iPhone 4 Sound Issue - Ringtones Works, Text Tone Doesn't Work


You own an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S and your ringtones function properly, but your text tones are silent. Plus you notice that your volume buttons don't work, and the sound icon that pops up does not show the volume level changing when depressing the buttons.

You might also notice that videos and music have no sound, along with the text tones. A hard reset does nothing, neither does a full reset. The only way you have sound, otherwise, is by using your headphones. It's a maddening experience.

I discovered this problem when refurbishing broken iPhone 4 devices, on both Verizon and AT&T models. I took to the forums, and found numerous posts about the problem, and solutions that don't work. But then I discovered the source of the problem.

The reason the iPhone 4 devices malfunction in this way is due to a dirty dock connector. Several users reported that if you carefully clean the dock connector with a needle and pick out all of the dirt and lint, you can renew the sound. Apparently some of the leads on the dock connector will prevent the sound from functioning properly when gummed up.

But this doesn't always work. Others reported that cleaning the dock connector with a flat sharp device and a cleaning cloth dampened with alcohol will yield better results. I tried this, and it worked... for ten minutes. I repeated this three times, and it only ended up functioning properly for minutes each time. The last time that I cleaned the leads on the connector, I wasn't able to get the sound working right again.

The only true solution to solving this problem is to replace the dock connector entirely. It is said that this is an "easy fix" that can be done in 15 minutes, but that is the farthest thing from the truth if you are not an experienced iPhone repair technician. I woulnd't recommend that anyone disassemble an iPhone unless they had prior experience.

What really caught my eye was how Apple handled this situation when it first started to pop up. As usual, it is met with denial, or trivialized by the company. But when pressed, Apple would end up completely replacing the devices rather than to acknowledge the fact that it is a common issue.

I've noticed that this is the normal way Apple handles common issues, which was the case with iPhone 4 power buttons sticking and failing to work. When a friend first brought an iPhone 4 to me with this issue, we were able to press Apple to replace the device even though it was out of warranty. I had this happen in 3 more instances.

If you have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S and you're experiencing this sound dropping issue, your first course of action should be to ask to have the device replaced if you purchased it within the last 2 years.I must add that I have read several instances of this issue occuring with the iPhone 5 also.

My advice to you: the only solution that will not leave you pulling your hair out or throwing your phone across the room is to have the dock connector replaced.

I hope this post aleviates the frustration to anyone that has come across this issue, and best of luck having your dock connector replaced.

Carlton Flowers
iPhone Whistle Blower


iPhone 4 Lock Button & Home Button Issues - The Real Story


There aren't enough articles and blog posts about this issue, so I'm going to add one to the pile to help searchers verify something they are trying to confirm: There is a definite issue with the home button and lock screen button with the iPhone 4.

There are 250,000 known cases, to be exact, of users with iPhone 4 smartphones that have a sticking lock screen button that feels like a wad of gum has been jammed underneath the button. With this many cases, you better believe it's not a random occurrence. And there are probably as many or more cases of the home button sticking or feeling "mushy".

I had a friend of mine send his teenage son to me to attempt fixing his iPhone 4 that had the stuck lock screen button. To make the button activate, you had to dig in with your thumbnail as hard as you could, or mash it up against a hard surface.

I did the research for the fix, and found out that it would be more of a pain in the rear end than replacing the LCD/digitizer panel. You have to gut the entire phone and take out the intricate pieces and parts along the inner edge where the lock screen button sits. Most people don't want to pay the labor it would take to do this.

I was so disgusted when I discovered that this was a very common issue. But I was happy to find out that several customers were successful in making Apple replace their phones free of charge, because they are totally aware that this is not the fault of the user.

I advised my young friend to call Apple and explain to them that the stuck lock screen button was verified by a technitian, and to demand a replacement phone. Surprisingly, they sent him a new iPhone 4. I was impressed.

If this is something you are experiencing, you may want to call in to Apple before you pay $100 or more to have your buttons worked on. You might get lucky and get out of the situation without paying a dime.

But there are no guarantees on how long Apple will acknowledge this as their own fault. Just remember "antennagate", and the amount of time Apple spent denying the existence of a problem. That pretty much sums it up.

If you have a story about a sticking lock screen or home button, please share it here. I'd be curious to know if anyone else was successful in getting a free replacement as we were able to do. Sound off!

Carlton Flowers
iPhone Fixer




3 Stupid-Simple Things Keeping Me From The iPhone


It has been a year and a quarter since I defected from the Walled Garden of Apple. I traded in my iPhone 4 to get a Samsung Galaxy S2, which I'm still using.

I've got a backup iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 4th Gen for WiFi use, but Android is my main operating environment experience.

