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iPhone XS Problems: 5 Things to Know

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iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max owners are dealing with a variety of problems after moving to Apple’s latest iOS 17 software.

iPhone XS users are complaining about connectivity issues, activation problems, Bluetooth issues, battery life issues, Wi-Fi issues, and more.

The list of problems is growing and we expect it to get larger as Apple releases new software and more people decide to buy the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Plus in 2024.

In this guide we’ll take you through the most common problems plaguing the two models. We’ll also provide you with some tips and resources that will come in handy if and when you start noticing issues on your device.

iPhone XS Problems

Some new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users are dealing with activation problems. Activation issues are fairly common so if you’re having trouble activating your new phone there’s no need to panic.

If you’re unable to activate your iPhone right now, check Apple’s System Status page. If it’s not green, you’ll want to wait until it’s green and then try again.

If it’s green and it’s still not working, make sure you have a SIM card in your iPhone. If you’re getting a “No Sim” or “Invalid SIM” error, you’ll want to head here for help.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users are also complaining about:

  • Face ID issues
  • iCloud issues
  • Wi-Fi problems
  • Sound problems
  • Issues with first and third-party applications
  • UI lag
  • Abnormal battery drain
  • Cellular data issues
  • Bluetooth issues

Where to Find Feedback

If you start noticing issues on your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, or if you’re thinking about buying one, you’ll want to dig into feedback and fixes from those who have upgraded. There are a few places to do that.

We recommend keeping an eye on YouTube, Apple’s discussion forums, social media sites like Twitter/Facebook, and the MacRumors forums.

If you’re thinking about moving your iPhone X to the latest version of iOS 17, take a look at our guide that goes over the latest version of that software.

We’ve also released a quick review that covers iOS 17.2.1’s performance on iPhone.

How to Fix iPhone XS Problems

If you run into an iPhone XS problem there’s no reason to panic. There’s a very good chance you can fix the issue(s) you’re seeing in a matter of minutes.

If you don’t know where to start, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iPhone XS problems. This guide outlines fixes that could help you get your experience back on track.

We’ve also released some tips to help you improve your device’s overall performance and a guide that could help you improve your iPhone XS battery life.

If you can’t find a fix for your issue in those walkthroughs, you’ll want to check Apple’s discussion forums for potential fixes.

If you’d prefer to get in touch with Apple, you can get in contact via the company’s website.

If Apple’s frontline customer service can’t fix your problem, you might want to take your phone into your local Apple Store or your local carrier location to see if they can diagnose your issue.

If you’ve got an Apple Store in your area, schedule a Genius Bar appointment and have them run diagnostics on your device to see if they can pinpoint the problem.

How to Downgrade the iPhone XS

If you recently downloaded an iOS update on your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max and you’ve started noticing problems, you might be able to downgrade back to an older version.

Downgrading isn’t a guaranteed way to fix performance issues, but it’s an option if you want to try and get a handle on your phone’s performance.

Apple typically keeps the downgrade loophole open for a few weeks after it releases a new version of iOS so you’ll need to move quickly if you want to drop back down.

If you’re unfamiliar with the process our guide to the downgrade will walk you through everything you need to know.

What’s Next

If your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max is struggling, you might be on your own for a bit.

Apple’s confirmed a new version of iOS 17. iOS 17.3 is currently in beta testing and we expect the final release to come sometime in January or February alongside iPadOS 17.3 and macOS Sonoma 14.3.

For more on iOS 17.3 and the beta, have a look at our walkthrough. And for more about the upcoming iOS 17.3 release date, check out our guide.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 17.5.1 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 17.5.1 for Better Security

Install iOS 17.5.1 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 17.5.1 update right away.

iOS 17.5.1 doesn't have any patches of its own, but if you missed iOS 17.5 or older software, you'll get patches from the updates you skipped with your upgrade.

iOS 17.5 delivered 15 security patches. These patches will help keep your device and its data protected from harm. 

The iOS 17.4.1 update included two security patches while iOS 17.4 had four security patches on board. 

The update also delivered quantum security protection for iMessage. The company says the upgrade gives iMessage "the strongest security properties of any at-scale messaging protocol in the world." 

The iOS 17.3 update brought 15 new security patches to iPhone. The software also added Stolen Device Protection to iPhone.

It increases the security of your iPhone and Apple ID by requiring Face ID or Touch ID to gain access to passwords, make purchases in Safari, and more. This is useful if someone gets access to your iPhone and its passcode. 

iOS 17.2 delivered 10 new security patches to iPhone. If you wish to find out more, you can head on over to Apple's security site for the details.

iOS 17.2 also included iMessage Contact Key Verification which improves the security of iMessage. The company also fixed an exploit that let the Flipper Zero multi-tool lock up iPhones.

iOS 17.1.2 had two security patches on board. Both were related to WebKit. If you want to learn more, you can do so right here.

iOS 17.1 brought 18 security fixes to iPhone. It addressed issues within Weather, Status Bar, WebKit, and more. 

iOS 17.0.3 brought two patches for two security issues Apple identified within the software. If you want to read about the patches, head here.

iOS 17.0.1 delivered three important patches to iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.

As for iOS 17 itself, it brought 40+ new security patches with it. A staggering number to say the least. If you want to learn more about them, head over to Apple

In addition to those patches, iOS 17 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including improvements to Communication Safety beyond Messages.

It now includes content sent by AirDrop, Contact Posters in the Phone app, FaceTime, and the systemwide photo picker. You now have an option to blur out sensitive photos and videos before you choose to view them.

There's also an expanded Lockdown Mode which will help protect you against cyber attacks.

Apple's also improved sharing permissions and you now have more control over what you share with the apps on your device. 

The company also notes that starting in iOS 17, Voice Memos encrypts the titles of recordings stored in iCloud, in addition to the recordings themselves.

If you skipped older versions of iOS, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 17.5.1 update as well.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Steve

    03/22/2019 at 12:18 am

    With all of the issues you have reported here with iPhone Xs and the software problems why would I want to buy into this nightmare? I’ve been with Apple for years now but it’s probably time to move on. The days of reliable hardware and software are gone. Their vision and support for the customer just isn’t what it used to be. I remember the focus on simple and intuitive software with attention to hardware that lasted years. They have lost it some where along the way….. I’m done with them after reading your articles and everyone else’s opinions online. Too much to deal with for sure. Thanks for the information.

  2. Roy

    04/06/2023 at 4:42 am

    I have had this phone for 4.5 years now. Mobile Internet has never worked properly. Wifi has been problematic on some wifi networks. Me and my partner struggled the same and we blamed the phone operator for it. Now my partner bought a new phone, using the same sim, she says it is lightning fast now. So basically the iphone xs was faulty to begin with.

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