Safe to update my iPhone 4S to the latest iOS6 version?
December 18, 2012 9:22 AM   Subscribe

iPhone 4S users: have you updated to the latest iOS6.whatever in the last couple of weeks? Did it go without a hitch? Or have you experienced problems that would make you advise me not to update?

I have an iPhone 4S that I updated to iOS6 in late September. I experienced a number of serious problems:

- The first problem is the infamous Apple Maps, which was deceptively accurate the first time with its turn-by-turn directions. However, the second time I tried to use it, I ended up walking around for 55 minutes looking for a destination that was 5 minutes away and, literally, almost in sight of my starting point. The third time, I experimentally asked it to take me home and instead it took me to a destination 2 hours away.
- I tried adding a shortcut to Google Maps on my home screen, but in my opinion, that was totally unusable and not a solution at all.

The maps, though, were the least of my problems:

- It became impossible to power off the phone. I would try to turn it off only to have it immediately restart. This problem went away after a few days, only to reappear later.
- The speaker would cut out intermittently. As I rely on my iPhone for screening out background noise, this was a serious problem for me.
- I couldn't enforce "Silent" mode, so the speakers would make sounds when I least wanted them to (in class, for example). I couldn't fix this by turning off the phone because the phone couldn't be turned off (see above).

I tried rolling back to 5.1, but by the time I tried it, that option had been locked out by Apple.

Fortunately my phone was still under warranty, and Apple classed this as a hardware problem. I understand people who experienced similar problems and whose phones were out of warranty, found themselves fresh out of luck. I received a new handset and the worst I had to endure was going phoneless for a few days while waiting for the replacement to arrive.

Needless to say, I was overjoyed that the new handset was still on iOS 5.1 and I didn't risk upgrading the hardware even though Apple assured me this was a hardware problem affecting a minority of 4S users.

Now, I use Navigon for driving, and I see that the Google Maps app has been restored to the latest update.

My warranty expires in January, so I guess I have until then to decide whether to update to iOS 6.whateverthelatestnumber.

Now, Googling for discussion boards is going to take me towards places that are inherently biased towards people experiencing the same problem I am. I can get confirmation that I'm not the only person to experience the problem, but not whether it's too risky to upgrade my nice 4S to the latest iOS. So I want to hear it from you, dear MeFites.
posted by tel3path to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I realize you're looking for experiences with the 4s, but for what it's worth, I had no issues upgrading my iPhone 4 to iOS 6 (though I ultimately upgraded to an iPhone 5 when they became available). If your bad experience was really due to hardware, it might be worth trying again.

I would note that Apple Maps is still bad--just this weekend, it tried to take me off an offramp that had been dismanted--but Googlemaps seems a fully functional replacement.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:27 AM on December 18, 2012

Anecdata: I update my iPhone 4S as soon as updates are available, and have not had the issues you describe above.

Unsolicited advice re: being unable to enforce 'silent' mode-- I have found turning on "do not disturb" when I'm in class or in a meeting or sleeping is sufficient for my use, although as I occasionally take notes on my phone, I have embarrassingly gotten the Siri chime on occasion. That's a user error, though, and not an issue with the phone.
posted by worstname at 9:29 AM on December 18, 2012

I've been using 6.0.1 on my 4S since it was released, the only issue I've noticed is that once a week or so the screen will dim as if it was set to minimum brightness, but as soon as i go to the brightness slider it jumps right back to where it was.
posted by Oktober at 9:30 AM on December 18, 2012

Upgraded my 4s the day Google Maps came out last week, no problems. I just powered down to double check (I never turn it off), no issue.
posted by jenad at 9:30 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I experienced no problems upgrading my iPhone 4S to iOS 6 or the further upgrade (iOS 6.01?), other than the loss of google maps. Now my iPad 2 is a whole other kettle of fish...going to the apple store today to hopefully sort it out.
posted by kaybdc at 9:31 AM on December 18, 2012

As far as the "making noise" thing, you should be able to that either by entering DND mode, or flicking the silent switch on the side.
posted by Oktober at 9:32 AM on December 18, 2012

I waited until iOS 6.01 was out and upgraded to that. The only issue I've noticed is the weirdness with screen dimming that Oktober mentions. I love the "do not disturb" mode. I use Maps+ instead of the native map app.
posted by ceiba at 9:36 AM on December 18, 2012

No 6.0/6.0.1 problems here on a (personal) iPhone 4 and a (work) iPhone 4S. Google Maps is out as a proper iOS application now (maintained by Google) and is as good as ever.

