Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Monday, September 8, 2008

iPhone woes

There is a particularly nasty iPhone bug going around. Judging by the scuttlebut on the internet (and from the guy I talked to at the apple store) it is no rare occurrence, yet it doesn’t seem to be all that well known. The bug is that all downloaded applications stop working – they load up until the splash screen and then crash. Given that the iTunes applications were a major selling point of the 2.0 software, this is sort of a big deal!

From what I’ve gathered, this is a problem in the DRM signatures of the applications. They aren’t matching with the information with the phone, so they just silently fail. Evidently the information in the phone and computer you sync to can come out of sync. The silent failure is a big problem in and of itself – it sure would be nice if there was a crashlog built in where you would see “Facebook – unable to load, invalid DRM signature” or such. The other big problem is that the solution to this bug is incredibly heinous. You have to erase your phone (a 90 plus minute process on the 16GB phone, maybe it’s faster on the 8GB – but this appears to be a byte-by-byte reset of the NVRAM). Then you have to restore it as a NEW iPhone via iTunes (my roommate, stega, claims you can restore it to your backup, but I had no success with that, but the new phone image worked on the first try). Most everything you had on the phone of value – photos, contacts, music, is easily backed up to your computer such that they survive the process. But there are two things that are ONLY backed up as part of the old image – SMS conversations and Notes, and as such these are completely lost.

Furthermore, the way to avoid this bug is to not download any itunes applications via the phone, and only to do it on your computer. This is an inconvenience to say the least. The next software update is suppose to cure this but I am not holding my breath!

posted by neil at 2:00 pm
under neilcast,rambling,technology  

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