Apple iPhone 5s Having Problems: iOS 7.0.3 May Fix Blue Screen Of Death, Among Other Issues

  on

Every new hardware or software release comes with its fair share of problems, and unfortunately, iOS 7 and the new iPhone 5s are no different. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) prides itself on the stability of its mobile ecosystem, but unfortunately, iOS 7.0.3 can't come fast enough as iPhone 5s owners are reporting several major issues with their new iPhones, including one particularly ironic problem that used to be synonymous with Microsoft and its Windows platform: Many know of this particular glitch as “The Blue Screen Of Death.”

Though the issue is likely a bug within iOS 7, or even iOS 7.0.2, which is when many users first started experiencing the problems. According to users experiencing the issues, the Blue Screen of Death, which then leads to a sudden reboot of the phone, appears to be localized to the iPhone 5s may be stemming from the iWork applications from Apple, which became free apps with all new iOS devices purchased after the release of iOS 7. Many of these same iPhone 5s users also posted videos on YouTube to demonstrate how the Blue Screen of Death would take effect when multitasking between apps. Check out this embedded video below, which illustrates the Blue Screen of Death issue starting at around the 25-second mark.

Unfortunately, the Blue Screen of Death isn’t the only problem iPhone 5s owners are experiencing. Besides the iMessage bug and battery life issues affecting iOS 7 (both those links offer a myriad of solutions), iPhone 5s users are also seeing their apps crash twice as often as other iPhone models, including the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c. San Francisco-based Crittercism believes the reason is because the iPhone 5s is a completely new piece of hardware with 64-bit architecture, compared to the 32-bit architecture of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5.

Apple is likely to address these Blue Screen of Death problems, among other bugs and glitches, in the upcoming iOS 7.0.3 update. Since the public release date of iOS 7 on Sept. 18, Apple has already issued two updates to its new mobile operating system: The first iOS 7 update arrived on Sept. 20, in time for the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c, and Apple released iOS 7.0.2 on Sept. 26. The iOS 7.0.2 update fixed a troubling lockscreen bypass bug, but it did not address the Blue Screen of Death problems. Considering the growing number of complaints from new iPhone 5s owners this week, as well the two weeks it's been since the iOS 7.0.2 update, we expect Apple to release iOS 7.0.3 within the next two weeks. If not, Apple will almost definitely release iOS 7.0.3 during or before the launch of OS X Mavericks in late October, or before the expected Nov. 1 release date for both the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2. But considering how Apple is already aware of these problems, the company will likely release fixes within iOS 7.0.3 sooner rather than later.

“The good news is that Apple is certainly aware of issues,” Crittercism CEO Andrew Levy told AllThingsD. “They’ve pushed out two iOS updates for iOS 7 … Apple is doing a really good job of addressing these issues as they come up.”

Apple iOS 7, and the current version iOS 7.0.2, is compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5c and 5s, the iPad 2, 3 and 4, and the fifth-generation iPod Touch. Before the upcoming release of iOS 7.0.3., learn more about iOS 7 by checking out our photographic list of 21 iOS 7 features and the 15 ways to improve battery life on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 7.

About The iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s is not immune to its problems and glitches, but when it's working, critics agree it's one of the very best phones on the market right now.

The iPhone 5s looks identical to last year’s iPhone 5, which was the first major iPhone redesign thanks to its thinner and lighter form factor and larger 4-inch screen. This year’s “S” upgrade isn’t all about looks, however, even though the new color options are driving some customers insane; with the 5s, Apple paid special attention to the phone’s insides -- cranking up the processor power, adding 64-bit support to make it future-proof, and even implementing a couple of brilliantly subtle features to make it stand out. Paired with iOS 7, the iPhone 5s is the nimble next-generation iPhone experience fans were hoping for (though the iPhone 5c is no slouch, either).

There are two major cosmetic differences between the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5: The single, circular flash from the iPhone 5 is now a pill-shaped dual-LED flash, which is built with white and amber LEDs for greater color accuracy, especially for skin tones; and the iPhone 5s is also sold in three colors, including the same silver-on-white theme as the iPhone 5, as well as white-on-gold and space grey-on-black, which replaces the easily scratchable slate-on-black option from the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5s is powered by Apple’s new dual-core A7 SoC, which boasts speeds up to two times faster than the iPhone 5 in both computational and graphics performance. But even more impressive than its architecture, which is built on “billions of transistors,” is the fact that iPhone 5s is the world’s first smartphone built for 64-bit. It may not mean much right now, but the A7 chip provides opportunities for developers to build desktop-class applications for iPhone, which can be a real game-changer.

The iPhone 5s also features a new iSight camera, which is the star of the show on the 5s besides the fingerprint sensor (more on that in a bit). Apple has made substantial improvements to the camera thanks to a 15 percent larger sensor and wider f/2.2 aperture to let in more light. The iPhone 5s features the same 8-megapixels, but thanks to the new dual-LED solution, the iPhone 5s can adjust its flash intensity and color temperature based on subjects in the picture, using more than 1,000 combinations to ensure near-perfect lighting for every photo. Photos look much clearer and more accurate than those taken with an iPhone 5.

The new iSight camera is good at photos, especially with the 5s-exclusive “burst mode” that captures 10 photos per second and intelligently chooses the best individual shots, but it’s even better at video. Auto image stabilization and live video zoom (up to 3x) would be enough for most smartphones, but Apple also introduced a fun slow-motion video setting, which records video at a hyperrealistic 120 frames per second at 720p to make the final video – slowed down at quarter speed – look particularly dramatic. Users will have a lot of fun with this slow-motion video camera; we’ve uploaded two videos we shot here at IBTimes HQ in New York, and we’ve also attached a fun co-worker feud shot in slow-mo.

Now, about that fingerprint sensor. Touch ID is 170 microns thin, senses 550 ppi, and can scan one's sub-epidermal skin layers with 360-degree readability. The entire apparatus within the iPhone 5s contains a tactile switch, Touch ID sensor, a stainless-steel detection ring and a laser-cut sapphire crystal, which makes it unscratchable. Touch ID can also handle multiple fingerprints too -- up to five individual prints -- so you can grant access to your iPhone 5S to only certain people.

Touch ID is easy to set up: Under one’s Settings in iOS 7, users can program any finger or thumb (or other appendage, we’re not judging) by repeatedly lifting and placing their print on the home button; the iPhone 5s vibrates when it’s time to lift your finger. As the iPhone 5s Touch ID reads your fingerprint, a fingerprint graphic on the iPhone progressively changes to red. And once Touch ID is all set up, users can purchase iTunes or App Store content, as well as unlock their iPhone 5s units without a passcode, simply by touching the home button.

Most consumers need not worry about their fingerprints being stolen from their phone. The iPhone 5s physically can’t communicate the fingerprint data to other parts of the device or the cloud; the section responsible for housing the fingerprint data in the iPhone 5s simply tells the other half of the processor “yes” or “no” depending on whether or not the sensor could authenticate one’s identity. The system is secure, and it also works incredibly fast: By pressing the home button to activate the phone and holding your thumb in place, Touch ID works almost instantly; it’s tough to go back to the old “Swipe to Unlock” after experiencing Touch ID.

For more on the iPhone 5s, check out our full review of the seventh-generation smartphone from Apple.

Follow Dave Smith on Twitter

Join the Discussion