iMac Pro 2017 iMac Pro FaceTime major issue

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ysuee, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. ysuee, Mar 29, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018

    ysuee macrumors newbie

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    Cleveland, OH
    #1
    So I thought I'd share with the group. FaceTime is broken on my iMac Pro (and a few others I've tested on). :(

    I've been on a roller coaster the last month with Apple Support and the Apple Store.

    I purchased an iMac Pro 27" (8 core) from my local Microcenter in late January. (see this last thread that helped me make the decision for the base iMac Pro vs a fully loaded iMac (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/imac-pro-4300-or-max-imac-3500.2102717/#post-25752474)

    However, FaceTime never works appropriately and I have repeated the problem across multiple iMac Pros (3 different ones) and with Apple employees.

    Here's the issue - when I FT another individual outside of my network, they can see and hear me, but I can only hear them. My FaceTime window behaves as if I had just started up the software and see a live video of myself on the screen. Even stranger, when both devices stay on the same network, whether at the Apple Store or my own home network - FT works fine.

    I worked through the issue first with Apple Support over the phone, and then with Apple employees (Genius Bar) in the store. We tried everything from formatting, using different IDs, different computers, different networks (LTE vs wifi) - all to no avail.

    When I've asked Apple store employees and Apple phone support to refund my money or exchange to a new computer they told me that I needed to "work with Microcenter for that, we can only repair it..." Which is funny, because they don't know how to repair it.

    Currently, I still have an open help ticket that's been escalated to Apple Engineering - there is no timeline on a resolution.

    And while this thread is NOT primarily intended to disparage the Customer Experience - I have to say this has been one of the worst customer experiences I've had with Apple. I have a product that is advertised to work in a specific way that simply doesn't. In addition to using the iMac Pro for some drone video editing, I had really hoped I'd be able to put the 1080p FT camera to the test.

    Last night, I asked Microcenter to exchange the product for a new one - although I had originally purchased late January 2018. They did (to my surprise), and when I came home to try it out, it still did not work.

    So if FaceTime is important to you - be warned when it comes to purchasing an iMac Pro. You may be dealt the same cards I'm holding.
     
  2. Strider64 macrumors 6502a

    Strider64

    Joined:
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    #2
    Hmm, sounds like a software or OS X issue on the iMac Pro? I would imagine (hope so) that it will be resolved in a future update(s). I know it sucks, but sometimes resolution on problems like this takes time and maybe in the meantime you can find a workaround?
     
  3. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    My current best workaround is to prop my iPhone at the bottom of the screen and field FT calls that way. o_O
     
  4. Mac32 Suspended

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  5. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Downloading now. Will update after installed...
     
  6. RyanXM macrumors regular

    RyanXM

    Joined:
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    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #6
    Couple of questions:

    - Did you restore from a Time Machine backup to the iMac Pro? If so, see next question.
    - Have you tried on another administrator user? Create a blank user. Do not login into your AppleID during the Setup Assistant. Go through and once at the desktop, launch FaceTime and login. Result?
    - Have you tried an erase & install via Internet Recovery? Result?
    - Have you tried FaceTime on another Mac? Result?

    These are all things that the Apple Store as well as Apple Support/Engineering should have tried themselves or had you try. If they haven't had you try the above, please do so and report back.
     
  7. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7

    Did not restore from TM. Did a clean install. However:
    - Did not log in to iCloud during setup. Logged into only FT with multiple users to no avail.
    - Tried different privileges including admin on multiple users.
    - Tried different users with different credentials.
    - Tried Apple Store userid and called various users.
    - Tried using FT without iCloud sign in (and just typing a person's phone number).
    - Tried internet recovery
    - Tried FT on a different iMac Pro in store and had the same problem.
    - Here's the kicker - I returned the iMac Pro for a brand new one at Microcenter - the new one still had the same issue.

    - Tried a bunch more - but everyone definitely believed a new computer would solve the issue since it was the final option.

    When I was going through online Apple Support they installed keyloggers and screen recording software to watch me replicate the problem. I uploaded a few videos and a bunch of data. After a week of doing this over multiple days - the Apple Support rep told me, "Engineering has found this to be very interesting and they are looking into it."

    Also - this case is still open with Apple Engineering. They have no ETA for a fix.

    @Mac32 - unfortunately, 10.13.4 didn't solve the problem.


    Are any other iMac Pro users having this problem?
     
  8. RyanXM macrumors regular

    RyanXM

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    DFW, TX
    #8
    Are you using TFA (Two Factor Authentication) on your AppleID? If not, I'd try enabling it and see if that gets you anywhere.
    Are you able to replicate the issue on another Mac, not an iMac pro?
     
  9. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I do use TFA. I’ve even disabled it and re-tried FaceTime to see if that was the root cause - it still didn’t work.

