iPhone 7 Plus Camera Issue

In late January or early February I had my iPhone screen replaced at an Apple Store. Shortly after, I noticed that any third-party camera app (e.g. Snapchat, Instagram, Scanbot, ProCam 4) had a bad shake while attempting to focus, accompanied by a clicking sound. But this didn’t seem to happen in Apple’s Camera app, nor could I reproduce it on another iPhone 7 Plus.

Starting on 12 February 2017, I tried to get Apple’s assistance. They twice referred me to talk to app developers, even though it was not isolated to one or two apps.1 On 27 February, I was assigned a Senior Advisor. After troubleshooting – including a full restore in Recovery mode – the issue was escalated to Apple engineers; a resolution has not been reached.2 In the meantime, I’ve done a little more investigating.

Recently, ProCam 4 released an update offering a new control, which appears select which rear lens(es) you want to use. When the smaller (telephoto) option is selected, the focus shake does not occur. When the larger (wide angle) option is select, the shake and clicking both occur. This seemed like a useful narrowing of the problem scope.

screenshot of ProCam 4 lens selection with telephoto selected

ProCam 4’s lens selection feature

So, I went back to Apple’s Camera app. Going through every mode, I discovered the following.

  • Time lapse: clicking and shaking
  • Slo-mo: OK
  • Video: OK
  • Photo: OK
  • Portrait: clicking, no shaking
  • Square: OK
  • Pano: clicking and shaking

I passed this information along to Apple and am waiting to hear back, but didn’t expect to be working on this a month after contacting them.

  1. In fact, I later realized it happens in Apple’s Watch app.
  2. By the way, AppleCare has the ability to request a screen share of your iOS device. Pretty cool; I wish they’d enable that for MDM users.