Another iPad 2 problem: Glitchy Facetime

Apple iPad 2 users report the Facetime video chat freezes on their new tablets.

Some iPad 2 users who expected a flawless product are instead finding a handful of problems with their shiny new tablets. The latest is a freezing issue with Facetime that can only be fixed by rebooting the iPad 2.

AppleInsider first noticed the growing number of complaints on Apple's support forums. Users say that when they return to FaceTime video chat after using it for the first time, the camera image on the screen is frozen. Restarting the iPad by holding down the power button solves the problem for most users, but that's obviously not the ideal solution.

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"I have had the same problem twice now in two days," one Apple forumgoer writes. "This needs to be fixed ASAP."

A couple of forumgoers say the same problem is happening with their iPhone 4s, so this could be an issue with iOS 4.3. In any case, Apple can probably fix the bug with a software update. Boy Genius Report claims that iOS 4.3.1 is on the way, but it's not clear whether the FaceTime issue will be addressed in this update.

However, FaceTime screen freezing isn't the only issue that some iPad 2 owners have noticed. Users have also complained of leakage from the iPad 2's backlight, causing uneven patches of light to appear around the edges of the display. This is most noticeable when the screen is black. Apple hasn't responded to this issue, and a store representative warned Cult of Mac's David Martin that light leakage was still noticeable with his replacement unit.

Martin says he's heard, off the record, that Apple has identified the source of the iPad 2's screen bleeding woes, and will at some point be shipping units without defects. He reminds users that their warranties are good for one year, so users can wait for the problem to resolve itself and then get a replacement iPad 2. Given that the backlight bleeding issue hasn't boiled over, antennagate-style, we may never hear from Apple on the matter.

9to5Mac also reported on one user who experienced dead pixels and yellow tinting on the display. The former issue has been mentioned in other forums, but the latter is likely due to the bonding agent used in production, which disappears with time.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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