July 30, 2008

Ongoing Log of iPhone 3G Issues/Bugs (As of 8/29/08)

I've decided to keep an ongoing track of issues with my iPhone 3G. If I see any changes, for better or worse, I'll update the status of the issue. I'd love to hear from anyone else whether they are experiencing similar issues.

Don't get me wrong, I think the iPhone is a neat little device and the full browser with 3G is definitely a plus. But when you try to release a ubiquitous device like a phone, no matter how fancy, I think it's reasonable to expect a stable working device especially at the price range Apple/AT&T have positioned the iPhone in.

08/29/09:  I'm actually in the Apple Store in Fairfax to either return or exchange my iPhone.  While on the 495 coming home, turned on 3G and phone rebooted.  No connection to check e-mail or get to Pandora.  Decided to exchange the phone and called the local Apple Store.  After over 10 minutes on hold and 5 dropped calls, I'm finally here.  Update coming.

08/28/08: Got notified that I had 2 app updates. Backup took 20 minutes and another 10 minutes trying to install the updates before getting stuck. Oops... A full reboot on its own.

Poorly implemented feature: If I set my phone to vibrate mode, any features that set off audible alerts should just switch to vibrate mode. This is pretty common implementation found in most phones. But not on the iPhone. Vibration only works on phone calls but not on SMS, E-mail, etc. If they are set to play a sound, they'll go silent when you go to silent mode even if you have vibrate mode on.

Feature request: How about displaying # of e-mail, # of SMS, # of v-mail, and # of missed calls without sliding my finger across the screen. These are basic info that shouldnt' require me to take more action than just pressing the Home button.

Very annoyong: I complained about this before but as I get more apps on the iPhone, the fact that each update moves the apps around is getting very annoying. It's sort of clunky moving apps from screen to screen. I'm getting tired of the extra work required to keep the phone maintained.

08/27/08: 3G is very unstable for me. I don't care if it's the iPhone or AT&T but even with connectivity with 5 bars, I'm not even getting a connection half the time. I get an error that either the web server or the mail server couldn't be reached. No issues when I'm on Edge.

:-( More dropped calls.
:-( More problems running 3rd party apps.

08/26/08: After a 30 min call, this time without dropping, the screen was just stuck on Phone mode. No way of going back to the Home screen. Had to do a reboot.

:-( More dropped calls. Dropped calls seems to have dramatically increased since the 2.02 update.

08/23/08: Backup is back to taking forever again. Syncing my iPhone is now going to be a night time activity.

Question for Apple: When are we going to have video? I just went out and bought the Flip for my Korea trip. Sure would have been nice if the iPhone did video.

v.2.02 update is out! Installed without a hitch. Can't see any visible difference and Apple give no detail other than that it contains bug fixes.

:-) Tried the same WebPress blog page that crashed on the 18th. This time no problem reading the entire page. I think they fixed something with the caching in Safari. (Not so fast, see my next update on 3G connectivity on Safari below)

:-( Okay. There's something definitely wrong with my iPhone after the update. I've had to reboot it 3 times today because Safari couldn't connect to a web site. This is with full 5 bars over 3G. Argghh....

:-( Not sure if this related but there's a noticeable delay to use my address book. I have about 1,200 contacts and I just get a blank page for about 6 seconds before the contact list even shows up. Address Book used to load immediately but had a delay before I could scroll. Now the delay is when it loads but I can scroll immediately after the load. If this is how Apple "fixed" the Address Book delay issue, shame on them.

:-( 3 dropped calls today. The most I've had so far so I'm inclined to blame the recent update.

Missing iPhone Feature: Ability to jump to bottome of the web page. You can jump to the top but not to the bottom. When viewing a blog page with lots of comments, it's a pain having to scroll using the touch method.

Missing iPhone Feature: Ability clear a SMS input field. I typed in a long msg and decided not to send it. Only way to clear it is to delete 1 char at a time. No way of clearing the field. Holding the delete button maybe? Or shift-delete?

:-( 08/18/08: Was on the beach in Ocean City, MD. It was nice to surf the web for news updates, etc. Safari crashed multiple number of times trying to read a very long WebPress blog page. Assuming it's some caching issues.

iPhone = Love + Hate

Just an Observation: After coming home from a 3 day weekend, my wife comments how long the batter charge lasts on her Blackberry Curve. She made a few phone calls but otherwise it just sat in her purse. Battery indicator shows it's still 1/4 full. My iPhone will maybe go to day 2 even with almost no use. So I wonder why the iPhone uses up so much power even during inactivity?

8/12/08: Had a few days of stability but this morning the iPhone locked up while starting Clowdy and rebooted itself.

8/9/08: I wish there was a way to turn the screen transitions off. Sort of getting annoying and the novelty is quickly wearing off on me. In one of those transitions from Mail to Phone, the iPhone temporarily seemed hung with a single white dot on center of black screen. Took about 5 presses of the home button to get it functionaing again.

8/8/08: There's just a lot of taps required to something compared to other phones. Now I know the iPhone has a single button but maybe there's something to having more buttons. I used to be able to call home by pressing 1 button assigned to the number. Now I have to hit the Home button twice, move the slider, then select the number to call. It seems that the simplicity of having a single button added a lot more complexity to simple tasks.

DP's sarcastic remark:
It seems that the simplicity of having a single button added a lot more complexity to simple tasks. Maybe the next version of the iPhone will have no buttons.

8/7/08: Definitely having a love-hate relationship with my iPhone. Today, while driving in the 495, iPhone refused to turn on forcing me to perform a hard reset at 70mph. Battery half charged (full charge in the morning but half drained after 3 brief calls, few e-mails and about 20 min from iPod).


