Some owners of the new iPhone 5S say their phones came with an unwanted new feature more commonly found on Windows PCs in the 90s: “The Blue Screen of Death.”
According to several discussion forums and videos posted online, the iPhone 5S unexpectedly reboots when you try to switch apps.
The problem appears to center on Apple’s iWork suite. When someone has their 5S open to Numbers, Pages or Keynote and tries to go to a different app, a blue screen appears and the iPhone suddenly restarts.
One fix, discovered in forum discussions on Apple’s official website, is to exit a document in Numbers, Pages and Keynote before switching apps. Another is to turn off syncing iWork with the iCloud.
Crashes aside, iWork is supposed to be a perk of of upgrading to a new iPhone. All iOS 7-enabled devices sold from September onward come with iWork for free.
We reached out to Apple for comment, and will let you know if we receive one.
It’s not just iWork, either: Apps on the 5S are crashing at the twice the rate they did for the iPhone 5, according to a third-party mobile app company that spoke with AllThingD. But the percentage is still small: Apps fail 2 percent of the time for the latest iPhone, compared to just 1 percent of the time on last year’s model.
Of course, it’s a bit ironic that the iPhone flashes blue, of all colors, before crashing. Reboots on early Windows computers, heralded with line upon line of error code over a blue screen, were so frequent and frustrating that they received the moniker the “Blue Screen of Death.”