Other Can you solve the auto-lock mystery?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by heycal, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. heycal macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2013
    I've got an appointment at the Genius Bar on Wednesday, but I figure I'll throw this out to the in-house experts in the meantime to see what you think. Here is my sad story:

    For the last few years, I had an iphone 6 with 16GB storage, always updating to the latest software when it came in. For the last year or so, every once in a blue moon -- and I'm talking like 1 time out 100 -- my autolock, set on one minute where I like it, would not engage after I sent a text. The screen just stayed on and on until I actively turned it off. I contacted Apple support a few months ago about this problem, and their best guess was that since my phone was near maxed out on storage, strange things were happening.

    So I gave up on the problem and tried to move on with my life. Two weeks ago, I bought an iphone 8 with 256GB storage. I took it home and restored from backup, and looked forward to a perfectly working new phone. Only I didn't have one. Once again, maybe 1% of the time, my screen stayed on after I sent a text. I called Apple support, and they speculated my restore had brought over old bugs and sugggested I set up as new, with no restore from backup.

    So I set up as new. Same problem. I call back Apple support and told them. They theorized since I set up my iphone as new from the phone itself instead of plugging into the computer and doing it through iTunes, I had brought back the same problems. They then walked me through the lengthy process of setting up as new once more, this time through itunes. We synced up contacts and such, and reloaded apps from the cloud or whatever, and they said I should be good to go.

    I wasn't. The problem returned. I called back Apple Support, who had no real answers, and I then decided "the hell with this device. Maybe it's defective. I'm taking it back to Best Buy and getting an entirely new one". A true fresh start. So that is what I did. I took home my second new iphone 8, set up as new via itunes and all that tedious stuff, again avoided any "restore from backup", and figured I was problem free.

    I wasn't. A few days later, the problem resurfaced. It has now followed me to a third device. The only difference now is that for the first time I noticed the screen remaining on after an incoming text. All previous times, I only noticed the problem on outgoing texts. (I've never noticed this problem on anything other than text messages.) This time I didn't even bother to call Apple Support, but set up an appointment at the Genius bar for Wednesday June 13.

    So there you have it. A maddening problem, one made more maddening by the fact that it happens so rarely and unpredictably. I can exchange two hundred texts over a few days and never have a problem. But sooner or later, the screen stays on until I turn it off. Then it's back to normal, until it no longer is...

    Anyone have any thoughts on this conundrum?
  2. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    In my opinion, you should file a bug report with Apple, along with asking to escalate the problem with a Senior Advisor.
  3. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2013
    I'll mention that to the genius bar folks. The last time I spoke to my friends at Apple Support, they suggested bringing the phone in. So I may not bother calling them again unless I have some reason to think they can solve the problem via phonecall.
  4. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    Yes, sounds more like an iOS issue.

    Perhaps one that nobody notices. Or nobody noticed that also would be inclined to report.

    Most phone users don’t hang out on forums. And most would never think to complain or report little glitches.

    My mother will have huge weird things going on. They may irritate her, but she just deals with them and figures that’s just the way things are. Until sometime she’ll hand me her phone to read something, and I ask why’s it doing this, and she says it always does that.

    Most people are like her. Just assume technology is pain and problematic. Until someone else says let me fix this.

    So very likely, others haven’t noticed and reported the problem.

    For me, I always set mine to auto lock at the shortest possible interval.

    That’s mostly so if I get distracted and set it down that the phone locks. Practically all the time, I hit the button to lock it when I’m done.

    So in my usage, I’d probably never see it happen.

    So definitely file it as a bug report.
  5. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    The hosts of the "Accidental Tech Podcast" had some weirdness with phones not sleeping when they should, and this was resolved by going to Settings/Messages and turning off "Raise to Listen."
  6. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2013
    I agree that most people don't notice such glitches, or care about them when they do. This one is tough to ignore though. Not only is the screen still on, distracting me if it's in view, it's presumably a major battery drain.

    I do see my "raise to listen" is on, though I've never sent or received an audio message. (Okay, once two years ago on my 6). I guess I'll switch it off and see if that solves the problem. One of the annoying aspects of this problem is that it is so intermittant, sometimes not happening for days on my new 8 and my previous 6, I may not know for some time whether anything fixes it.

    The one thing that I do differently that most users is use very large font so my ancient eyes can read messages without glasses. I don't see how that would matter, but you never know.
  7. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States

    Any accessibility settings you use will configure your phone in a less common state that would be less tested in the wild.

    Don’t know if it could be causing it.

    My grandmother uses that setting. I find it annoying. And theoretically, she should have better vision than me. I’m not exactly young either. My grandmother is barely old enough to be my mother (yep that family. Lol).

    But she doesn’t use auto lock. Her phone will sit there wide awake.
  8. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    iOS is far from perfect and has plenty of bugs. Apple 'geniuses' certainly aren't aware of every single one of them.

    My phone will sometimes unlock and stay unlocked in my pocket even though I am sure I locked it before.

    Too bad you went to all that trouble bug hunting for Apple. The iPhone experience will always have its quirks. Never expect perfection.
  9. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    I've come across this once in a rare while. Generally just attribute it to some weird glitches that software can have.
  10. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2013
    The accessibility/large text setting can be annoying for sure -- but not as annoying as hunting around for my glasses just so I can a text. It's also not as good as it used to be when I had my iphone 4. Back then, the larger font only appeared in fields that could support it well, like text messages. These days, it's applied to all sorts of fields and half the time it's bleeding off the screen and you can't see the full words or numbers.

