Apple iOS 4 update frustrates iPhone 3G owners
Our upgrade did not go smoothly - and we're not alone
Updated Unsurprisingly, there are reports of woes among iPhone users when upgrading to iOS 4 and we even have first hand experience of this here at Reg Hardware. On a 3GS, the upgrade was the "easiest yet" for our esteemed leader, yet in the foothills, there’s a rather sickly 16GB iPhone 3G that won’t run any of third party apps or sync up with iTunes media.
Unhelpfully cryptic iTunes alert during an iOS 4 upgrade
While there are various error codes being quoted among the disenchanted, the problem in this case is an iTunes error -34. This alert appeared during the final fence aspect of the upgrade that deals with resyncing user data on top of the freshly served iOS 4 phone. The sync fails, you get the error code and the option to try and fail again. Up to that point, the upgrade seems to have gone through the motions as planned.
In this instance, trying the main restore nuclear option – that follows up with a user data restore choice – had mixed results. The error -34 appeared as before, but much later, and Contacts, Mail accounts, Safari bookmarks and Notes were present.
It was possible to sync third party apps too, but none of them work – they spring open and quit, only the default Apple apps function. Music too, fails to sync with error details saying that the files do not exist and that the iTunes library file is incorrect.
Media sync fails and clicking on a track will report ‘File does not exist’
Other users have reported the error -34 problem, yet the Apple discussion forum is strangely quiet on any solutions to this particular issue.
With over 1GB free before the upgrade on our iPhone 3G, it seems unlikely that a lack of storage space was the issue as some have suggested. The upshot of all this is an iPhone that, goddammit, works as a phone… with some Interweb love thrown in. The tinkering continues...
Despite misgivings regarding the meaning of the cryptic -34 error, a lack of space did appear to be the issue. However, as pointed out in comments to this piece, it was most likely due to the iTunes option to 'Convert higher bitrate songs to 128kbps AAC' having become disabled during the process. This caused the user data resync to fail and troubles began with incomplete restores dogging the upgrade even when this option was re-enabled.
So, another approach was needed. Right clicking on the iPhone icon on the left pane in iTunes brings up an option to restore from earlier backups. The 3GS flew through this process and so resyncing the iTunes media was next. Initially, an incomplete restore alert did pop up (and was ignored, as the restore process was still progressing nicely), but thankfully, no -34 error message appeared as before. More than two hours later, the media was restored and all the third party apps were working. Now, to feed those Angry Birds... ®
My 3G upgraded eventually.. although it took a very long time and I must admit to getting a little anxious.
Having done it though, I am seriously wondering why I bothered. I understand that his Jobsness has decided that I'm not old enough to decide for myself what to use my battery power on so no multi-tasking (sic) - fair enough. But no wallpaper on menu screens? I mean, WTF?!? And I'm supposed to be thankful for menu screen folders?
The arbitrariness of all this is making me seriously look at jailbreaking. Especially since this is probably the last update for the 3G if the original iPhone is anything to go by.
And to all of the Apple apologists claiming that we should be grateful to get updates 2 years after the phone was released remember that Apple are mostly only providing the functions that should have been there in the first place.
Oh dear ...
You get these kind of equally extensive firmware updates on Symbian every six months or so and they go off without a hitch. It looks like the shine is coming off Apple's infallibility.
Sounds about right
I suspect you are in the vast majority, in fact a huge majority.
Most people should be asking, "Will it do anything so dramatically different that I need this update now? Will I do anything different today that I did not do yesterday?"
Why not wait a week for the update release x.1 to be released with the patches, then simply update it to ensure you stay within support, safe in the knowledge that almost all the major show-stoppers have been ironed out.
You can tell the ones who don't work on servers, they upgrade everything 2 secs after an update comes out! The seasoned ones (re: sad old gits! ) wait for everyone else to find the bugs, then patch their servers after a few days or weeks to ensure they don't get hit too badly by upgrades!
No problems here. Yet...
My trusty 2 year old 16GB 3G updated without problems.
Well, I say without problems. It took 20 trillion to the power 94 hours to complete, which meant I had to invent a time machine in order to send my phone and the Mac far enough back in time so the update would complete in my life time, but other than that, no problem.
Sadly the only really useful stuff 'allowed' on the old model by Saint Steve that I want are app folders and a unified mail box. Really, really stupid that I'm not permitted by his-Jobsiness to put a background on my home screen. The lack of 'multitasking' I can understand seeing as the iPod app falls to its knees if you so much as think about the possibility of considering the option of running another app at the same time.
I'm sure my smugness will haunt me. 3.728 second after hitting 'submit' I predict my trusty old 3G will explode and die in a mass of iOS4 error nightmares, in the process creating a black hole which will suck in more money from my bank account into his-Jobsiness's pocket.
Not that I am a big Apple fan but my installation put up a message box recomending that I sync my iPhone prior to upgrading. Did your friend ignore this advice by any chance?