPS, and volume measurements to limit errors, and Apple claims to have tested the feature with over a million hours of real-world car crash data and driving analysis. Despite this, subsequent tests have revealed that the feature’s accuracy varies, a claim Apple has defended.
Apple also responded to the WSJ’s findings, stating that “the technology provides peace of mind, and Apple will continue to enhance it over time.” In the interim, some rollercoaster owners are already advising riders to activate Airplane Mode on their smartphones and smartwatches before boarding.
Apple’s promise to enhance Crash Detection is urgent and welcome. As more iPhone 14 models are sold, this issue will continue to worsen.
In the last 24 hours, two significant updates for iPhone 14 owners have occurred. First, Apple executives have discussed Crash Detection with TechCrunch.
In terms of activating crash detection, there is no silver bullet, admitted Ron Huang, vice president of Sensing and Connectivity. “Because it’s not a simple equation, it’s difficult to say how many of these conditions must be met. Depending on the earlier traveling speed, the signals we must observe in the future are determined. Your speed change, coupled with the impact force, coupled with the pressure change, coupled with the decibel level, is a fairly dynamic algorithm.”
Huang explained that Apple tested Crash Detection by placing iPhones “in numerous locations throughout the vehicle, including on crash test dummies and on the vehicle itself” while collecting raw data from cameras and pressure sensors. According to him, the company also collaborated with the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine which types of collisions result in the most injuries.
Drance revealed that Crash Detection did not activate for her during a minor rear-end collision because “we don’t want to be making a lot of unnecessary false calls to 9-1-1.”
This is an interesting observation, given the current problems with Crash Detection on rollercoasters, and it leads me to believe that as Apple improves the algorithm, we will see a significant reduction in false positives.
Apple has also released iOS 16.0.3, which primarily includes bug fixes for iPhone 14 models. Problems addressed include delayed call and app notifications, low microphone volume during CarPlay calls, and sluggish camera functionality.
These are only a few of the issues iPhone 14 buyers have reported so far, but Apple’s focus on its newest phones in iOS 16.0.3 demonstrates that the company is aware of their buggy nature. Two of the three iOS 16 updates released thus far have been iPhone 14-centric, which is unprecedented in my experience.