My iPhone 5 Issues

I love my iPhone to death. Behind my journals I can confidently say that if my apartment caught on fire my phone would be the second thing I would go in and retrieve. Because I prize my little piece of communication technology so much I do get a little distressed when it doesn’t give me optimal performance. Because I have owned my iPhone 5 for well over a year now I am currently experiencing a few technical difficulties with it.

Now I am the type of person who immediately turns to Google when I encounter a problem and simply type in my issue. More often than not the solution is formatted out in a neatly numbered list and I just follow the instructions and go on my way. However, these issues that I am currently experiencing don’t have clear cut Google answers directly relevant to my phone issues. My goal tonight is to address them on here and hopefully get some feedback from my dedicated readers. Those who can offer me some helpful advice will surely get a mention in an upcoming post.

Even when my iPhone acts up I still love it.

Even when my iPhone acts up I still love it.

I Need a Charge! – During Christmas my phone wouldn’t charge. I would plug in my charger to my phone and that faithful lightning symbol right next to the battery icon would fail to appear. I ran through my parents’ house trying every single outlet throughout their three stories. I flip flopped the piece of the charger that goes into the phone. I flip flopped the piece that plugs into the outlet. Nothing worked. I finally went out and just purchased a new charger. When that didn’t work either I thought the Spokane electricity just didn’t like my Missoula phone.

For whatever reason after my phone had been dead for about fifteen minutes it came back to life and started charging again. Over the next couple days my phone would sometimes charge and sometimes it wouldn’t charge. The inconsistency drove me nuts. When I returned to Missoula my phone seemed to charge each time I plugged it in. Then in about the middle of January I started to experience the same problem again. Over the course of a few days it would go back and forth between charging and not charging. It snapped out of that phase and started charging normally again until this past weekend. Once again I am dealing with either an iPhone or a charger (or both) that prefers to take time off and leave me without access to texting, Tweeting, e-mailing, etc. Does anyone know what the problem is?

Quick, Take an Important Picture! Dang It, Can’t – Working the job that I do I need to be ready to take photos and videos at the blink of an eye. However these days I am having a tougher time doing so. More often than not when I open up the camera feature on my phone I am greeted with a prompt that reads “There is not enough available storage to take a photo. You can manage your storage in Settings.” To make matters worse when this annoying message comes up I can’t delete photos and videos right on the spot from my camera but rather I have to exit it and delete from the photos icon. This takes a lot of time.

What makes me mad is that I can delete fifteen photos right away and go back to my camera and get the exact same prompt. How does that happen? Two pictures ago I was fine. The storage prompt then flashed so I seemingly overcompensated by deleting a large amount of photos but I still get shut out. Sure I have 1,900 photos on my camera role but not too long ago I had over 2,000. I have done a lot of work to cut back but I am still consistently getting the message. I have minimal music, only a couple videos, and just two pages of apps. What else can I do to free up space?

This message drives me CRAZY!!

This message drives me CRAZY!!

My Phone Indicates I Have Text Messages..Only I Really Don’t: I subscribe to SMS texts for about 10-15 Twitter accounts. While trying to solve my above problem of limited space I went through my iPhone deleting text message conversations. It seemed logical to delete my Twitter text conversation just because with the numerous accounts feeding into it, it fills up very quickly. Although I had two new tweets that were just delivered to my phone I neglected to check them and I swiped away and deleted the conversation.

But now the two unread tweets haunt me forever as they are reflected on my text message icon. When I have no new text messages I still have a white number two inside a red bubble attached to the icon. If I have one legitimately new text message I have a white number three inside a red bubble. If I wake up in the morning and I see that my notification says I have eight new texts I know I really only have six. It gets annoying. People will see my phone and ask why I don’t check my texts and I will have to tell them my situation. I have turned my phone on and off, I have looked up help topics, and I have swiped out of my text message screen. I still have that annoying number two on my phone. I am at a loss.

My phone always has at least a "2" in the text message notification spot.

My phone always has at least a “2” in the text message notification spot.


Even if I get some guidance or a good lead on one of these issues tonight I will be happy. Can any of you nerds (or people who are just smarter than me) help me out? I would appreciate it. Hope your week is off to a great start. Don’t Blink.

Losing My Text Messages

I save everything. While not to the degree as someone on “Hoarders”, I am a little bit of a pack rat. Notes, cards, matchbooks, key chains, napkins, church bulletins, invitations, funeral programs, boutonnières, pens, and many more trinkets and documents are all things I have kept around much longer than I probably should. Both at my parents’ house in Spokane and in storage here in Missoula I have boxes and boxes of items that I don’t need but that I just can’t seem to get rid of. Besides physical items, I also hold on to something else that I have a hard time getting rid of….text messages.

