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Iphone Bug Cellphones Apple

Proximity Sensor Presents Latest iPhone 4 Issue 446

Posted by kdawson
from the not-the-face-time-we-had-in-mind dept.
tekgoblin sends news of the latest iPhone 4 glitch being reported in user forums and elsewhere: the phone's proximity sensor seems not to be detecting nearby faces, as it is designed to do, in order to deactivate the screen during a call. The result is often unintended input. "On the iPhone 3GS, the proximity sensor was located to the left of the earpiece speaker. But that space on iPhone 4 is now occupied by the front-facing camera, and the proximity sensor is above the earpiece. What's not clear is whether the iPhone 4 screen's misbehavior is due to the new location of the sensor, or it's because Apple tweaked the sensor's responses in [some] way."
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Proximity Sensor Presents Latest iPhone 4 Issue

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  • Re:R&D (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AHuxley (892839) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:21PM (#32805626) Homepage Journal
    Time for a Dell Streak and root access for all :)
  • by OneThumbWilly (1697640) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:25PM (#32805684)
    I noticed when I restored my iPhone4 with the backup data from my 3G that some of the settings were incompatible and causing network and proximity problems. A simple reset of all phone settings fixed it right up.
  • by cadeon (977561) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:37PM (#32805762)

    I can't help but to think that this bug has more to do with dropped calls than the antenna- Screen doesn't go off, so your face hits "End" ... I can see how people would see that as a drop.

  • Not just the iPhone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Andy Smith (55346) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:38PM (#32805770) Homepage

    I've got an HTC Desire and it too has a problem with your ear pressing on-screen buttons during calls.

    The screen can also be too sensitive to skin touches. So, for example, when the phone is in my jeans pocket, it responds to the skin of my thigh through the pocket lining. I've had to resort to the "drag your finger in a certain pattern" unlock mode to prevent the phone from making calls while it's in my pocket.

  • Re:Next please! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Osty (16825) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:43PM (#32805812)

    Unfortunately many 3G and 3GS phones have trouble upgrading to iOS 4. They upgrade just fine, but then can no longer connect to the cellular data network and lose visual voicemail and MMS (phone calls and text still work). I'm surprised this story has slipped under the radar so far, since it's impacted a lot more people than the iPhone 4. There's still no official fix other than resetting your phone to factory and not applying previous backups to it ever again, but there are several community fixes of greater or lesser value (some only fix cellular data while leaving MMS and VVM broken, but the correct fix is to delete a specific file from your backup that contains the corrupted APN, reset to factory, and then reapply your modified backup and ignore the error when iTunes complains about not completing the backup).

    Apple really seems to have fucked up this time around.

  • Re:Next please! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:48PM (#32805846) Journal

    I'm in the same situation. iOS 4 has noticeably slowed down my 3G. My contract won't be up until early 2011, so I don't even have the option of buying an iPhone 4 for less than full retail price ($600 or $700) so I am stuck with a 3G until then. I try to look on the bright side, that when I get the chance to upgrade again I will get the next version after the iPhone 4, which will probably fix all the problems people are having. Until then, I'll suffer through the plain black background and no multitasking.

  • by The Yuckinator (898499) on Monday July 05, 2010 @11:05PM (#32805930)

    Maybe all of their testers were left-handed?

    But seriously, that would explain why they didn't notice the "holding the phone with the left hand" antenna issue, and given what's said above that means the proximity sensor would be at the bottom of the ear instead of the top when held against the head.

  • Re:More? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday July 05, 2010 @11:17PM (#32806008)
    Of course Apple is going to be scrutinized more than any other popular company because they limit their models to one or two. For example, lets say I want a Motorola phone with Android, I don't -have- to get a Droid, I can choose to get a Droid, Droid X, Backflip, Cliq, Devour or i1. A flaw that the Backflip has will probably not be shared with the Droid and a problem with the Droid might be addressed on the Droid X. Apple seems to think that their one phone is the phone for everyone and when it is not, people are going to attack them. Motorola isn't saying that all of their phones are for everyone, they make their own niches, someone who needs a high-end phone is not going to get a Cliq but rather get a Droid (X), someone who wants to get a smartphone on a budget also isn't going to buy the Droid X but instead might go for the i1.