    I’m unable to replicate the issue on a different Mac or iOS device (in addition to what we have tried at the store and through Apple support already, I have tried 7 different devices - a standard iMac, two MacBook Pros (2015 and 2016), three iPhones (7,8P and X) and an iPad.

    The only place this is occurring is on the iMac Pro, and without concrete evidence (but having ruled out many other potential issues), I suspect something is going on with the new T2 chipset, since it does have a direct impact on the new 1080p FaceTime camera.

    https://blog.macsales.com/43360-imac-pros-t2-chip-what-it-is-and-what-it-does
     
  10. RyanXM macrumors regular

    RyanXM

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    #10
    It seems like at this point the T2 is certainly causing an issue. It might also have to do with something on your AppleID. Your issue seems to be related to device and not AppleID. I'm assuming you've had someone else try their AppleID and/or you've created a new AppleID to see if the issue persists. That is the next exit I would take off this bewildering road.

    I had an issue with a customer once where she couldn't watched purchased movies on her MBP, but could on her iPad. Turned out there was a single purchase that had been charged back. Where was that purchase made? On the MBP that wouldn't play her purchased content. 12 hours of time spent on it at the Genius Bar over two days and someone within the iTunes group got it resolved.
     
  11. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    I appreciate the helpful advice. When I get back to the home office I will turn off TFA and turn it back on to see if that resets anything server-side from an iCloud perspective. I have tried, along with the Apple Store employees - multiple Apple IDs. I think it’s definitely a combination of the T2 chip and the Apple ID.

    For now, I’m not exactly sure what to do. It’s been a month of this and my last phone call to Apple support was contentious, to say the least. I have a very capable iMac Pro with great features but one that was specifically marketed (FaceTime HD camera) that does not work as advertised. I use the FaceTime camera a lot for work - both for FaceTime and also Skype for business. (Skype video does not work either)

    Apple has given me nothing more than partyline answers of “we’re working on the problem”. I asked for a refund last week over the phone and the person said we’re not going to do that, you didn’t buy it from Apple store (I bought it from Micro Center)

    Very frustrating experience.
     
  12. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Update: I removed two factor authentication but again to no avail. FaceTime still does not work correctly on iMac Pro for me.
     
  13. RyanXM macrumors regular

    RyanXM

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    #13
    Super interesting...I'm at a loss right now.

    I haven't read nor heard of any clients having issues with FaceTime on their iMac Pros. I might have to ask to borrow one for some troubleshooting.
     
  14. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #14
    Please don't take this as stirring the pot, but welcome to the wonderful world of Apple Care Support.

    I purchased one of the first generation of iMac 5k. When I got it, I had problems with Facetime not working at all. I should have insisted that the whole machine be exchanged, but I went along with Apple saying it was just a glitch. It took them 7 weeks to fix it, and never really got an explenation as to what was wrong.

    Then after Yosemite 10.10.3 was released, I started getting more iMessage, Facetime, Photo and contact problems. Facetime would not display the correct name for people I contacted. It would randomly swap contact photo's. iMessage would randomly drop people from message threads. The photo's inside of contacts would suddenly decide to change (zomming in two a corner of a picture, or other random effects.

    Again I contacted Apple Care and they like you didn't know why it was doing this. I ended up wiping and reinstalling Apple OS a number of times and different experiments. Whenever a new version came out I was told that I had to install it as failure to do so would close my case. (I found out after 1.5 years of following this that it isn't a requirement for Apple Care). Needless to say they never got to the bottom of it.

    I tried to esculate it to the managment support team tcook@apple.com and that didn't get me anywhere. I was told that Apple Care only supports the hardware and not the Apple OS that is software. Yet they could not reproduce the error on any other machine. I gave up around Sierra and would just keep phoneing in every 3-4 weeks to keep the case open. They kept on saying it was in Engineering and they were still looking for a solution. When my AppleCare ran out, the case suddenly was marked as Closed and they wouldn't open it unless I gave my credit card and they could bill me for it.

    You are stuck with the BS burocracy called Apple where you are just a number and they really don't care to fix your issue as they say it's software when likely it is a hardware issue of some parts are far enough out of spec that the software has an issue. It will never get fixed and your just going to have to live with it until you decide to either repalce your hardware with a new Mac of some form, or go to a different hardware platform.
     
  15. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #15
    ^ This pretty much sums it up!
     
  16. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Cleveland, OH
    #16
    I appreciate the post. I'm seriously at an impasse. I posted a poll here (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/facetime-on-imac-pro-poll.2113176/) but there aren't many votes.

    Regardless - I have a new iMac Pro whose FaceTime is worthless. It was honestly a feature that drew to this new iMac because of the 1080p camera (I use FT for family quite a bit and Skype for business).

    Do I wait this out? Ask Microcenter to return it - AGAIN? (doubtful they would, I'm 60 days past purchase date)

    File a lawsuit? Go back through the AppleCare process only to have no resolve?

    This is nuts...

