What is wrong with my iPhone?
May 21, 2013 8:23 AM   Subscribe

I got my iPhone 4 in October 2011. The past few months, it has had a couple of really annoying issues:

1. It is very, very slow. If I open an app, it is about 10-30 seconds before I can do anything (before that it's just unresponsive). And even after that, it is VERY slow compared to my husband's iPhone 4 (which he has had about a year longer than I've had mine).

2. Half the time when I plug it in, it doesn't charge (no acknowledging charging beep/vibrate, no charging icon in upper right corner). I then have to shut the phone off and plug it in. It always charges when it's turned off.

3. Recently when I was using a turn-by-turn navigation app (Waze) the phone kept "losing" GPS signal (in an area that's always had fine signal before, and in fact it was still showing plenty of bars and 3G) and it got very hot to the touch, especially on the back (it was not charging at the time). I don't even know what to make of this one.

Things I've tried:

1. For the slowness, I tried removing the 1,000 or so photos and videos that I had in Camera Roll. My phone was pretty full. I had very high hopes that this would help, but the phone has a ton of free space now and the slowness has not improved.

2. For the charging issues, I tried new chargers. I figured maybe my chargers were bad and that's why it wasn't charging sometimes, but nope. I kind of knew this couldn't be the problem, since it ALWAYS charges after I turn it off.

Um, what next? Even with my advanced Google-fu, I'm not finding much about these particular issues, there is just a ton of noise about iPhones on the Internet. Would an Apple Genius be able to help? Is my phone just reaching the end of its life? (I find this hard to accept, like I said, my husband's iPhone 4 is a year older than mine and it still works fine.)

I don't even know what else might be relevant. I'm running the latest iOS 6.1.3. I'm on Verizon. It has always had an OtterBox on it, I do have a toddler that puts his sticky hands on it sometimes, but mostly that's just on the glass because it's in a case. I use my phone quite a bit for web surfing, Shazam, Facebook, and games (god it's so annoying to watch the candy blow up in slow-motion in Candy Crush), a bit of texting, and rarely as an actual phone. I charge it every night overnight (I use it as my alarm clock). I have 7-8 pages of apps (nothing in folders, so that's about 115 apps.
posted by rabbitrabbit to Technology (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried doing a factory reset? Over a couple of years any computer can build up detritus from installed programs that bogs down the memory and makes things slow and buggy.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:33 AM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]

Back it up and restore it to factory settings with iTunes.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:42 AM on May 21, 2013

I'd make an appointment with an apple genius if resetting doesn't work.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:44 AM on May 21, 2013

Response by poster: OK, now I feel really dumb for not trying a factory reset before asking this question.

Factory reset done. Restoring from iCloud now. We'll see if that works.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:44 AM on May 21, 2013

rabbitrabbit: Factory reset done. Restoring from iCloud now. We'll see if that works.

If it doesn't, you might consider a factory reset without restore. Basically, pretend you got a new iPhone, and set it up manually from scratch. Make SURE you have everything important (photos, contacts, email, etc) backed up somewhere first, of course, but I have found that a restore can end up restoring some of the problems along with your data. It can be a pain to do it this way, but I find it is helpful to sweep it truly clean and then move forward.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:48 AM on May 21, 2013

What Rock Steady said, a thousand times over.

I did exactly that - factory reset and then restore and my problems continued. I finally backed up the phone, did a factory reset without restore and my battery life and the miscellaneous other annoyances I was having disappeared.
posted by BrianJ at 9:15 AM on May 21, 2013

I don't know if this still applies to newer versions of iOS, but turning Spotlight searching completely off might help things a bit.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:44 AM on May 21, 2013

Response by poster: Factory reset + iCloud backup did not fix the problems.

Doing factory reset + manual restore this morning, will report back with results.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:26 AM on May 22, 2013

Response by poster: A month later. Factory reset + manual restore didn't work, so I wiped it again and restored from iCloud backup (because there were little things that I didn't realize I needed until they were gone). And now it charges more reliably. Occasionally it does weird things like lose GPS signal, and it's still pretty slow, but the charging thing was the most annoying problem and it seems to be better. Maybe the third time was the charm?

Weirdly, a couple nights ago my iPad was not charging, and it's only 6 months old. Just like with my iPhone, turning it off and then back on got it to charge. WTH??
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:47 PM on June 21, 2013

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