    If Apple offered multiple products, they could escape scrutiny because there would be other products to fall back to if one product ended up being terrible and Apple would suffer minimal losses, but since they have a unified phone program, the flaws are much more pronounced.
  • by crossword.bob (918209) on Monday July 05, 2010 @11:57PM (#32806230)
    I have seen it written somewhere that the proximity sensor issue affects only those who did a "restore from backup" to transfer their settings from an older phone. I can't verify this beyond stating that, having read this, I activated as a new phone, the transferred settings manually. I have had no proximity sensor problems. Now before I get jumped on for defending Apple, let me just say that, yes, this is a problem, and they should sort it asap. But I figured I'd share a potential workaround in case it helps someone.
  • Re:Next please! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sammyF70 (1154563) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:13AM (#32806818) Homepage Journal

    I'm starting to wonder if you have any actual experience with any Apple products. If you've used OS X and, say, Ubuntu, you'd know you're comparing apples and oranges. For day-to-day desktop use, they are light-years apart.

    indeed. Ubuntu is a distribution, not an OS. But if you mean a Linux distro featuring one of the major WMs vs. OSX I will still say you are right. Working with pretty much any halfway sane distro (including my current one which is Arch Linux using Awesome WM) is a pleasure. Working with OSX, for me, was a "why-the-fuck-can't-I-do-that?" horror trip.

  • by smasha (1849308) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:54AM (#32807072)

    I have seen it written somewhere that the proximity sensor issue affects only those who did a "restore from backup" to transfer their settings from an older phone. I can't verify this beyond stating that, having read this, I activated as a new phone, the transferred settings manually. I have had no proximity sensor problems. Now before I get jumped on for defending Apple, let me just say that, yes, this is a problem, and they should sort it asap. But I figured I'd share a potential workaround in case it helps someone.

    When i upgraded my iPhone 3g 3.1.3 to iOS4 (i did restore settings from previous backup), during calls the sensor would turn my screen off (as expected), but after the call finished, the screen would still be blank and non responsive. Later i restored iOS4 again without using a previous backup and everything worked fine again.

  • Re:Next please! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by plastbox (1577037) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @06:09AM (#32808316) Homepage

    Neither have I, because I value my freedom to buy and, you know.. own stuff almost as much as I value my hard-earned cash. I will never own an iPhone of any kind. I've used my fathers iPhone 3G a bit though to see what the big fuzz was about and my (subjective, I guess) conclusion is that my HTC Desire far outperforms the iPhone in every possible way relevant to my use (application availability (SNES/NES/GB emulators), connectivity, menu navigation, display quality, touch responsiveness, etc.).

    Also.. why on Earth is Apple still around? I don't mean to be an uninformed ass but "back in the day", Apple computers were something wholly different. Different hardware, different OS, a lot of (specialized) software performed better thus companies doing design and such gladly payed to get the best tool for the job. These days though, an Apple computer is exactly the same as any other desktop computer except I don't control what goes into the fancy plastic casing.

    Compared to building my own computer and stuffing it in a Lian Li case (which, by the way looks far more awesome than anything Apple ever made), what advantage(s) does an Apple computer have?

    Except for the MagSafe. That shit is awesome, even if it's just a new application of an old idea.

  • Re:Next please! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Algan (20532) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @08:03AM (#32808936)

    Unfortunately, the competitors are not up to par. My AT&T contract is set to expire in August and I am seriously considering switching away from Apple's Iphone. My choices as of right now are very few: Moto Droid X, which is not yet available, and is an unknown entity, HTC Evo 4G, with a crippled battery life and crippled network (Sprint); Nexus One, which is nice but 7 months old already and starting to show its age, plus you can only get it with a contract on T-mobile and finally Nokia N900 which is a brick and again, not available with a contract. Droid Incredible and the original Moto Droid are being phased out and have their own issues. Anything else does not even begin to compare.

