November 28, 2008 at 2:09 AM by Dr. Drang
On Thursday of last week I decided I’d had enough of my iPhone’s behavior—I was going to do a full restore to try to get it back to normal. I was hoping to fix these problems:
- I couldn’t do over-the-air app installations and updates. I’m pretty sure this had been a problem since updating to the iPhone 2.1 software in September.
- App updates through iTunes always required an elaborate dance. Again, I’m pretty sure this started with the 2.1 update.
- Mobile Safari crashed regularly. Crashing had always been a minor problem with Mobile Safari—there are certain sites that it just can’t handle—but in recent weeks things had deteriorated to the point where I expected at least two crashes a day.
- Other apps had started crashing. Contacts, Calendar, Wurdle, Photos; this was getting out of hand.
I spent Friday was the Mac I sync with the iPhone, so Saturday was the earliest I could do the restore. Late Friday/early Saturday, Apple released the iPhone 2.2 update, which meant that my “restore” was actually going to be a “wipe and update.” I worried that this might be too much change at one time but went ahead.
The wipe and update worked perfectly, and I again have an iPhone whose behavior I can trust. I had to reintroduce the iPhone to my wifi networks at work and home, and I had to repopulate my Phone Favorites, but neither of those took much time. I’ve decided to drop Mobile Me (a topic for a later post), so Calendars and Contacts synced directly through iTunes. Email account info came automatically from Mail, as expected. The most time-consuming part of the process was waiting for the music and movies to transfer over.
Since I did two things at once, I can’t be positive which improvements came from the wipe and which from the update, but I’m pretty sure the wipe can be credited with the return of over-the-air app updates and restored stability of Mobile Safari and the other apps. Mobile Safari has crashed once this week, but it was on a site with lots of ads and scripts; the kind of site Mobile Safari had always had trouble with. None of the other apps have crashed, which is as it should be.
The biggest improvement I attribute to the update is speed. All the apps seem to launch faster. Contacts, which had always been unbearably slow, was now launching in less than 5 seconds—a huge improvement. Almost as important, Contact’s inert and misleading splash screen, which John Gruber discussed last month and which gave you the impression that the app was ready to use long before it was, is gone.
I’m not sure I like the new Mobile Safari toolbar, mainly because of the reduced size of the reload icon (Gruber shows the differences in this post). On the other hand, despite it’s taking up more space than the old search icon, I like the Google search field1. I was one of those people who just couldn’t remember that the magnifying glass meant “search,” and I’d often waste time navigating to Google instead of searching directly from Mobile Safari. Now I’ll search directly more often and Apple will make more money from Google.
Yes, I know it can be used to search via Yahoo!, but does anyone really use Yahoo! search anymore? ↩