Sound Issues / Audio Switching Bug, & more
This a huge bug. There are 1000's of people reporting it on Apple Support, Apple Community, 3rd party blog sites, tech sites, IT sites, and iPhone review/support sites like this one. Some people have been living with the problem for a couple years, others a few months. I've been dealing with it for 6 months & it makes the phone all but useless.
Its a sound issue/notification problem/audio switching bug that applies to all apps & the phone in general, not just with text messaging or a single app. So far there has been no official acknowledgement or fix from Apple for the last 3-4 years. It is really ridiculous. So many people go through great lengths to describe, document, reproduce, and communicate this problem. And the answers are mostly half baked cookie cutter answers, generic reset your settings, restore your phone, go back to factory settings, or some wild hair-brain idea...
Its an insult to people, especially those who genuinely have researched the problem, who have spent considerable time on this issue, and have been gullible enough to try all the useless suggestions out there, and waste 10s/100s of hours chasing their tails.
A few people have actually spent the time & effort to research, duplicate, or test the problem. I commend those folks for not mailing it in. But unfortunately, everything found so far appears to be only temporary, as the iPhone or iPad just do it again, usually within a few minutes or hours.
Its extremely maddening & frustrating because the issue comes & goes intermittently, changes behavior, on a sporadic basis, and when the sound goes out, so does the vibrator unit. It never fails when you're expecting an important call or text, the issue is active and your phone is silent and you miss the call/text. I can't tell how many calls/texts/emails/notifications I have missed from my kids, family, friends, & work because of this issue over the last 6 months.
In the professional world, execs are talking about dropping the iPhone & going with Galaxy or some other more reliable phone. Because people just can't have their phone constantly not ringing or notifying in important situations..!
Plus a big selling feature of the iPhone was the built in iPod, which you also cannot hear or use when the issue is manifesting itself, unless only on headphones.
It is ludicrous that this issue has been going on for years going back several OS's, yet it remains here in iOS 7.1.1 without a formal fix.
In a nutshell it's exactly like tons of users have been saying on a ton of different websites, including Apple's. The volume bar disappears and the sound is muted for some things, but not others, and it affects the onboard speaker/vibrator, but not the headphones. Head phones always seems to be unaffected. Sometimes the phone rings correctly, but all the other notifications are silent & do not vibrate. Other times its the exact opposite, no ring, but notifications sound & vibrate. Sometimes your hear the text message sound, but not the FaceBook sound. It switches around on its own, in random combinations. It seems to be triggered into one state or another by anything switching the audio on of off, or from one source, to another, like from speaker to headphones, ear piece to speaker, answering a call, switching from on-board ear piece to speakers, etc.
With any of those types of triggers, the problem either comes into play, in one form or another, or goes away temporarily. Its completely unpredictable as to whether an audio trigger or switching condition will cause the issue to happen, or make it go away. Its so frustrating & I have tried everything.
Here are things I have tried, some of which worked temporarily, but none of them worked permanently. The problem still continues even today. Items with (*) indicate they did temporarily correct the problem, but not long after that, the problem just happens again.
-Reset all settings
-Restore phone to backup
-Restore phone to factory & resync
-Forced app/ram clear
-Plugging in & pulling out of docking station or USB power cable*
-Clean dock connector out with an old toothbrush with isopropyl alcohol on it*
-Moving the side silence switch back & forth*
-When a call comes in, answer it, and manually switch between on-board ear pience, speaker, & headphones*
-If you use earphones, plug in and then remove it again. With the earphone removed, try increasing/decreasing th volume. Does the volume HUD say Ringtone (headset)? If yes, the iPhone is till thinking that the earphones are plugged in. If not, the speaker should be working now*
-Take a brush and dust off the dock connector. This region, which lies just close to the speakers, can accumulate a bit of a dust. With time, the dust becomes dense enough to actually trick the software into thinking that the iPhone is docked*
-You can also tap (a little strongly) right of the home screen. Right beneath this casing is the speaker connections. Something might have loosened up here. Tapping doesn’t guarantee a working solution but it’s known to fix things a few times*
-At a slightly advanced level you might want to take a sharp object – like a pin – and clear out the dust over the dock connector.
-Use the pin to clear out – very carefully – dust in the headphone port. Dust within the port can also cause sound problems
-Took a thin piece of stiff cardboard & ran it inside along the docking connector on the phone*
-Find an app that controls mute/unmute/volume, where after an iOS7x.x update, the settings were changed by the update, and has audio muted or manipulated different than what you set the phone for. You have to through app-by-app and check audio settihngs, like in Garage Band, Guitar/Piano/Drum/Band apps, etc. Fix the setting, and sound returns*
And the list goes on & on, and there are more wives tails & urban legends that claim to be fixes, many of which are on YouTube, but I have yet to find any one of them that has a real and actual permanent solution. So everything I mention above that worked, is only temporary & is noted with an (*).