    I was really hoping that Apple would release another good one, but apparently Iphone 4 is a dud. So unless something better appears on the market in the meanwhile, I think I'll stick with my iphone 3G for now and wait for the next hardware rev.

  • by Moridineas (213502) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:46AM (#32810018) Journal

    Again I have to ask, how is different from/better than ? When it comes to phones, I have had the questionable pleasure of using a Nokia N97 for a couple of months. I have also tried an iPhone 3G and a couple of HTC phones. My current phone is the HTC Desire and I must admit, I haven't loved a tech gadget this much since my SNES (hell, I can even play SNES games on it!). The closedness, lack of features and general asshattery of Apple just makes the HTC (with Android) a much more tempting choice, not to mention the immense amount of available apps and the powerful hardware.

    Different from? Well, just try the different phones. They're not the same. You may prefer one, you may prefer another one, I have minimal usage of Android and haven't made a single comparison between the two. Whichever one you like better is the one I would say is better... "lack of features" is pretty much a red herring, iphone too has "immense" (more?) apps, and the general asshattery of Apple in your view a philosophical statement which I don't agree with. If you like the HTC, no problems! Go for it! You may be judging others, but I don't think many people are judging you for your cell phone preferences.

    Now though, an Apple computer is just a very expensive computer you can't really upgrade* in a shiny plastic case. It can run any OS and any software for that OS, as can any (much cheaper) computer I build to spec myself and stuff in a Lian Li case.

    *Well, technically you can but doesn't warranties and such hinder you from doing such things freely?

    No re: warranty. Secondly, you can run any OS on Apple hardware (I think you're confused by the fact that you can't run OSX on any hardware)

    Look, if you're into building computers component by component, Apple is probably not for you (though there is the hackintosh community whichj is very much into those things). I only switched to Apple ~6 years ago and have not looked back. When I was younger I too used to spend hours researching components and building my personal and work computers. I don't do that anymore (at least not often).

    Can't you like your computers and other people (ie, me) like Apples without it being a source of outrage and shock? Not everybody has to walk in lockstop, like the same things, and believe the same things after all!

  • I have an iPhone 3G. I updated my iPhone to iOS 4. Now I have the same proximity sensor issue; I was on a conference call the other day and kept hearing a beep before I realized that my face was pressing the "3" on the keypad. I had to hold the phone like Steve does in order to make it stop ;-).

  • Re:R&D (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:51PM (#32816138)

    The huge success of the iPhone has placed it under an intense spotlight, and as it's the current "king of the hill," everyone's out to expose its blemishes and blow them out of proportion.

    It's not just the huge success, and it's not the perception* that it's "king of the hill". It's because Apple purposefully markets the phone as revolutionary and as technically superior to other smartphone offerings. Even if it didn't have major engineering problems, it would be tough to live up to the hype. Now it looks like they foisted a poorly-designed, poorly tested device on their fans while touting it with hype not seen since Moses came down from the mountain with stone tablets.

    * - Perception is the key word in that sentence and how you know that it's not the "king of the hill" status that's hurting Apple. Nokia is the true king of the global hill and RIM is the king of the North American hill. Notice that neither of these companies are having to cope with unrealistic expectations despite having much greater market share than Apple does. So is the Apple-bashing happening now because people like to hate #1, or because people hate being lied to?

  • by intheshelter (906917) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:40PM (#32817036)

    I guess this is the area that confuses me. Essentially it's the same sort of thing. Phone does something undesirable when user does Action A. Solution: Do not do Action A OR put a case on it. No no one is losing their mind over this situation, but for some reason when Apple does it then it's a sign of the apocalypse and Apple fanboys are in denial, etc. I just wonder why the same standard is not applied to Android phone flaws?

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