Careful With Those Apps Eugene

Posted by Jeff Scott on July 26th, 2008

So developers are blaming Apple, Apple isn't commenting, as they never do. But the deal is that for any iPhone OS 2.0 users there is a major stability issue that is causing data loss to watch out for.

Here's how it happens -- you are running an app and the screen goes blank and your iPhone or iPod Touch restarts.  You see the Apple logo and it looks like the device is restarting.  And the Apple logo doesn't go away.  And it still doesn't go away.  So, let's try restarting again-- hold down the power button for 8 seconds and it goes blank.  Start it again.  Same thing happens -- seems to be stuck in the boot up process.

I know that this has happened to at least 3 people on Twitter. Doesn't seem like it's an uncommon problem.

What do you do?  Well the only thing that seems to work is to force a restore from iTunes. For info on how to do that, see this Apple support article.  So after you give your phone the death grip and breathe a sigh of relief as the restore process starts you begin to wonder what happened?

I have a theory and it's just a theory.  I have no way to prove this.  But I think the crashes are being caused by lost memory.  Applications may not be properly cleaning up after themselves, known as releasing memory, when an application ends.  This lost memory is building up over time and causing the crashes as other applications can't get enough memory to work properly.

What you can do to keep this from happening.  Probably not much, it's mainly up Apple to fix what is causing this.  There are some things you can do that might mitigate the problem or help you recover when it does happen.

First, if an application crashes and you are returned to the application list, don't just go on with what you are doing.  It's a good idea to restart the phone to help it clean up lost memory.  To do this, hold down the power button for a few seconds and slide the shutdown slider.  Wait a couple seconds and hit the power button to boot back up.

What you can do the help recover if your phone does crash is let that agonizingly slow backup process in iTunes complete.  This will help so that you won't lose all your preferences (and your high score in Poker Dice!) when your phone needs to be restored.  It's time consuming, but hopefully not as time consuming as setting everything back up though.

So, about an hour later, hopefully your restore has worked completely and that includes the backup restore process. If the backup restore process doesn't work you will still luckily retain any synced contacts, calendar, etc.

To me this problem is just an indication that Apple has pushed out the 2.0 update a little early. They had deadlines and didn't make things as bullet proof as 1.x was.

All apologies to Pink Floyd for the title.

Pink Floyd - Careful With That Axe Eugene
[youtube r3R2PgMiTvw]

Posted in: News
Tagged With: Stability, Crash, Reboot, Restore, Bugs, Itunes
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