Last week a message popped up on my iPhone 5 after I sent out a text. It read: Your SMS mailbox is full. New messages cannot be received until you delete some messages. A little bit irked, I went through my phone and erased some text messages I could live without. This was actually pretty easy. You see, since I had gotten my first iPhone a little under two years ago, I had never erased one single text message. All you who have iPhones know how it is, with the way text messaging is handled on our devices you never really have the need to delete messages. Everything is so organized and messages never seem to build up because all conversations are neatly grouped under the name of the person you are texting with. However, the time had come to start doing some housekeeping.

As I said, I went through and deleted probably around 20 message threads, mostly from numbers that I did not even have a name assigned to. I thought that would more than do the trick…but it didn’t. I quickly realized that I was not getting SMS messages. While I was still able to get iMessages, I was completely shut out from getting texts from people who did not have iPhones. This meant that I couldn’t communicate via text with several of my friends, a person who I was doing some work for, and my parents. Maybe the biggest gut shot of all, I could no longer receive my Twitter SMS updates that I depended on to keep me up to date with the world. Thinking that it was maybe something that would fix itself overnight, I told myself not to worry. Unfortunately, the next day I was not receiving SMS updates either. I turned off my phone and turned it back on about a dozen times. Each time I powered up my phone again and went to the messaging feature the same “Your SMS mailbox is full…” message popped up. Panicked, I decided to delete more messages.

Throughout the day I went through my phone and conducted “rounds of cuts” on my text messages. At this point I was still erasing threads from people that I had no real connection to. I realized I probably should have erased many of them long ago because they were all so insignificant and they really were just taking up space. But after round and round of cuts, by late evening I didn’t have too much “dead wood” left in my inbox anymore yet I was still getting the dreaded message.

The next morning I awoke and turned my phone off and turned it back on again…same message. At this point I started to get frustrated. I had gone over 36 hours without receiving a single SMS text. I had people I needed to communicate with. I called my carrier and explained the whole problem to a support employee. She kind of laughed and told me, “Dear, you need to continue to delete more text messages.” I didn’t really understand. When I first got the “mailbox is full message” I probably had 400 different message threads in my text messaging inbox. I had since decreased that down to under 100 different threads. I mean if my phone was working just fine when I had 399 threads going and the tipping point was 400 threads, shouldn’t I have been just fine after deleting 50 threads? I thought I had already gone extreme by deleting 75% of my inbox. Now she wanted me to delete even more?

Dejected I went through and deleted more messages through a very rigorous process. It was sad, the messages I had remaining in my inbox all meant something to me. Clever texts, meaningful texts, emotional texts, some life changing texts. I didn’t want to delete any of them, but again, I had to communicate with the outside world. With a heavy thumb, I went through and deleted about 95% of my inbox. Could you imagine what was going through my head when after I had decreased my inbox by 95% I was still getting that stupid message?

It was now Friday morning. I had lost SMS capabilities on Tuesday evening and I had also lost many of the text conversations I held dear to my heart. I once again called my carrier to get something figured out. That initial call was the first of many that day. In an agonizing process I was shuffled between reps from my carrier and reps from Apple in trying to solve my problem and get my text messaging capabilities restored. Call after call, different person after different person, possible trouble shooting solution after possible trouble shooting solution. The ultimate low of the whole ordeal came when one guy told me to turn my iMessage command off and then turn it back on to see if it would somehow revive all SMS messaging. I did just that, well the first part anyway. While I was able to turn off the command, I was unable to turn it back on. And just like that, my phone was unable to receive a text message of any form whatsoever.

I went and worked out hard, taking my frustration out on the weights. As workouts always do for me, I felt better at the conclusion of it. I was once again ready to try to restore functionality to my phone.

With my head cleared, I was ironically transferred to someone working for Apple who also seemed to have his head cleared as well. He immediately realized the problem and hit me with the truth: There was a software malfunction on my phone. Although I was deleting messages from my phone, the brains inside it kept throwing up the “mailbox is full” message not realizing that messages were in fact getting deleted. My software on my iPhone was corrupt. The only solution was to completely wipe out my phone and restore it. Bye bye two years worth of apps, data, and memories.

The guy who diagnosed my problem was a complete pro. Although I lost a lot, including my text messages, he was able to salvage my contacts and my 4,000 pictures once we restored my phone. The second I powered up my phone in the new restored version, text messages started to come through…it was a beautiful thing. Much to my chagrin, however, all the messages sent from Tuesday evening through the restoration time on Friday were cut off. I never received one of them to my phone. Who knows what important texts I never received.

It still stings a little thinking about all the text messages I lost. Encouraging ones from my parents, supportive ones from my brother, funny ones from my friends, special ones from my girlfriend, unique ones that only meant something to me from all different kinds of people. Also lost were all the drafts of my holiday messages from the past two years. But what can you do? Sometimes you do need to let go and start fresh. I will never get those texts back but I know that better ones are on the way. Don’t Blink.