BTW, if you use Gmail, you should try out the new Gmail app as well, because Google will (lamentably) be retiring the MS Exchange-compatible function that allows push mail to go to iOS Mail (though if you are a Google Apps subscriber you will retain this function).
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:42 AM on December 18, 2012

Upgrade my 4S via wifi the day that the Google Maps app arrived. No problems upgrading at all.
posted by DWRoelands at 9:51 AM on December 18, 2012

Mine works fine.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:01 AM on December 18, 2012

Upgrade my 4S via wifi the day that the Google Maps app arrived. No problems upgrading at all.

Same here. The only glitch I've had is that I don't always get notifications from Words with Friends.
posted by desjardins at 10:01 AM on December 18, 2012

yes, the wacky hardware issues were indeed hardware issues and you got that resolved.

and like others mentioned, yes Google Maps is a big deal and I also updated my 4S to 6 the day Google Maps released the new app. it is a big step forward over both Apple Maps and the previous version of Google Maps, so it was worth the wait.

another thing to keep in mind, if you are down on free space: updating while plugged in to iTunes requires less free space than the 2.5GB required to update via wifi. I updated via iTunes after performing a backup and everything is fine. although, if you're like me and hate iCloud, make sure you turn it off.

overall, 6 does not seem to be a giant leap forward, more like progress. I guess that could be a different experience on the iphone 5, though.
posted by ninjew at 10:03 AM on December 18, 2012

What jenad said.
posted by drlith at 10:48 AM on December 18, 2012

Upgrading both my 4S and iPad 3 were a complete disaster. iTunes reported a -1 error for both to which I then ended up in factory mode. It took 4 attempts and 2 reboots to get the 4S to install iOS 6 and 2 attempts and 1 reboot to get the iPad installed.

Once done, I've not had any further problems - although I'd recommend looking at Google Maps for mapping and Waze for turn by turn directions.
posted by mr_silver at 12:28 PM on December 18, 2012

No issues for me yet. I, too, updated when the Gmaps app came out (which I'm digging so far, btw).
posted by brundlefly at 12:47 PM on December 18, 2012

Okay, it looks like this might be something I should try.

To be clear, I know I can turn the sound off by flicking the switch at the side, or selecting "Do Not Disturb" and so on. The problem wasn't that I didn't know how to turn the sound off, but that the sound was turning itself back on again. Reassuring to see that no-one so far has had the same experience.

Maybe I'll try it with my iPad tomorrow and see what kind of a mess it makes of that... then, in fear and trembling, the phone...
posted by tel3path at 1:34 PM on December 18, 2012

(4S -> IO6 last night, no problems)
posted by Folk at 10:38 PM on December 18, 2012

The only problem I've had with iOS 6.0.X on my 4S is that WiFi tethering is semi-busted. It only works right if I power cycle the phone. Once I've plugged it into USB, WiFi tethering never works right again until the next power cycle.

Obviously if you don't use WiFi tethering, you don't care.
posted by chairface at 2:19 PM on December 22, 2012

[cautiously pokes head above parapet]

Okay, I tried this last week on both iPhone and iPad, and so far nothing's broken (admittedly I don't use WiFi tethering so haven't tested that detail). I am willing to say this was a success.

Thanks, MeFites, yet again you have helped me to recover from a traumatic experience.
posted by tel3path at 6:14 AM on January 4, 2013

« Older Wordpress for dummies?   |   Please help me save my teeth before they are gone. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.