:-( Missing iPhone Feature: Ability to resend text message. You should be able to tap the previous message sent and it should appear on the message field so you can resend. Pretty easy. Somebody on the iPhone team should get off their high horse and look at all the useful features on Treo.

:-( Security Bug discovery (IMO). I set Passcode Lock to lock my phone after 1 hour of non-use. But I just found out that anyone can change the settings if they have access to my phone during that 1 hour and say extend it to 4 hours to give himself time to get to my data. iPhone doesn't protect the ability to change these settings with the Passcode. IMO, this is a bug. A pretty serious one if they want to play in the corporate space.

8/5/08: One of my silly apps, myLite, completely froze up the iPhone. Had to hard reboot. Then it worked fine.

*TIP: As usual, a reboot is probably a good idea after a major update.

8/5/08: The update had no affect on battery usage. As far as I can tell, it's still a battery suck.

:-( - Ugh. When are they going to have a working copy/cut & paste? It's a huge exposed sore now oozing bodily fluid.

:-) - Backup remains quick. That's good.

:-( - Tried GPS first time after the update. The GPS was on already. After 3 failed attempts to find a satellite, I turned off the GPS and went back to the map. Prompted to use the GPS and now it worked fine.

** Feature Requst to Apple: Allow me to set apps to always use GPS so it doesn't have to ask me each time. And unless the app needs to run GPS in the background, the app should turn off the GPS at exit.

8/5/08, 3:15am: Okay, I admit that I can get a little obsessed with keeping my device up to date.

:-) - Good news. Time to backup improved second time around. First backup after the update, it took over 30 min to complete. This time, it tool about 3 minutes. Let's hope it stays that way.

:-( - I deleted some really dumb apps from the iPhone while it was connected to my MacBook. Caused iTunes to get stuck with the spinning wheel. Soon as I unplugged the USB cable, the wheel disappeared. I was required to close and restart iTunes.

:-| - No noticeable improvement in browsing the web on Safari as some reported. Also no change noted going from portrait to landscape mode in Safari. Some reported smoother transition but I couldn't tell. So far no changes I could sense on Maps.

8/5/08, 2am: Took about 20 minutes to get the update installed on the phone.

Here's what I notice so far:

:-) - Address Book seems snappier. Immediately usable after it loads.
:-) - Camera seems to have less delay.
:-) - SMS messages seem to load faster
:-) - Others have reported more signal bars. Can't verify since I get pretty good signal from my house. It would be funny if Apple just made more bars show up and didn't actually fix any reception issue. Maybe not that funny.

:-( - Not sure why but sync still requires backing up of the iPhone which is really, really slow. I think it'll take over 30 min to complete it before it can move to syncing. Definitely an issue.


Apple updated the iPhone OS to 2.01. It's a minor release so expecting some bug fixes and nothing major.


:-( Not a good day for my iPhone today. Did a search for our favorite crab restaurant in Bethany Beach, DE using Google map on 3G. Displayed the map in hybrid mode. But when I tried to view in in map mode, the app crashed. After several tries, turned the phone off and back on but that didn't help. Not sure how I get the app working again.
*9pm update: I try using the map on WiFi, same problem. So instead of changing map view, I try getting directions. That somehow did the trick, now I can go back and forth again between hybrid, satellite and map. Weird...

* DP's Sarcastic Tip: Never search for crab restaurants in the iPhone. It doesn't seem to like shellfish. May live on the edge and try searching for sushi restaurants next to see if it doesn't like seafood.


:-( iPhone Mail app got "stuck" opening a HTML text mail over 3G. Pressing Home button got a delayed response after about 5 seconds. Was able to go back into Mail and this time the mail 0pened up as expected.

:-( My daughter wanted to play a game. Not sure which app she chose but the iPhone rebooted again. The good news is the Bloomberg worked again after the reboot.

* DP's Useful Tip: Always reboot the iPhone after any updates to apps until this is fully resolved.


:-( Why does sync take so long? iTunes attempts to backup the iPhone before syncing. I have about 10GB of music loaded but the sync is taking over 10 minutes to complete each time.

:-( AppStore notified me that I had 2 updates: BoxOffice and for . Both seemed to work fine after th update. Doh! spoke too soon. For some reason, Bloomberg app won't work.

:-( Here's something annoying that Apple needs to fix: Doing an app update moves the app from its set position to the last position on the last homepage. Very annoying when you've taken the trouble to organize the apps. Can't be too hard to remember where the app was positioned and place it back to that position after the update.

:-) Apple announced that they resolved the big bugs with MobileMe. I'm happy to report that MobileMe does seem working smoother syncing consistently with the iPhone.

:-( I tried launching the Flashlight app which caused the iPhone to reboot. But after reboot, all applications that weren't working were working again. I think there's some memory issue with the SDK after an app updates itself and will only clear up after a reboot. Hopefully this is a known issue and will be fixed in the next release of the SDK

:-( Safari crashed twice while reading pages on Venturebeat.com and NYTimes.com over Wifi in landscape mode.

7/30/08: Apps are definitely buggy. I was notified that I had 5 apps that needed to be updated. After the update, 3 out of 5 stopped working. After multiple deletes and reinstalls, only 1 is working again.

7/29/08: Tried CalDAV between iCal and Google Calendar only to discover that MobileMe can no longer sync with iCal since it can't handle subscribed calendar. Sucks. As a result iPhone calendar is blanked out. Multiple retries failed to bring calendar back on MobileMe. After about 12 attempts of renaming, resyncing the calendars, it finally worked. I'm assuming there's still some backend issues with MobileMe.

7/25/08: First dropped call after which, it rebooted itself. Hasn't happened again since.

7/13/08: Address Book is very slow to respond after launch. I have about 1,300 contacts. Average wait time remains at about 3 seconds before it responds to the touch.

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