Big Dark Spot on My iPhone Photos

I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but one day a few months ago I noticed there was a big dark spot in the middle of the photos I took on my iPhone 5. It was one of those things you didn’t really notice in a photo with a lot of ‘stuff’ it in (trees, buildings, traffic, etc.), but if you pointed the camera at something with a single color it became glaring. This photo is what shows up if I take a shot of a beige wall. If this was a picture of just my face, the spot would have been the size of my nose.

a dark spot on the photos taken with my iPhone 5

It was easy to see this if I took a picture of a gorgeous blue sky, closeup of a face, or most any other photo with a singular color in the middle. I could see it while using the camera, and it looked identical on the final photos. My lens appeared clean and the dark spot never moved. It actually seemed to be getting bigger over the course of a few months.

Searching on the web revealed a number of similar issues. Most people felt it was a buildup of something on the inside of the lens – using common sense one could easily agree with that. Some people suggested thunking the iPhone against a flat surface to shake it loose, and others were rather drastic such as taking your iPhone apart to clean it out. No way would I try that!

The nearest Apple Store is about an hour away and I didn’t want to drive there for this – at least not quite yet. I was using Touch Retouch to remove the dark spot in some of my sky shots and that was good enough for the moment. Luckily I was heading up to Boston for a science teacher conference the other day and my hotel was near the Apple Store on Boylston Street. I stopped in and they replaced my iPhone 5. I asked how common the problem was and as I would expect they said they’d seen it ‘once or twice’ and didn’t think it was a big concern. My iPhone 5 is about 1.5 years old but I had the extended warranty, so the replacement was free.

How common is the problem? Hard to say, but I’m glad I got a replacement iPhone. The dark spot is gone and the sky seems flawlessly blue.

Here Comes Trouble — iPhone 5, iOS 6, and iCloud

The new iPhone 5 is almost here. Two million of them were sold in a mere 24 hours. I’ve decided to pass on this upgrade. My iPhone 4S is a great phone, and the upgrade to the camera wasn’t quite enough to get me to cough up the extra money to do an early upgrade. Even though I won’t get the new phone, I’ll still get to play with the new operating system for the iPhone called iOS 6. It has a wealth of new features including the panorama photo and the ability to share Photo Streams. It will be released in just two days.

I recently showed the new panoramic feature on iOS 6, and the video below shows a bit of the sharing feature. I’m not entirely sure if it is worth watching, but put it up here anyway 🙂

With the new Photo Stream you’ll be able to create albums on the site. The albums can shared just with specific people or the public. Apple highlights this new feature here.

During the next few days more than two million new iPhones will be unboxed. That is two million new cameras. Millions of current iPhone users will be downloading/installing iOS 6. Millions will be signing up to use iCloud with lots and lots of new photos. Millions will be telling Siri to “Take a Photo” (which will now start the camera app under iOS 6). With all this new stuff only one thing can happen — trouble.

Every year when Apple releases the new iPhone the web gets inundated with a LOT of data going back and forth. I’m willing to be that Apple servers will be overloaded and lots of people will be complaining about it. In the last few days there have already been a few issues with the iCloud email and iMessages. During this upcoming week of Apple cheer try to stay calm. It may take a few extra hours or days, but sooner or later you’ll get things up and running.

Relax. Take a few deep breaths. And enjoy your new iPhone, iOS, and iCloud PhotoStreams.

Say Cheese