Surviving a Crippled Smartphone

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While on vacation this week, my iPhone X developed a perplexing and crippling fix-iphone-x-unresponsive-screen-498x800problem.  My wife and I were walking down the beach, taking pictures from time to time with my phone.  I had it in the back pocket of my swimsuit and I was not wet, nor was the phone.  I would take it out of my pocket, tap the camera widget on the lock screen, take a picture and put it back.

One time doing this, the widget was greyed out, as if the camera didn’t exist.  At the same time, I noticed that the touchscreen was completely unresponsive.  I was unable to unlock the phone using Face ID, nor was I able to tap in the passcode to manually unlock it.  Not thinking much more that the phone was acting up, I used the camera app on my Apple Watch to take pictures of things we wanted to capture as we walked.  Sure enough, that worked and the photo’s uploaded to iCloud as I could see them on my iPad and PC.

But the touchscreen would not work.  Multiple soft resets would not resolve the issue.  I was unable to hard reset the phone as I could not connect to iTunes on my PC because I was not able to acknowledge the prompts on the screen.  The iPhone X was unresponsive, except it was working.  I just couldn’t control it at all.

The next morning, I went to local Verizon store, hoping they would be able to hard reset it and perhaps bring it back to full functionality.  Unfortunately, they could not and my only option was a warranty replacement.  If I had been close to an Apple Store, I would have been able to go there and get it replaced the same day.  Unfortuantely, I was not and was heading home the next day, so opted to have Verizon overnight me the warranty replacement.

Fortunately, becuase I have an Apple Watch and an iPad, I was able to limp along while I waited for a new phone to be overnighted to me under warranty.  I could take calls and send and receive texts on either device.  Takeing calls on the Apple Watch is still a little humorous and definitely gets interesting looks, but it works.  I was also lucky, because the iPhone still paired to my car and I was able to operate it using the steering wheel controls to make and take calls on the drive home, to meet my new iPhone, which is now easily up and running thanks to iCloud backup restoring nearly all of my apps and settings.

About the only thing I was not able to do was receive pictures and videos via text on the Apple Watch.  When those would come in, it would tell me I needed to view the message on my iPhone.  That wasn’t happening, so I had to wait to get back to my iPad on WiFi, but all in all, for a pretty crippling event, I was able to stay in touch and functional and was back to full operation in under two days.  Not bad.

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