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Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
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iPhone 2.0 Outrage Tearing Up Apple Discussion Boards

On the heels of the MobileMe meltdown, it's now appearing that Apple's iPhone 2.0 software update is meeting with, er, more support issues than one would have expected. In fact, the outcry on Apple's own discussion boards has reached a crescendo, with numerous unhappy iPhone customers complaining that they're getting no comfort from Cupertino. Here's what they're saying.

On the heels of the MobileMe meltdown, it's now appearing that Apple's iPhone 2.0 software update is meeting with, er, more support issues than one would have expected. In fact, the outcry on Apple's own discussion boards has reached a crescendo, with numerous unhappy iPhone customers complaining that they're getting no comfort from Cupertino. Here's what they're saying.First off, I have to say that, personally, I haven't experienced any serious problems with the 2.0 software update on my own iPhone. The things I've noticed are a slightly longer boot-up time for the phone itself, and a noticeably longer syncing time, when you connect the phone up to iTunes. (Syncing takes maybe 3 minutes more than previously, mostly because backing up the phone takes longer.) Also, the phone's "settings" page takes longer to load, which is a pain since I frequently check to see how long it's been since the last charge, and to view my Wi-Fi connection.

As for the new iPhone 2.0 apps, my experience is consistent with what I've seen reported elsewhere. Namely, the New York Times application, which is a smartly designed wrapper in which stories from the paper of record are downloaded to your phone for easy reading, is buggy and prone to crashes. (There's already been one software update to this app, so probably the Times folks are working on this.)

Anyway, so my 2.0 experience (and I should note that I have a first-generation EDGE iPhone, which I've updated to the 2.0 software, not a new 3G phone) has been middling to good. Which is why I nearly jumped out of my chair last night when I browsed Apple's iPhone discussion board, which is littered with a litany of serious complaints.

Like this, complaining about persistent crashes and lock-ups:

"This has been unbearable. I have had to nuke this phone 8 times now. I am running the edge phone with the 2.0 upgrade. I can't call people, I lose my contacts and very important information (such as passwords for different OSs, Databases and app servers), I am losing important voicemail. This is horrible. I am an enterprise user and we have been pushing to bring some macs into the workplace but given all these problems, it's looking like we won't be buying them anytime soon. This was a very, very bad product release. This should have been tested a lot more before it was released. This is rivaling Vista. Pull all nighters if you have to, just get it fixed quickly."

Or these, complaining that the 3G phone with the 2.0 software is noticeably slower than its EDGE 1.0 predecessor:

"The new operating system on the iPhone 3G is much slower for every application."

"I actually played with an iPhone in the store and my son pointed out the lag. I think it's a software fix and not a hardware issue."

"Both my wife and I are having the same problem. We both have first-gen iPhones which have been upgraded with the v2.0 software release. My wife finds it especially annoying when typing text messages or emails. I hope this gets fixed soon as sometimes they become un-usable."

Or these, from a thread entitled "iPhone 3G Reception Problems":

"While in Washington DC, all calls were dropped after a second or two. When I turned 3G off, no problems."

"Let me just go on record as another unsatisfied customer. I live in downtown Los Angeles, where 3G coverage is a given, and not only is the 3G wonky and unreliable, but oftentimes I'm struggling to even get decent edge support! Edge is absolutely worse on my new 3G than it ever was on my first generation iPhone. Adding insult to injury, I drop multiple calls every day, something that rarely happened before my upgrade."

"I have the 3G, had it for about 3 weeks now. I have to say that when i get 3G service it's great, I get it about 80% of the time. What's annoying is, I work in Times Square on the 33rd Floor of a building and the best I can get is edge. Come on ATT, it's Times Square!"

Or a complaint about the aforementioned slow backup (mine's not anywhere near this slow:

"So, every time I plug in my iPhone to sync, the first thing it wants to do is some sort of MASSIVE backup procedure that takes anywhere from 30 mins to 2+ hours if I let it complete. What's the deal here?"

Or this, from users complaining about seemingly buggy 2.0 apps. (Here I should point out that there are definitely issues with some of the apps -- like the Times app I mentioned above -- which are not Apple's fault.)

"I installed the 2.0 firmware on my Edge iPhone on Friday. I have noticed that every once in a while, the Phone will re-boot itself when I click on one of the new application icons. It immediately shows the while Apple logo and is re-booting. It has happened with more than one application, so I don't know if the applications are coded wrong or the 2.0 firmware has bugs. After the phone re-boots, I can click the same application icon and it will work fine."

In closing, let me emphasize that your mileage may vary. The question I have is, are these the normal growing pains for a new product (iPhone 3G) and software update (2.0), or is the 2.0 software buggier than it should be? I'd say right now the evidence tilts toward their being a need for a 2.1 bug-fix upgrade. If indeed we see this from Apple in the next month or so, we'll know.

OK, so in the fair and balanced portion of our post, let's hear one from a happy customer:

"I absolutely LLOOOOOOOVE my iPhone 3G. i have no light leakage or slanted sleep/wait button my vibration button is not loose and i get Amazing 3G reception here in freehold new jersey. It is defiantly worth getting i know i was a little skeptical too but once i picked mine up i realized it was the right decision."

So what's the verdict: buggy or not? Please leave your comments below or e-mail them to me directly at [email protected].

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