Why does 'slide to answer' not work all the time on iPhone 4

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mrochester, May 5, 2011.

  1. mrochester macrumors 68000

    Feb 8, 2009
    Hi all

    I've had 2 different iPhone 4s and I've always had this problem. I always keep my phone up to date. The issue is the 'slide to answer' button is incredibly unreliable causing me at times to miss calls because it doesn't work. Just now my phone was ringing and the 'slide to answer' was totally unresponsive until I pressed the home button, then I had to try sliding it a few times before it successfully answered.

    This last weekend my dad rang me and I couldn't answer the call; the 'slide to answer' button was happy to move precisely half way along before automatically springing back again even though I hadn't taken my finger off it.

    What's wrong with it? Its not that long ago since I last restored my phone afresh and yet it's still a problem.

    Has anyone got any idea how to fix it?


  2. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    I have seen similar issues where the slider will slide, but it won't "catch" at the end. It just slides back to the left. I find that this is caused my some issue with another app that is running or has been running my phone (often safari).

    When you see this, you might try rebooting your phone, or double clicking the home button and killing off all of the programs that are listed. Not all of these are still running, and I know it shouldn't matter, but it always seems to address these types of issues for me. It works wonders for bluetooth connectivity issues in the car also.

    If you don't know how to kill off the recent programs, it is pretty easy. From the home screen, just double click the home button and the screen should fade out and you should see one row of icons at the bottom. Hold your finger on the left most icon until it starts to wiggle, and you see a red "minus" on each icon. Now press the red minus on each icon until they are all gone. Press the home button when you are done and you should be all set.

    If that doesn't work, then just reboot the phone (hold the home and sleep buttons in at the same time until the red "slide to power off" slider comes up. Slide the slider and it will turn off. Wait a few seconds, and then press the sleep button again to turn it back on again...

    Note that this won't help you with the missed call, but it should help for the next time...
  3. Tiptizzle macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2011
    You only have to hold the sleep button to get the power off slider.
  4. mrochester thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 8, 2009
    Haha yeah, I know how to exit apps from the app switcher tray and reboot the phone, but thanks anyway. What's most baffling is why Apple haven't fixed this yet! Luckily I don't get many calls but it is incredibly frustrating and annoying when it does happen. Apple seem to have become very slap dash lately (and sadly).
  5. ewplayer3 macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2011
    I think I may be on to a theory about this. I have had this issue with both my iPhone 3G and my iP4. Tell me, when this is occuring, is the phone in your pocket with the screen facing your leg and, if not, is it in a location where the screen is in contact with a conductive material when the phone starts to ring?

    Assuming my theory pans out, this may not be a "fixable" issue.
  6. mrochester thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 8, 2009
    It's typically in my pocket with the screen facing my leg. Just now my phone was lying face up on a table when a text came in. It wouldn't slide to unlock until I had pressed the home button.
  7. ewplayer3, May 5, 2011
    Last edited: May 5, 2011

    ewplayer3 macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2011
    Well, that kind of blows a hole in my theory. I wondered if maybe it could be either the conductivity of your leg or possibly a static build-up on the capacitive touch-screen causing a phantom touch on the screen when the display turns on, thus throwing off the calibration of the screen and preventing the slider from moving across. I'm at a loss to explain how pressing the home button would fix that though.

    Oh wait. Maybe it hasn't been disproven yet. Were you in a cool room with low humidity when that text came? A static buildup may not be out of the question; especially if you have a screen protector on the phone.
  8. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    I am a little puzzled they haven't fixed this as well. I have been unable to slide the slider to answer calls, and it hasn't helped to press either the home or power button. It always works fine a minute later. That has happened for me on iOS 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3.
  9. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    I guess I never noticed that - I thought you had to hold both...
  10. Redfanix macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2009
    Bratislava, Slovakia
    Same problem

    i have the same problem.. randomly i cannot "slide to answer" on my iP4.. on my old 3GS it has never happend... bud now twice a day a cannot answer the call because of this... any solution???
  11. Apple 26.2 macrumors 6502a

    Apple 26.2

    Jan 1, 2011
    What up, 212?!
    Might be an iOS thing... it happened on my original iPhone, currently occurs on my 4 and I've seen it happen on the 3 & 3GS.

