The Latest iPhone Problem Apple Has Yet to Fix: Audiogate

Though Apple got around to fixing its battery drain issues, the iPhone maker has yet to address the phone's audio-mute problem, dubbed "audiogate." 

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Though Apple got around to fixing its battery drain issues, the iPhone maker has yet to address the phone's audio-mute problem, dubbed "audiogate." According to a 111-page Apple forum discussion, plenty of iPhone 4 and 4S users have had reverse-mute problems with calls, reporting getting no outbound audio when making calls. The forums have come up with some temporary fixes. But no official word from Apple. And, unlike the battery problem, the latest iOS update won't even try to fix this problem, says GigaOm's Darrell Etherington. But perhaps with Apple launching the phone in China and 21 other countries, as more people complain of the issue, Apple will get on it.

The Problem

When making calls, iPhone owners complain of no audio for about one out of every ten calls. It's like backwards mute -- the person on the other end can hear everything just fine, but the iPhone user hears nothing. "Call shows the timer counting as if the call is progressing but absolutely no ring back and cannot hear the party on the other end when they answer," explains The AMDman on Apple's Support Community forum. The mute function works the other way around. And is generally intentional -- unless the caller bumps it with their cheek. This happens as soon as the person makes the call, for no reason: no mute button involved. The problem cropped up when the iPhone 4S first came out. But there are forum complaints dating to as late as today.

The Fixes

Without an official word from Apple, users have come up with DIY fixes for the issue.

  • Use a headset. Many reported the problem only happens when making calls directly into the phone. Even Etherington said he only experienced the issue when he didn't plug in his attachment. 
  • Press the speakerphone button. This is in the same family as the on-off trick. For some, putting the call on speaker and then off of speaker makes it all better. But not always
  • Get a new phone. Or 4. Some users have reported that carriers are giving new phones, hoping a hardware swap will do the trick. Sometimes it works. For others it took multiple phones.  
  • Stop using Siri.  Some guess it has something to do with Siri, saying it happens less often with Siri turned off. 
  • Use Siri. Another fix suggests making the call through Siri and doing a full phone restore.

None of these sound all too appealing. After thousands of posts, forum posters are hoping Apple will notice and issue an official fix. From just one angry iPhone user:

 I just wanted to add my post so the number of replies to this issue gets big enough for Apple to take notice. I spent an hour on the line with AT&T Tech Support today during which time the audio failed several times. They told me to return the phone for exchange, but I agree with everyone that it seems to be a software issue, so I'll probably just wait for the fix. The new phone would likely behave the same way. At least toggling the speaker on and off always works to fix it for the current call, so I have a workaround until Apple fixes the problem, which I hope is soon.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.