If I counted everything, there would be quite a laundry list of things that Apple seems to refuse to give me to make me happy (it's all about me).

But looking back, I would have stayed if I could just get three stupid-simple things. I'll share them with you now.

Thing 1 - A Back Button

When running an app that doesn't have an on-screen back button, the only thing you can do to go back a step is to hit the home button and re-enter the app. To me, that is a huge waste of time, even though it only takes a moment. But how simple is the solution?

I love my back button on my Android device, and now I can't live without it. I constantly use the back button to backtrack though my screen taps, especially on Facebook. No on-screen back button on the app? No problem. I have my Android soft button always there waiting for me to give the command to "back that thang up".

Thing 2 - Text Reflow

This is the most maddening of all things that Apple had deprived me of. It's quite possibly one of my most favorite features of Android devies. But for whatever reason, Apple prefers to remain hard-headed about this, turning a deaf ear to the many inquiries about adding this capability to the Safari browser.

When I'm using Opera on my Android device, I can zoon in on text to make it bigger. My browser will re-flow the text, wrapping it downward so all I have to do is scroll down to read. With my old trusty iPhone, I get to pan sideways to read sentences that fly off the right side when you zoom in. I'd rather bang my head up against a brick wall than pan side to side trying to read an article on a smartphone.

Thing 3 - Keyboard Choices

Even though I absolutely love the perfect layout of the iPhone's keyboard, I want variety. Apple has no plans to provide that, when it comes to text input. Don't hold your breath waiting for cool things like Swype for an iPhone. Because it ain't gonna happen.

When I'm on my Android device, I switch from my iPhone Clone keyboard to Swype, then Swiftkey, and more. Once I burn out on a particular keyboard and layout, I  can move to a completely different keyboard that allows me to keep my mind fresh.

I have found my time period to get sick of a particular keyboard is about a week. After that, I have to move to a different style of keyboard to freshen my mind and cut down on typos. It's completely a mental thing, but I seriously enjoy the choices for text entry on Android devices.

So there you have it. Sure, there are 10 or 15 more things I could drone on about. But these three stupid simple things would have been enough for me to tolerate the balance of other things I would have had to give up hope on.

How do you feel about your iDevice? Have you ever thought about these issues? Are you secretly desiring these things, hoping that Apple will some day bend? Or does it not cause you to lose a single minute of sleep? Toss your opinion into the hat in the Disqus comments section!

Carlton Flowers
Spurned/Burned Apple Fanboy


Solid Proof That Apple Practices Mass Mind Control


My wife: "Everybody's iPhones are cracking and breaking. They're always brining them to you to fix. How come mine isn't breaking? When is it gonna crack?"

Me: "Honey, you don't have an iPhone. That's why."

Wife: "Huh?"

Me: "You have a Samsung. That's why it hasn't broken."

Wife: "Oh."

There you have it, folks. Not only has Apple mind-washed everyone into thinking that every smartphone is an iPhone, but they've also mind-washed millions of people into buying expensive devices that break.

Plus they've figured out how to make them think it is normal to spend an extra $150 (even multiple times) to replace the fragile screens.

Carlton Flowers
Mass Apple Mind Control Buster

iPhone 4 Stuck Power Button - What You Need To Know


I have torn up 2 iPhones in my past. From tearing them up after attempting to fix them, I became quite proficient in the art of fixing them. But today, I uncovered what I believe to be a common issue with the iPhone 4 (4S) - the stuck or sticking power button.

A young friend of mine asked me if I could repair his iPhone 4 that had a mushy power button that no longer clicks. To turn his phone on or wake it back up, he would have to use tremendous force on the sticking power button. I decided to take it on.

I discovered a quick-fix and a real fix for this issue. The quick fix only requires taking the back off of the phone. Apparently, someone was lucky enough to shove a small folded piece of paper in-between the power button and ribbon to give it something to press against in order to activate. This does not work.

It can be a dangerous pseudo repair. If you break the ribbon from putting pressure in the wrong place, you can FUBAR your iPhone power button completely.

The only real repair for this is to compeltely tear down the phone and replace the entire ribbon and button assembly. Unfortunately, this is more time consuming than replacing the LCD/digitizer screen. Everything has to come out. And the replacement ribbon/button assembly is tiny.

The labor for this fix might not be worth the trouble you have to go through. In my opinion, this is a problem that should be taken straight to Apple whether or not the phone is still under warranty. From my research, I'm finding out that this is not a malfunction that comes from abnormal wear.

If you want to see the process you must go through to accomplish the replacement of the ribbon and button, check out www.imore.com and their step-by-step process. You can also check out my favorite iPhone repair site at www.ifixit.com for a great guide. However, if you have never disassembled an iPhone 4/4S, I do not recommend attempting this.

