Starting about 2 weeks after I bought my iPhone 3G (which was on the day of its release), my third-party apps, those downloaded from the App Store, started crashing. All of them. Consistently. Tap on one, it flashes its first screen, then flashes away, back to the Home screen.
For the next month, I suffered: I wiped the phone. I reinstalled. I backed up and restored. I did two full erases, which took upwards of an hour each. I restored again. I probably restored a dozen times, and most of those times I had to re-setup the phone from scratch. I learned a way to extract my SMS messages from the backup files (be ready to use the Terminal!).
Finally I called AppleCare.
AppleCare for the iPhone is a funny thing. For the most part, the iPhone either works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, you restore it, and then it starts working again. If the restore doesn’t work, you have a bad phone and you need to take it to the Apple Store so they can replace it.
So I was surprised when the first rep I talked to had recommendations beyond that, and very weird ones, to boot. He told me that:
a) I had too many applications on the phone; that the phone, like a computer, couldn’t handle too many applications running at the same time. I said they weren’t running at the same time: It is very clear that only Apple applications can run background processes, and all third-party programs stop everything when you go close them. He said that wasn’t true. I said Steve Jobs had said it He said it wasn’t true. I said, show me some documentation, something to tell me that there is a maximum number of apps you should keep. He said he didn’t need documentation; he learned it in training. I said, no you bloody well did NOT.
b) I should reboot my phone every day, just like my computer. I told him I very rarely need to reboot my computer. He said I needed to. I said, show me some documentation, something to tell me that there is a maximum number of apps you should keep. He said he didn’t need documentation; he learned it in training. I said, no you bloody well did NOT.
And then I said, lemme talk to your supervisor.
After about 20 minutes, a very friendly and helpful tier-2 technician came on the horn. I told him about a) and b), and he assured me that he had instructed the previous phone monkey not to spread bullpuckey like that around anymore. Thank you, I said, from the entire iPhone-using populace.
Then began our dialogue, by phone and email, trying to resolve my app-crashing issue. We went through the whole restore process a couple more times, when finally he suggested the procedure that, for organizational purposes and ease of reading, I’m going to post in Part II.