iPhone Blues Now Over


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It was the first day of a relaxing week’s holiday in what turned out to be sunny Tasmania to which the photos attest. The iPhone seemed slow linking to the portable wi-fi access point I had set up for the satellite broadband link in the cottage where we were staying. In my innocence I did an iPhone reboot which hung indefinitely. No worries, I did a hard reset and my iPhone returned. Sadly not one of my approximately 100 downloaded apps would run. It was though my right arm had been severed! No Evernote, RTM, Bloomberg stocks, Pocket Weather, Tweetie, MotionX GPS, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Facebook, Kindle Reader, Cricinfo, JotNot, RWW, MotherFeed, Buzz, to name but a few.

Would my netbook come to the rescue? The 256kbps ‘broadband’ struggled to download the 100MB of iTunes – about 6 attempts were needed over several hours. Fortunately I had an iTunes iPhone activation left but of course my iPhone backup was at home out of reach. In desperation I plumbed for a factory reset but fortunately, as it turned out, the 225MB download of iPhone 3.1 was beyond the reach of my Internet connection, never managing more than 28.5MB of download before failing after a day or so.

The iPhone wi-fi appeared to connect but never became available. What remained? I had the standard iPhone apps that were still working and an EDGE connection. To my surprise I found I was still about 50% functional. I had voice calls, email, calendar and contacts. Maps worked and of course the browser, albeit slowly. Many of the major web sites have improved their automatic support for mobile browsers considerably since I last looked in earnest. Although clunky I could communicate quite well. My biggest downside was the lack of check in capability with the Foursquare app – I had been looking forward to earning hundreds of points checking in new locations around Tasmania!

Within an hour of returning home yesterday I had a fully functioning iPhone again with all apps working as they should after having restored from the last good backup. This experience has taught me that when away from the machine holding the iPhone backup:

  • avoid rebooting the iPhone if at all possible
  • realise that restore from backups on the road is only possible if the tethered machine accompanies the iPhone – big restriction
  • Apple needs to provide us with a cloud-based solution for backups

So in the end I lost a few Foursquare points and the GPS tracking features of the MotionX app. I can think of worse fates.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michael Rees
Mijare Consulting
I am an IT academic interested in Web 2.0 application development and use, social media tools for organisations and individuals, virtualisation and cloud computing applications.


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