I believe the instances of this issue numbers in the 200,000-plus range. That's proof enough of a manufacturer's defect at worst case, and poor design at least case. I don't think it's a defect, but just a common problem that can occur due to the tight space the button and ribbon assembly have to be squished into.

My recommendation is to find a workaround. You can jailbreak your iPhone and reassign some of the buttons to simulate the power button's functionality. I did this with my iPhone 4 when my home button had the same problem. Instead of hitting the home button when the phone was off, I would depress the volume up + volume down buttons at the same time to turn it on.

If this is not something you want to do, you can call Apple directly and bug the crap out of them until they agree that it is not your fault that they designed the phone this way, and make them repair it for free.

This is just one of a nice list I have of serious Apple iPhone issues that the company doesn't seem to want to deal with. Judging from the response to the original "Antennagate" issue, I am of the belief that they don't want to deal with the headache.

I hate to be critical of Apple's devices, but this is just an unacceptable problem that I think a significant number of people are having. Physical buttons on the iPhone 4, including the home button, power button, volume button, and silence button are all prone to sticking in this same manner.

I'm hoping that Apple resolves this with the iPhone 5, along with the ridiculously fragile cracking screen issue. The iPhone is a solid, heavy "quality-feeling" device, but that obviously comes with a price.

Critics tend to take jabs at manufacturers like Samsung and Pantech for having "plasticky" light-weight devices, but you can't take a blind eye to the fact that they are much much more durable and don't have these common button malfunctions.

Take note of this, Apple, and please save the frustration of countless future customers of yours by resolving these issues on the next breakthrough version of your flagship device!

Carlton Flowers
Defender of Poor Souls Who Own Phaulty iPhones


"Life-Proof" iPhone LifeJacket Case - Stupid, Or Super Smart?


I was perusing the web and came across something that just struck me as plain stupid. It was the LifeProof "LifeJacket" iPhone case made for the iPhone 4/4S. My initial reaction? This is just plain dumb! But then I got to thinking about it...

First of all, whenever I see big, thick, ugly cases made for the iPhone 4S like the Otterbox, I just shake my head. Why in the world would you want to wrap a gorgeous, thin, sleek phone in a big ugly brick-like case? I've never been a fan of the Otterbox, nor have I ever been happy that an iPhone requires the need of such a monstrosity.

So when I saw the iPhone LifeJacket waterproof case by LifeProof, I just shook my head. Why in the world would someone want to put their iPhone in something that was even bigger and uglier than an Otterbox? But then I started to think about this...

I myself have submerged and nearly ruined an iPhone. I decided that I could not part with my beloved iPhone 3GS when I went on a 4-hour float trip. I put my iPhone in a Ziplock bag (yes, that was stupid) and thought it would survive the trip. Well, it didn't. The bag took on water, and I almost ruined my phone.

I also thought about how quickly I destroyed my iPhone 4 (within 3 months of purchase) and how devistated I was to stare at the ugly, shattered display. After breaking the device that I could not live without, I thought it would have been much better to have spent the extra $75 on an ugly Otterbox case rather than to stare at the horrid cracks running the length of the phone.

The bottom line? The iPhone is far to expensive and fragile of a device NOT to put it in something that can protect it. It is not a rugged device, and was not made to survive active life. Therefore, you have to protect your investment.

The LifeJacket looks like a joke, but it is shock-proof AND water-proof. If you're anything like me, water-proof is a great thing to have. I like to run, swim, bike, and play in the rain. I would much rather do all four of those things with my smartphone at my side than to do without. Therefore, the LifeJacket suddenly makes good sense.

If I still had an Apple iDevice, this is something I would probably consider buying. Fortunately for me, I'm no longer stuck in the world of super fragile smartphones as I now own a super-durable Samsung Galaxy S2. But I would highly recommend that people check out the LifeJacket before they drop their phone.

Furthermore, now that I have as much experience as I do in repairing iPhones, I can tell you that the quickest way to FUBAR your iPhone is to get it wet. There's no turning back once you burn out your backlight coil & IC chip.

If you're an active person and you own an iPhone, give this a look and protect your investment. You won't be sorry the first time it takes a dive in the toilet.

Carlton Flowers
iDevice Advisor


Own an iPhone 4/4S? Protect that investment now with a LifeProof LifeJacket case on Amazon.com for only $45! It is shock-resistant and waterproof and made for active smartphone owners that don't want to leave their iPhones at home while they are out and about. It is far better to pay $45 now rather than $200 or more later. Be safe, not sorry... and get your LifeJacket today!