iPad 2 problems: What users complain about the most

iPad 2

When you buy a digital device at launch, you’re always taking a risk. It’s one of the many taxes of staying on the bleeding edge. Even the best new devices have their share of quirks at first. Apple, though one of the more diligent manufacturers, is not immune to this trend. Though its March 11 iPad 2 launch has gone off a lot smoother than the iPhone 4 last year, many users are reporting screen, Wi-Fi, microphone, and speaker issues with their new tablets. Curious to see if your iPad 2 is suffering from a debilitating launch issue? Read ahead.

Backlight bleedin’

The most widely reported issue with the iPad 2 is probably its backlight bleeding. Many users (some with YouTube accounts) have experienced a problem with the edges of their LCD screen showing a lot of extra light from sides of the screen. This problem is seen most when watching a video with a dark background. Usually it appears as one or more blotches of light appearing down near the Home button of the tablet. A few users have reported “speckles” of light away from the edges as well. This may be a more serious problem.

Unfortunately, there is no good solution to this problem. Turning down the brightness or changing viewing angles may help those with minor issues. The original iPad suffered from backlight bleeding as well. Cult of Mac documents this problem well, advising users to contact a local Apple Store with issues, but to hold off a bit if you have an iPad 2 that is usable. After all, the warranty does last a year.

Bonding blotches

ipad-2-problems-yellow-blotchesRight alongside the famous backlight bleeding is another recurring issue. Many users have documented yellow blotches on their iPad 2 screens. MacRumors reports that this problem likely results from Apple shipping iPad 2 units  before their internal bonding glue has time to dry. The iPhone 4 experienced the same problem at launch. The solution: wait. In many cases, the yellow blotches disappear in a few days.

“Apple is using a bonding agent called Organofunctional Silane Z-6011 to bond the layers of glass,” said MacRumors of the iPhone 4. “Apparently, Apple (or more likely Foxconn) is shipping these products so quickly that the evaporation process is not complete. However, one or two days of use, especially with the screen on, will complete the evaporation process and the yellow “blotches” will disappear.”

Pixel problems


The dreaded dead pixel is back. Yes, some iPad 2s have a dead pixel (or two). Shocked? Well, you shouldn’t be. Dead pixels are one of the most common problems on newly shipped units. In some cases a defective pixel can be fixed, but the problems affecting iPads seem to be permanent. 9to5 Mac reports that some users have gone through as many as four iPads and still had problems like dead pixels. A good number of Apple’s initial units may be affected by one of the three screen problems we’ve reported here. For a guide on how to find a dead pixel, click here.

Wi-Fi woes

The Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 16GB  model is one of the most popular units because it is the cheapest available ($499), but some who have chosen to rely on Wi-Fi are having a difficult time finding a hotspot, and keeping one. Hundreds of users have reported odd behavior by the Wi-Fi radio in the tablet. Sometimes the Wi-Fi will cut out for little to no reason. Two iPads could be right next to one another and have completely different success rates at obtaining a net connection. As of yet, there is no known solution to this problem.

Muffled microphones

ipad-2-problems-microphone-muffledWhile this is more of a comparison than a bug, iLounge has discovered that the microphone performance of the Wi-Fi iPad 2 is remarkably better than that of the 3G iPad 2. This, the site speculates, is likely due to the difference in casing. To enable the 3G models to connect to mobile networks, Apple added an antenna and replaced a portion of metal casing along the top of the iPad with a black plastic material. Aside from dirtying up the clean look of the iPad, this plastic also appears to create a slightly more muffled and echo-ey microphone. The CDMA Verizon iPad 2 appears to be the worse than the GSM AT&T 3G version.

This problem will likely be fixed in manufacturing, but until then, 3G iPad 2 users may want to make sure their mic is facing the intended target.

Speaker shenanigans

One of the changes to the iPad 2 was its speaker, which is now a wide range speaker and located on the back of the unit. A few users have taken to the net to point out that the iPad 2 is a bit quieter than the original iPad. Much of this can be explained by the fact that the speaker now faces away from those using the device.

However, in some cases the iPad 2 speaker seems to get stuck in headphone mode, despite the fact that no headphones are plugged into the stereo jack. The solution: try unplugging and replugging in the headphones a few times. If that doesn’t work, a hard reset may fix the problem (hold down the sleep and home buttons until the Apple logo appears) or you can back up your information and try the restore function. If these steps don’t solve your problem, pack your bags and head to an Apple Store. It’s time to get a new iPad 2.


While these problems sound bad, most are relatively minor and affect a minute percent of users. However, if you’ve purchased an iPad 2, it might be smart to do a spot check for any of these problems. Your warranty covers manufacturing defects like these, so take advantage of it. If you have an Apple Store in your area, head there first. Usually, they are highly responsive to customer problems. You might even get a free Smart Cover out of the deal.

If you’ve experienced any of these issues, or others, please let us know in the comments below!

Product Review

Amazon’s child-friendly tablet is the complete package

Kids are tough on electronics and it’s difficult to police screen time and manage what they’re doing. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition could be the affordable answer to your prayers, with a rugged case and worry-free warranty.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Is the Pixelbook 2 still happening? Here's everything we know so far

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Has the Pixel Slate taken its place? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.

How to convert and play FLAC music files on your iPhone or iPad

The high-resolution revolution is upon us, and FLAC files are a popular way to store hi-res sound. But what if you’re an iOS user? Check out our article to find out more about FLAC files, and how to use them on Apple devices.

Apple’s 2020 MacBooks could ditch Intel processors, arrive with ‘ARM Inside’

If you're buying a MacBook in 2020, be on the lookout for a new "ARM Inside" banner. Apple is reportedly working on transitioning away from Intel processors for its MacOS lineup in favor of new custom A-series ARM-based silicon.

The Verizon GizmoWatch puts a quick-communication device on your kid’s wrist

Verizon is taking another shot at building a smartwatch for youngsters. The company announced the Verizon GizmoWatch, which boasts 4G connectivity and helps parents keep track of their children.

Google Maps brings its real-time journey-tracking feature to iPhone

It's been available on Android for a while now, and now Google Maps has brought its real-time journey-tracking feature to iOS. It lets you choose who to share a journey with, and tracking ends automatically when you arrive.

Apple sends out invites for October hardware event, new iPad Pro expected

The new iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch aren't the last devices we'll see from Apple in 2018. There are plenty of rumors about a new iPad coming this year too, and it may share some design similarities with the new phones.

A strap for everyone: The best Apple Watch bands you can buy right now

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far and there's something for everyone.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.

Apple’s latest feature ensures MacOS apps are safer than ever

MacOS is mythically known for being more immune to viruses than Windows, but that doesn't mean there isn't room to make it safer. Apple is using an app notarization feature to protect users from downloading malicious apps.

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…