A major bug in Apple’s latest iPhone is causing the camera to physically fail when using apps such as TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram, some owners have reported.
The bug in the company’s iPhone 14 Pro Max, the most expensive model in the iPhone 14 range, appears to affect the optical image stabilisation (OIS) feature, which uses a motor to eliminate the effects of camera shake when taking pictures. Opening the camera in certain apps causes the OIS motor to go haywire, causing audible grinding sounds and physically vibrating the entire phone.
Apple did not respond to requests for comment about the bug, which has been reported by multiple users on social media.
The vibration does not occur when using the built-in camera app, suggesting the problem’s roots are in a software fault. However, some have warned affected users to limit their usage of apps that trigger the bug, in case excess vibration causes permanent damage to the OIS system.
The company has previously warned users about potential damage to the OIS motor, particularly in situations where their phones are experiencing significant vibration. In January this year, the company published a long warning note for users about the risk of mounting their iPhones near “high-power motorcycle engines”.
“The OIS and closed-loop AF [autofocus] systems in iPhone are designed for durability,” the company said. “However, as is the case with many consumer electronics that include systems such as OIS, long-term direct exposure to high-amplitude vibrations within certain frequency ranges may degrade the performance of these systems and lead to reduced image quality for photos and videos. It is recommended to avoid exposing your iPhone to extended high-amplitude vibrations.
“High-power or high-volume motorcycle engines generate intense high-amplitude vibrations, which are transmitted through the chassis and handlebars. It is not recommended to attach your iPhone to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines due to the amplitude of the vibration in certain frequency ranges that they generate.”
The iPhone 14 models were released on Friday 16 September. They are the first phones from Apple to be equipped with its new “emergency SOS by satellite” feature, which lets users send a short message to emergency services via a satellite relay service, even when outside mobile coverage. The feature, which has initially launched in North America only, uses a directional antenna to send the messages, which take at least 15 seconds to transmit as a result of the incredibly low bandwidth of wide-range satellite communications.