    - The Apple Store has told me they won't exchange it because I didn't purchase it from them.
    - AppleCare phone support has told me "Engineering is working on it" but have no timeline to resolve. And they also will not refund or exchange it.

    Any thoughts? Anyone else having this problem with FT on their iMac Pro?
     
  17. Photios macrumors member

    Photios

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    #17
    I just received my iMac Pro, base model, and was anxious to test FaceTime after reading your post. I initiated a FaceTime call to my wife's iPhone 6, and everything worked as normal. I have not tried to FT other computers, or other phones, or... to receive calls from others, however, my initial test was a success.

    So sorry you are having such troubles. What a nightmare!

    I wish you the best!
     
  18. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Cleveland, OH
    #18
    Awesome. Seriously glad yours works. I think I need to try to return to Microcenter. Who knows, maybe it was just a bad batch? Let me know if your stays the course!
    --- Post Merged, Apr 6, 2018 ---
    Also @Photios
    I forgot to ask. When you tested FT with your wife - were you both on the same network? My FT works when devices are on the same network.

    However, if I try to use FT when the devices are not on the same network, it does NOT work. Eg. iMac Pro on home wifi or ethernet and iPhone on LTE.

    In the above example, my iMac Pro will only show what its own camera sees but the mobile device works appropriately.
     
  19. Photios macrumors member

    Photios

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    #19
    When I facetimed her, I was at my downtown office, and she was at home.
     
  20. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Cleveland, OH
    #20
    Thanks Photios. This keeps leading me to believe there was an 'early' batch of iMac Pros with this issue since I've tried:

    - different user IDs (mine, my wife's, Apple Store employees),
    - different but all early production iMPs
    - different networks (home wifi, Apple Store wifi, LTE with AT&T and Verizon, direct to modem, etc)
    - different Admin priveleges (standard with Admin)
    - different boot modes (Safe vs Standard boot)
    - different methods of FT calling (Apple ID vs phone number, iMP places call first vs other device placing call)

    I appreciate the response
     
  21. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #21
    ysuee, I will not have a chance to test out FT on my iMac Pro until Monday, but will do so at that time. I’ll let you know how it goes.
     
  22. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Cleveland, OH
    #22
    Bryan - thanks for letting me know how it goes.

    Thought I'd give everyone and update.

    I went to the Cleveland Microcenter to return the iMac Pro again - and they returned it again. (yep!)

    Before I left, I asked if I could "test FaceTime here in the store". They obliged, and sure enough FaceTime failed. "That's really strange...." were the responses. Then I asked if I could "test FaceTime on the store demo unit" - again. Failed. I even had my wife login with her account to show that it wasn't a userid issue.

    [Side note - that brings the total number of base iMac Pro's I've tested to 5 - with FaceTime failing on each]

    "We're guessing you just want to return this?" they asked. "I think I'll have to unless I'm missing something."

    Finally, the tech said he was going to 'check in the back' because an iMac Pro was recently returned (it was my original one) and they had reformatted it with internet restore.

    I laughed when they brought it out because I could see that it was indeed the one I had returned the week before (I had the serial number written down to verify).

    Oddly enough - on the iMac Pro that was reformatted & restored - FaceTime worked.o_O

    I was stunned and very curious. "Ok, how was this restored?"

    The tech who brought it out said that he couldn't get the GUI version of Disk Utility to work so he used terminal to erase and repartition.

    The real kicker - because I must be a glutton for punishment I opted to go home with the new iMac Pro they handed me (instead of taking the one they reformatted) so that I could reformat and restore myself. I figured I better know how to do it myself in case I ever need to.

    After I reformatted (with Terminal) and ran the internet restore, FaceTime did NOT work. :eek:

    Oh well. I tried.
     
  23. powerslave65 macrumors 6502

    powerslave65

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    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks CA
    #23
    I have some interesting news to add to the mystery. My iMac Pro was exhibiting the same symptoms and I created a new test user with admin privileges. I did not log in to iCloud and only logged into the FaceTime app. Low and behold it worked. So clearly there is nothing wrong with my iMac Pro's hardware, but there is something in my user profile, or iCloud account it does not like. Whatever fix lies ahead it most certainly does not involve returning a perfectly good iMac Pro. TBC...
     
  24. ysuee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Good info...

    I did try that on the original one but haven’t on the latest...

    I even created a new user account and set it up as an admin on my last iMP but no changes (however, I logged into iCloud)

    Stay tuned
     
  25. powerslave65, Apr 9, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018

    powerslave65 macrumors 6502

    powerslave65

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    #25
    I have a feeling it's a T2 security plus an iCloud naming black hole that's the issue. The trick is to find the naming and account setups for one that is functioning normally and that will probably shed more light. Anybody here have one that works that can share some setup info? Particularly how many iCloud email accounts do you have?
    How may usernames do you have for iCloud? Is your username your email address or a separate name? I will think of more later. Then again maybe not right? (-:
     

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