It has been just over a week since Apple made its next-generation iPhones available to the US market. While some consumers would rather hold off on the iPhone 8 to save up for the anniversary-issue iPhone X, enough units of the 7/Plus’s successor have been sold to discover a little problem. Certain proud owners of new iPhone 8s have discovered some distortion in the sound quality. When taking phone calls or using the FaceTime app they noticed some radio-like crackling noises or high-pitched buzzes being generated by the earpiece. Fortunately, Apple has quickly gotten wind of the error and made a quick fix for it.

In the OS

This was an issue that would not have been spotted by iFixit when they subjected the iPhone 8 to their trademark product tear-down video. As it turns out, the problem is apparently not in the hardware but the operating system. Granted, the new iOS 11 that the latest iPhones run on is quite new itself, but not all potential bugs have been discovered as have the iPhone 8 crackling. Last week Apple confirmed the existence of the unwanted earpiece noise, but assured users it was not a universal problem but has manifested only in certain units.

At least that much is true. Even the iPhone 8 units that had the “symptoms” were not crackling or buzzing every time the owners made calls or used FaceTime. The inconsistency of the problem lends credence to it being a software issue, which is why Apple was quick to whip up a patch for the audio trouble (and some other bugs) with the new iOS 11.0.2 update, now available for download. The other issues this patch addresses are the occasional “hiding” of photos in the gallery, as well as a recurring problem encountered when opening files attached to encrypted emails.

Second patch

The software fix for the iPhone 8’s noise issues is the second update Apple brought out for the iOS 11 mobile operating system that was launched on September 19. A prior update, 11.0.1, also corrected an assortment of “bugs” termed minor, such as an inability to send email using accounts from Microsoft Outlook and Exchange. As always, the patch download is free and it is located at the Software Update option in the General section of the Settings menu.

While the crackling sounds on the iPhone 8 may have already been addressed, there are other issues that their owners would like Apple to look into. These include a high battery drain and the occasional crash or two. Such problems are often cited by smartphone experts as the reason to wait a few weeks to a month, before buying a brand new device, to make sure many new-release kinks have been ironed out.

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