    I think one of the reasons I was drawn to Apple was its supposed reputation for perfection. "It just works". And to some extent that was true when I got my first iphone, the 4. No problems at all. I thought "Great, despite the limited features and backwards technology compared to android, at least it works perfectly!" I also switched to Mac from windows computer around the same time, and have been very happy with that ever since.

    But when I went from the iphone 4 to the 6, I began having problems, and have ever since. I was hoping things would be different with my new 8, that maybe my particular 6 was a lemon and that my 8 would bring back the good old days of the basically glitch-free life I'd known with the 4, but it's not looking like it so far.

    Had I known starting with my 6 that I'd have so many problems, I might have stayed with Android. But I got suckered in by my hassle-free introduction to Apple with the iphone 4.
  11. minimo3 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2010
    This is similar to the copy and paste bug that’s been around since around iOS 9. Every so often when you copy it won’t go to the clipboard. When you paste you get the previously copied item. You have to copy a second time and it’ll work. I doubt they’ll ever fix it.
  12. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Does this happen when there are no other apps running in the background? I have at least one app (a game) that won't let autolock kick in (and it should) so I'm wondering if it's a possibility that an ill-coded app in the background could randomly affect autolock.
  13. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Same here, not sure if it only happens after sending texts, but every so often the screen won't turn itself off. Quite rare, but every so often it happens. No biggie.
  14. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2013
    No biggie? I guess I can imagine the Dalai Lama untroubled by a screen that won't turn off, glowing next to him for minutes or hours, draining his battery life, but it seems regular people might be bothered by it. Particularly on their fancy new phone that cost them $700.

    I'm not sure. I've never investigated that. I would assume other apps like weather or google have been opened before it happened and not actively shut down.
  15. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    I do understand about the possibility of either a bug, or a hardware fault (maybe)
    I don't think I would wait for "minutes or hours, draining my battery life"
    Why wouldn't you just turn the screen off manually?
  16. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2013
    I have. Not really the point though, is it? Plus, what if I wasn't around? What if I had left the room after sending a text? The screen stays on, the phone gets hotter and hotter, it explodes, sets the house on fire, burning embers set off the neighbor's house, and the next thing you know the whole village burns down and you'll be hearing all about it on CNN. What then???
  17. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    Point taken. But honestly unlikely.

    The first thing I do when I’m done using my phone is hit the lock button. It’s just automatic without even thinking.

    Usually, when I’m done doing something, it’s just going straight into my pocket. A lot could happen on a touch screen if put in your pocket unlocked. Who knows who I’d call or what I’d accidentally agree to on some website.

    It’s just press a button when I’m done. As automatic as when I’d close an old flip phone after ending a call.

    I do have the lock screen set to lock as soon as possible automatically. But honestly, I’m not waiting around that long before I put it in my pocket.

    I do occasionally leave it laying on the counter at a bar, and I’ll set it down while talking to someone. But, I usually still lock it, unless I’m waiting for a reply to a text or something.

    And yes, it’s safe for me to walk away from it. I could (and have) left a pile of money, my phone, and anything else there. Nobody touches my stuff. If you sit with me, you can leave anything there. It’ll be fine if we walk away. That’s another story.

    But, as for the lock screen, hitting the lock button is hardly any more inconvenient than anything else you just did on your phone.

    Honestly, the lock button bothers me less than the inconvenience of touching the screen to make things happen. I find texting more annoying than hitting the lock button.
  18. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2013
    Well, that's all well and good, and I'm glad your system work for you. I'd prefer not having to change my habits to work around a glitch in a brand new high-end phone.

    As for not touching your phone, I personally use Siri for the few tasks she can actually do well. With my 8, it doesn't even need to be plugged in, so I'll call to her from the couch "Hey, Siri, who won the basketball game last night?" and she'll respond with the results of some obscure WNBA game, if she even understands I'm asking a question about basketball in the first place. But at least I don't have to reach for the phone and handle it anymore for her to be of no real help 9 times out of 10.
  19. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Something like that is certainly an issue, but you have to factor in be context as well in the sense of how often it happens. In my case although I've come across it a number of times, if I average it out over the years I've had an iPhone it comes out to be on the order of once a year or so. I mean computers completely crash in the middle of someone doing something much more often than that on average, and we've been living with that kind of reality for decades now.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 11, 2018 ---
    Don't think much happens beyond the screen staying on and the battery getting used up somewhat faster than typical.
  20. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2013
    I do realize things crash, and nothing is perfect. Other occasional glitches I could live with, and I'm sure I already do. But this particular bug reminds one of the effects of terrorism: terrorists don't kill a lot of people, but the trauma they induce goes far beyond actual body count. I don't know about you guys, but I really don't like the idea of my phone staying on indefinitely even a few times a month, draining my battery, potentially compromising my privacy in certain situations, and at least once, preventing me from hearing an alert from a different incoming message from someone else because the previous message was still on the screen.
  21. Raist3001 macrumors 65816


    Mar 5, 2012
    Right behind you
    Wow...that's a bug? I have been blaming myself all these years for not properly copying text. I just had this happen on my iPad Pro yesterday. No real issue, just glad to know I can stop blaming myself :)

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