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5 annoying iPhone problems and how to fix them

5 annoying iPhone problems and how to fix them
Kaspars Grinvalds | Dreamstime.com Dreamstime.com

You love your Apple iPhone. It’s your constant companion. It wakes you up in the morning, keeps you in touch with your loved ones throughout the day, and entertains you when you have downtime.

It's become the essential item that goes with you everywhere and gives you a sense of security.  Think about the one time you forgot your phone - you probably panicked! How many people do you know who have been halfway to their destination only to turn around because they somehow left their iPhone at home?

We get it, it's a great gadget. But all that goodwill can fly out the window when you bump into one of the iPhone’s annoyances. Here are some top complaints and ways to fix them.

1. It’s hard to use with one hand

The problem: The luxuriously large screens on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X are wonderful for watching videos, playing games, and using apps, but all that display real estate becomes a challenge when you try to use it with one hand. Your thumb just can’t reach everything.

The solution: Use the one-handed keyboard feature in iOS 11. You can test this out by opening iMessages or another Apple app that uses the keyboard. Press and hold the emoji button just to the right of the “123” button. At the bottom of the pop-up, choose either the right-side or left-side keyboard icon (the center icon puts it back in the middle). This will crowd the keyboard over to one side, making it easier to reach all the keys with just one thumb.

Another helpful option is to get a case with a strap or grip on the back that you tuck your fingers into. This gives you a lot more range without the worry of dropping your smartphone.

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2. You want to customize the Control Center

The problem: The revamped iOS 11 Control Center gives you a convenient way to open apps, turn on airplane mode, control your music, adjust screen brightness, and access other settings. However, customizing the Control Center icons that run down the side isn’t very intuitive.

The solution: You can’t just hold down on the icons and move them around like you can on the home screen. Instead, head to Settings, choose Control Center, and select “Customize Controls.” Here, you can add and remove controls and set it up to your liking. Touch and hold down the bars on the far right side of the controls in order to rearrange the order.

3. Face ID won’t unlock when your iPhone X is sitting flat

The problem: While Face ID is a cool feature that helps justify the iPhone X’s hefty price tag, it doesn’t always work as smoothly as you might wish. Some iPhone X users have noticed a problem with getting it to function when the phone is sitting flat on a table and they lean over to try to unlock it.

The solution: There are a couple ways to deal with this issue. First, you can simply hold the phone up to replicate how you looked when you first trained the iPhone X to recognize your face. You can also keep the phone on a stand (you can even get a Qi charging stand for convenience), which is handy if you often need to unlock it while sitting at your desk or the kitchen table at home.

Another option is to try re-training the iPhone to recognize your face from a different angle. Head into the settings, look for the Face ID options, and choose “Reset Face ID.” Follow the reset process, but hold the phone down a bit, rather than directly in front of your face. If this doesn't work as well as you would like, you will just have to get in the habit of picking up your phone to unlock it.

Is Apple’s Face ID system secure? Find out more here.

4. You miss having a headphone jack

The problem: While Apple is pushing us toward an inevitably wireless world, many people still have wired headphones they would like to use with their newer iPhones.

The solution: You don’t have to throw your favorite headphones away. The jack-less iPhones ship with a lightning-to-3.5mm adapter. If you lost yours, then Apple offers a replacement for $9, or you can pick one up from another manufacturer.

There are some drawbacks to the Apple solution. It doesn’t support a lot of audio controls and in-line mics built into third-party headphones, which can add to your annoyance level. There are also some third-party lightning adapters available, some of which also allow you to charge your phone and use the 3.5mm port at the same time (which eliminates one more small source of annoyance). You can also buy a Bluetooth adapter if you want to move a bit closer to the wireless lifestyle.

5. You miss the home button

The problem: The headphone jack isn’t the only thing missing from the iPhone X. The home button you’ve been using for years is also absent. Apple replaced this with a navigational gesture, which can take some adjustment if you’re not used to it.

The solution: Turn on a virtual home button using the iOS AssistiveTouch feature, which can be found in the Accessibility section of the General settings on your iPhone. Turn this feature on, then customize how it works. For example, you can set the single-tap setting to “Home.” The button will appear as a circle inside a rounded square. It will just hover at the bottom of the screen (or wherever else you place it). Then, a single tap will get you back to the home screen.

These are some common iPhone annoyances, but you may run into others. Your first step should always be to check if you have the latest iOS update installed. Apple has patched some iOS 11 problems through updates, including the infamous “I” autocorrect bug, but it still feels like the operating system is a work in progress in some respects. Staying on top of updates, both for the OS and the apps you use can be a big step to keeping the gremlins out of your iPhone experience.

Your iPhone could save your life

From Emergency SOS to Medical ID, your iPhone can act as a lifeline.

Click here to learn about the iPhone’s most important safety features.

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