Those who’ve picked up Apple’s 2018 flagships are complaining about connectivity issues, activation problems, Bluetooth issues, Wi-Fi issues, and more.
The list of problems is growing and we expect it to get larger as more people decide to buy the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Plus in 2020 and beyond.
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 iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users are still dealing with activation problems. Activation issues are extremely 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.
On top of that, we’re hearing about iCloud Restore problems. This is also a common issue with new phones and it can be rather tricky to fix. If you run into issues restoring from iCloud, head here for a few potential fixes.
iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users are also complaining about problems setting up Face ID, problems with iCloud, Wi-Fi problems, sound problems, cellular data issues, and Bluetooth issues.
We expect the list to change, and potentially grow, as we push deeper into the year.
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.
You might also check out our impressions of Apple’s iOS 13.3 update for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
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 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.
Your iPhone XS is under warranty so they might offer you a replacement if they determine there’s a serious defect.
How to Downgrade the iPhone XS
If iOS 13.3 starts causing problems on your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, note that you can no longer downgrade to the previous version.
Apple has stopped signing on iOS 13.2.3 which means you can’t drop back down in an effort to improve your phone’s performance.
If you’re unfamiliar with the process our guide to the iOS 13 downgrade will walk you through everything you need to know for next time.
If you’re struggling on iOS 13.3, you might be on your own for a few more weeks.
Apple has confirmed an iOS 13.3.1 update for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max and the software is in beta testing. We don’t have an official release date, but we expect it to roll out in early 2020.
If you’re really struggling on iOS 13.3, or another version of iOS 13, you might try moving your device to the iOS 13.3.1 beta. It’s free and it could have a positive impact on your phone’s performance.
For more on iOS 13.3.1, please take a look at our walkthrough.
Install iOS 13.3 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing the iOS 13.3 update right away.
iOS 13.3 brings 12 new security patches to your iPhone. You can read about each one over on Apple's security page.
The iOS 13.3 update also adds support for NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in the Safari browser.
If you skipped a previous version of iOS 13, you'll get security patches from the updates you missed in your iOS 13.3 update.
If you missed iOS 13.2, it had 16 new security patches on board. You can read about all of them on Apple's website right here.
iOS 13.1.1 brought a security patch for a third-party keyboard issue to your iPhone. If you're interested in the particulars, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
If you passed on installing iOS 13.1, you get an additional patch with your iOS 13.3 update. You can learn more right here.
If you're moving up from iOS 12, you'll get iOS 13.0's nine security patches with your upgrade to iOS 13.3. Read about those here.
If you skipped iOS 12.4.1 or any older versions of iOS 12, you'll get their security patches with your iOS 13.3 update.
iOS 12.4.1 only had one patch on board, but Apple's iOS 12.4 brought 19 security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the specifics, you can read about them on right here.
In addition to those patches, iOS 13 itself comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improved anti-tracking features in Safari and the ability to get rid of location metadata in your photos.
You also now have the ability to block apps from using Bluetooth and the ability to allow apps to access your location just once.
iOS 13 will also send you reminders about applications that track your data.
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