    Granted, it doesn't always happen, but enough for it to be a nuisance.
  12. Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Mine will do it sporadically, but will fix itself if I press the power button once to lock the screen and then try it again.
  13. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    It's more than likely a software issue. Maybe it happens so randomly that Apple just haven't found the series of events that leads to it yet. If you can't replicate it reliably then you can't easily find the fix.
  14. JASApplications macrumors 65816

    Nov 24, 2010
    Scarborough, United Kingdom
    I have the same problem on my 3Gs. When I try and 'slide to unlock' it only gets halfway along and slides back to the start.
  15. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    If rebooting doesn't work, do a restore. Shouldn't be a hardware issue or else your whole bottom part of the iPhone wouldn't work.
  16. ewplayer3 macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2011
    I'm sorry, but I've got $50 on a hardware.... well.... I'll call it a flaw, but it's not really; it's more the nature of the beast.

    I've always been able to recreate this under the same set of circumstances on both iPhones I've owned and my Moto Droid. This has always happened to me during an incoming call while the phone is in my pocket with the screen facing my leg. I've never been able to recreate it any other time. Series of events that cause this based on my theory and testing:

    1: The phone is in my pocket
    2: Incoming call activates the screen
    3: Active screen is instantly in contact with conductive material (my leg) and detects it as the entire screen being touched
    4: I pull the phone out of my pocket and the slider isn't functioning correctly.

    My guess is that when the screen is activating, the instant contact with my leg is causing a situational error with the... well, whatever Apple calls its BIOS on these devices... in which the phone hardware has no idea how to feed the instant input from the screen to iOS and therefore stops functioning correctly until a reset on the capacitive touchscreen has been done -- aka, turning the screen off and then back on.

    It's really just a theory, but based on the reliablity of the recreation, it seems pretty solid.
  17. SAD*FACED*CLOWN macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2010
    Houston, TX
    this is a bug...It happens to me not just when I'm trying to answer a call but at toatally random times when I'm just trying to unlock it started with 4.3 for me
  18. decafjava macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    Hmm I also have a theory. Happens to me, I keep my iphone either in my left pant or jacket pocket. If I pull it out with my left hand and slide it with my left thumb it happens sometimes. If I hold it in my left hand and use my right index finger to slide it it never happens. I think my thumb just doesn't slide far enough sometimes?
  19. Givmeabrek macrumors 68040


    Apr 20, 2009
    Yup, I've had that happen. I always just thought it was my thumb not going straight across or maybe not far enough. Never a problem with my index finger. I blame my finger more than anything. :)
  20. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    I would agree with your theory, I use an otter box with the clip on my belt and don't have the problem, but I did see it once before getting the case.
  21. rbtrbtrbt macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2011
    Happens to me too, but I have a leather "blackberry style" slide out cover (like a pocket case) so there is no screen contact with my leg ever, and it has happened on my desk too in the case. It is sporadic, and doesnt occur all the time but probably once every couple of days. Frustrating as I am a doc and I have lost urgent calls!!!
  22. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    The way I have solved this issue is when I get a call and the "Slide to Answer" slider won't connect, I press the Sleep/wake button once to mute the ringing (but the call is still active), then for some reason the Slider starts working.

    Its a weird bug that has been around since my first iPhone, and like others have said, its strange that Apple hasn't fixed this bug yet, and I have reported every time it occurs for me.
  23. Lunitik007 macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2008
    Same here on IP4, sometimes "slide to answer" is just dead...
    But when I press sleep button, then home button slider starts to move - strange :eek:
    Also this was happening earlier on my :apple:3G.
  24. Lerxst Guest

    Sep 8, 2011
    WOW, I just googled "iPhone 4 slide to unlock issues" and I found this thread. I also started a thread here regarding the same problem. Today alone my slide to answer and unlock failed no less than 5 or 6 times.

    Apple.......PLEASE try and address this, please.


    Never occurred on any other iOS device we currently or previously own(ed). Only happens on the iPhone 4, for us at least.
  25. OMGbrandon macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2010
    Miami, FL
    Most likely the accelometer gets weird and that happens

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