11/03 Update below. This post was originally published on October 31
iOS 16 continues to cause problems for iPhone owners, despite receiving four updates in just six weeks of release. And now the latest update has introduced another significant issue.
Users are reporting that iOS 16.1, released last week, is causing iPhones to disconnect frequently from WiFi, and frustration levels are reaching boiling point.
First spotted by MacRumors, iPhone owners are taking to Reddit, Twitter, and the Apple Support community forums to complain about the problem, which can cause iPhones to disconnect from WiFi as frequently as every few seconds.
“It’s driving me crazy,” tweets one user, with criticism of Apple and iOS 16 consistently being among the highest–ranked comments. Others are losing patience over the ongoing instability of iOS 16. Especially given the potentially significant data charges that being forced onto cellular can cause.
Other than updating to iOS 16.1, there appears to be no obvious trigger for the problem. Affected users report WiFi disconnecting when their iPhones are in use and others when their phones are in standby or charging overnight.
There is also no consistent fix. One user says that switching off Location Services for Networking & Wireless solved the problem (Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services). Still, it has not worked for others, and even a complete reset of network settings appears to make no difference.
11/02 Update: a further problem with iOS 16 has surfaced in Apple’s Accessibility service. Uncovered by AppleVis, some users are reporting a bug in VoiceOver which results in calls to random contacts being called from the user’s contact list.
“Opening the phone app, and going into recent calls, I used to flick, search for the person who called me, and double tap to call them back,” explains poster Ambro. “Starting from iOS 16 VoiceOver calls a random person, instead of the person I have chosen… I understand that this problem occurs randomly, but I ask you to please investigate because it is serious and embarrassing.”
Ambro follows up to say Apple confirmed that it is investigating the issue. In the meantime, multiple users report the same issue, some having suffered from it since iOS 15. At this stage, it is unclear how widespread it is or when it first appeared, but comments mention that this has happened multiple times since upgrading to iOS 16.1.
A temporary workaround has been suggested by poster tripolice: “Tap and hold, or triple tap, the person you want to call from the Recent Call list. There you may varify whether the right entry is on the screen and initiate the call from there.”
11/03 Update: a further issue is now being reported for iOS 16 updaters. Spotted by AppleInsider, a number of iPhone users claim that Face ID is not working after updating to iOS 16.
[Note: those upgrading from iOS 15 to iOS 16 are also reporting the problem. When you do this, you will be upgraded to the latest version of iOS 16 (which is currently iOS 16.1), despite the update being labelled as ‘iOS 16’.]
The issue was first flagged on Reddit more than two months ago, but more reports are coming in since iOS 16.1 was released one week ago. The iPhone 13 Pro Max appears to be impacted more than other models, with affected users seeing either ‘Face ID Is Not Available, try setting up Face ID later’ or instructions to adjust the position of your face, regardless of correct placement.
The issue was also flagged on the Apple Support Community, where the user describes the problem as follows:
“I updated to 16.1 on Monday and today my Face ID is no longer working, rebooted, cleared Face ID and now I cannot register a Face ID. I am able to place my face in the square but it tells me to place iPhone lower or higher. I tried adjusting the iPhone to no avail.”
In response, a further 21 users signalled ‘I have this question too’.
Apple’s Face ID support page offers some rudimenary suggestions (restart your iPhone, check your camera is not covered/your face isn’t blocked, etc) but none of these options have worked. One user reports that Apple technical support was able to fix the issue with a remote diagnostics check, but they were also recommended to bring the device to an Apple Store for checkup.
At the time of this update, Apple has not acknowledged the problem nor any of the other issues flagged in this post, despite repeated requests. This follows a pattern in recent years where the company has tended to push fixes (not always included in the release notes) without prior acknowledgement of their existence.
Either way, add this to a long list of issues that has accompanied a rocky iOS 16 launch.
At this stage, it remains unclear how widespread the issue is, but there is enough activity across social media and Apple’s forum to suggest a fix is needed ASAP. Adding to the problem, iOS 16.1 is a feature-packed release with over 20 security patches, making it a compelling update.
That said, for anyone still running iOS 15, the newly released iOS 15.7.1 contains the same critical patches and is significantly more stable. I have contacted Apple about these discoveries and will update this article if/when I receive a response.
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