- The backups can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.
- The backups are not “incremental,” i.e. they backup all the data on the phone.
- If someone calls you, the backup is interrupted.
- Whenever the backup is cancelled or interrupted — when, y’know, have to use the phone — that backup data set is corrupted.
I have several (more than 30) applications installed in my iPhone 2.0 (some of them are over 10MB). I’ve been a bit disappointed with the oh-so-slow syncs in iTunes due to the required backup process. Searching a bit, I found that I could disable the backups by setting a hidden iTunes preference. Quit iTunes, open Terminal, and enter this command:
defaults write com.apple.itunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool YES
From the comments:
Also check out the free Backup Disabler, which is probably just a GUI for this hint.
UPDATE: iPhone firmware 2.0.1 dramatically sped up my backups! Yaaaaaaaay! We’ll see if it fixes the other stuff. In brief testing, the phone feels less crashy.
UPDATE: The backups got slower again after I started accumulating a lot of third-party data on the phone again.
UPDATE: iPhone firmware 2.1 is waaaaaaaaaaay faster on backups, and on installing apps.