None of the restore/reset/reboot solutions suggested worked at all. Folks should stop suggesting this unless they have actually experienced the issue, reproduced it, and verified it worked. Because in the 6 months I have been having the issue, and have been talking/chatting/messaging a bunch of people about it, not one of them reported that restore/reset/reboot fixed the issue. Unfortunately, that appears to be catch all answer Apple 'genius' go with, rather than actually spend the time & effort to research &/or actually look at the issue for real, in detail.
You can tell its the phone getting confused about audio switching & it ends up muting the wrong thing. To prove it, you can enable 'Assistive Touch' in >General Settings > Accessibility, and you will be able to see the mute/unmute/volume level status & it will be the opposite, or at minimum different, than what you set the phone to do. You can have the silence switch off (unmute), yet go to Assistive Tough, and it shows muted, and vice-versa.The phone is clearly getting confused when switching audio. And is in a conflicted state. Something is triggering this, and the audio switching/detection software is poorly written & gets confused easy.
There is also some kind of issue with iOS7x.x where after the OS is updated, many settings within the phone and within apps get changed. This is a HUGE problem. Because a ton of the problems people are reporting, including in this forum, are caused by a changed setting or settings, deep down somewhere in the phone, General Settings, Notification Center, or within many app configurations.
We are chasing our tails & wasting tons of our time because Apple did not do a good or thorough job checking & testing the build while in beta, before they released it. I've been an iPhone person since the beginning on day one with an original iPhone. I've never scene an iOS this bad or with this many bugs, or this unstable, except maybe the very first release of iOS1. Things have gone down hill considerably. iOS 6 was way better, worked better, more features, was faster, looked better, was more stable, and you could tell what the icons were & could read the screen without being blinded by all white screen with little blue stick icons. The Fischer-Price look & feel of iOS7 is child-like & pis-poor. Operates like it as well.
On top of the audio switching bug, which turns off sound & vibrations for calls, texts, emails, & other notifications, in an intermittent & unpredictable way...there also is:
-iOS updates changing settings sporadically throughout the phone & apps, especially in audio and notifications.
-Maps don't work correctly, ever have since Apple dropped Google Maps, it freezes up, shows incorrect info, and/or won't track your route. Especially when you need them most, on the road...
-Auto-correct/spell check has thoroughly lost its mind. Some of the most random, esoteric, & obtuse words it comes up with, is just unbelievably retarded & no where near the source word typed. Just use a standard Webster dictionary file & stop trying to be fancy. And the detection code for identifying & matching words is horrible. Its wrong 25-50% of the time. The word detection code also triggers an incorrect spelling response on correctly spelled words, that later it finds is correct...??? And the 3-word auto-correct 'feature' is horrible & needs to be turned off. It's bad enough when it screws up the word you're typing, but when it goes back and changes the last 3 words, two of which were correct, into a never used obtuse phrase of some sort, it is extremely maddening! Now you gotta retype the two correct words & the 3rd you were working on, all over again, which still has a highly probable chance of just do it again...arrrggghh!
NOTE: And to all the people who's 'solution' is to simply turn off the feature because it doesn't work right... That is not a real solution. Its like a software programmer who when bugs are reported, just deletes the feature, and thinks its a bug fix. Not a solution at all. If you advertise the feature, and get sales from those features, and charge a premium for the product, then those features better work. Otherwise when you add up all the things not only do not work, but also cause you grief & harm, affects your family and work, because it doesn't work correctly, the price & the amount of sales will drop. You cannot justify charging $400-$800 for a brick, that is supposed to be the world's greatest phone with transcendent technology, when the thing never works and has so much bugs in such critical areas, like being a phone, notifications for text/email, maps, stability, usability, that causes so much lost time & headaches, making folks redo so much work & chase their tails for months, years, trying to deal with all these bugs.
-Instability & crashing, especially FaceBook & Safari. Happens way too often, way too much.
-App 'refreshing' themselves with hot switching between apps or returning from a locked screen. This one pisses off more people than you know. You type a long entry in Safari (just like I am doing now), and you have to answer the phone, use the restroom, or something urgent comes up, and you have to switch apps or put the phone down. When you come back or switch back, to your horror, you just sit there helplessly as the app refreshes itself when it is not supposed, and loses all your work. So many hours are lost because of this one. Again FaceBook & Safari are the worst offenders. FB, drops whatever you were doing, where ever you were at, and returns to your news reel, without being told to do so. Safari just refreshes the webpage. However, both lose all your work...
There are so many more bugs...but this post will turn into a novel and take too long...
Right now, the sound issue, audio switching bug that many have reported over the last few years deserves more than the stock 'genius' answer to restore/reset/reboot the phone.
Does anyone have anything real & concrete out there, other than the solutions I listed? It would be very helpful if this problem has actually been fixed or someone has found a real PERMANENT solution.