iPhone Keyboard Typing Wrong Keys, Screen is Jumpy

by Michael on March 19, 2011 · 5 comments

Earlier this week, I swapped out my iPhone for a new because it had a dark spot on the screen. Ever since then, I’ve been having intermittent problems with the wrong keys registering when I try to type something with the on-screen keyboard.

Sometimes it seems like a calibration problem, other times it seems like the touchscreen is too sensitive. Strange stuff. Since this problem comes and goes, it’s been very hard to troubleshoot.

Another problem is the number of variables involved. Not only did I recently swap out my phone for a new one, but the new one is running a newer version of iOS (4.2.1 vs. 4.0.1). On top of that, the newer iOS version means that I’m running a different jailbreak on the new one (greenpois0n instead of limera1n).

Possible causes:

  • A temporary software glitch
  • Bug in iOS 4.2.1 system software that didn’t exist in 4.0.1
  • The touchscreen display is defective – too sensitive? mis-calibrated?
  • Side effect of the greenpois0n jailbreak that didn’t happen with limera1n

Possible solutions:

  • Reset my iPhone (hold power and home buttons for 15 seconds)
  • Upgrade to iOS 4.3 and hope the problem goes away
  • Take my iPhone to the Apple Store for replacement
  • Restore phone to remove jailbreak (i.e., un-jailbreak my phone)

After a bit of Googling, I’ve also read a suggestion to go into Settings > General > Keyboard and add another keyboard, such as English (UK). Note that, according to this tip, you don’t have to use this other keyboard, you just have to have it activated.

My first step was to reset my iPhone, but that had no effect on the problems I’ve been having. I next activated the English (UK) keyboard. While I haven’t seen the problem recur, it’s only been about 10-15 minutes and I haven’t used it all that heavily.

As an aside… One minor annoyance of the “add a keyboard” approach is that is cuts the width of the “.?123” button in half and places a little “globe” button next to the space bar for toggling between keyboards. It’s not easy to overcome a couple years worth of muscle memory!

If this doesn’t solve the problem, I guess my next step will be to un-jailbreak my phone and upgrade to iOS 4.3. I am, however, hesitant to do this because there isn’t currently an untethered jailbreak available for the iOS 4.3. My last line of defense will be too make a trek over to the nearest Apple Store, which is 40+ miles away.

If you’ve experienced similar problems, I’d love to hear the details. Which iPhone model do you have? Which iOS version? Did you jailbreak your iPhone? If so, which jailbreak method did you use? And have you been able to isolate the cause of the problem?

Update: I ended up doing everything listed above and the problems persisted. I thus made myself an appointment at the Genius Bar and headed over for a replacement. Again. My second in less than a week!

Update2: Wow. Not long after leaving the Apple Store, I discovered that my iPhone won’t connect to the 3G network. This despite 3G being turned on, and having a great 3G signal to which other phones will connect.

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