APPLE’S iPhones are well-oiled machines – but there are some key warning signs that things are working properly.
From accidental water damage to signs of snooping, we reveal six clues that something is very wrong with your iPhone.
Your iPhone uses a lithium-ion battery, which has a limited lifespan.
Every time you discharge and charge your iPhone, you wear down its maximum battery capacity.
Over two years (or about 500 charging cycles), you’d expect to have about 80% of battery capacity left.
That means an iPhone that would’ve lasted for 10 hours of use would now only survive an 8-hour stint off-charge.
You can check your battery health by going into Settings > Battery and tapping Battery Health.
If your iPhone has a very low battery health and it’s dying too quickly, consider upgrading to a newer model.
Alternatively, you can get an out-of-warranty battery replacement from Apple for $69/£69. This is a much cheaper option than buying a new iPhone.
Phone randomly restarting
Your iPhone randomly restarting isn’t always a major cause for concern – but it could be.
It’s especially problematic if it’s happening a lot, for no apparent reason.
One simple cause for your iPhone restarting is that it got too hot or cold.
A cold restart isn’t too bad – it should return to normal once the battery warms up.
But overheating can seriously damage parts of the iPhone, including the battery.
Other reasons for a restart could be internal damage, or possibly some software issue – like a dodgy app.
If your iPhone is frequently turning off (and not because of temperature) then you should get it checked out.
Camera and microphone dots
Your iPhone has two warning signs to show if you’re being spied on.
They’ll appear as either green or orange dots at the top of the phone.
They don’t necessarily mean someone is snooping – but they might, and can prompt you to investigate.
The alert was added in an iOS update in 2020, and appears whenever your microphone or camera is activated.
That means if any app is secretly recording you, you’ll be warned about it.
To see the dots, you’ll need to be using a device operating iOS 14 or 15 – go to Settings > General > Software Update to check.
A green dot will appear in the upper right corner of the display when the camera’s activated.
And it shows as orange if the microphone is activated.
By swiping into your Control Centre, you’ll be able to see details about which app is using the microphone.
So if it’s an app that you think shouldn’t be using the camera or microphone, you might want to worry.
If you think something is snooping on you when it shouldn’t be, you should check the app’s permissions in Settings.
You can even deny specific apps access to your microphone or camera, for instance.
And if you’re really worried, you could just delete the app altogether.
No more iOS updates
Apple regularly introduces new versions of its iPhone software – and we’re currently on iOS 15.
Eventually Apple stops supporting older models with updates, which is very bad news if you’re affected.
These updates include vital security updates that patch serious problems with your device.
So if you can’t get those updates, you’re at serious risk of being hacked.
The current iOS 15.4 supports phones all the way back to the iPhone 6S and iPhone SE (1st gen).
Check if you’re still getting the latest updates in Settings > General > Software Update.
If you’re not then it’s highly recommended that you upgrade your iPhone to a newer model that still gets security updates.
Ghost touches are when your iPhone “taps” parts of the screen without you doing anything.
It’s very unusual for this to be a software issue.
Instead, it’s most likely linked to screen or water damage, or some other kind of internal issue.
If you notice this (especially if it’s getting worse) then take your iPhone to the Apple Store for a check-up.
It’s possible that you might need parts replaced. This could end up being costly, so it may even be cheaper to buy a new iPhone depending on the model.
Red water strip
Water damage is the bane of any gadget owner’s life.
If liquid gets inside your iPhone, it can void the warranty and result in costly repairs.
When you take an iPhone to be fixed, Apple will usually check the Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI).
This is a part of the device that changes colour when it comes into contact with water.
You can find this yourself: on recent iPhone models, it’s inside the SIM card slot.
Use a torch and magnifying glass if you’re struggling to see the colour.
The LCI will normally be white or silver, but turns red if it’s been in contact with water.
Apple has a page revealing how to find the LCI on every iPhone model.
“An LCI will be activated when it comes into contact with water or a liquid containing water,” said Apple.
“An LCI won’t be activated because of humidity and temperature changes that are within the product’s environmental requirements.”
Most modern iPhones are water-resistant, but it’s a good idea to avoid soakings where possible.
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