iPhone OS 2.0.1 Is Out

I just read that the new version of the iPhone OS is out. I’ll be installing it in an hour or so. I’m really looking forward to this update, since 2.0 is buggy as hell.

BTW, I posted this using the WordPress iPhone app. It’s a very cool app, but it would be so much better if the iPhone had bloody cut & paste!!!

A Few Things I Hate About iPhone OS 2.0

I love the new iPhone 2.0 OS, mostly, though I really think they should have let it bake for another couple of months before releasing it. There are parts of it that just don’t feel fully cooked. For instance, one application dying should not cause the entire phone to reboot. That doesn’t happen in OSX, nor does it happen in Linux. It does happen in Windows, but that’s another story. It’s happened to me at least six times with different apps, and that’s just not cool.

Next, it’s really difficult to actually delete an application from the phone. I’ve figured it out, but here’s what I went through. The first time, I deleted it from the Applications panel of iTunes and said “yes” when it said that they would be removed from the phone the next time I did a sync. Perfect. Except it wasn’t. The next time I did a sync, I got a dialog saying that there was purchased content detected on the phone and did I want to transfer it. A parenthetical note advised that failure to do so would result in the content being removed from the phone. I answered “transfer” because I wasn’t sure if I’d installed anything directly to the phone or not. Of course, the only content that was on the phone that wasn’t in iTunes was the apps I’d just deleted. Actually, the very first time I tried to delete apps this way, I didn’t get the “purchased content on phone” message, because I’d seen it once before and had checked “always transfer” as the default. That means that it would be impossible to ever remove apps this way, since iTunes would always transfer them from the phone back into iTunes.

So then I tried deleting the apps from the phone itself. I pressed the icon and held it down until the screen went “wiggly” and then pressed the ‘X’ on the icons I wanted to delete. They got removed just fine. Until I did a sync with iTunes again, at which time they were dutifully reinstalled.

What this means is that there is only one surefire way to delete apps: delete them from both the iPhone and iTunes before doing a sync. You could just delete them from iTunes and then answer “don’t transfer” from that dialog the next time you sync, but you have to make certain that the only “new” content on the phone is the deleted apps, and not something that you want to hold on to. Good luck with that.

Finally, I hate the fact that every time I do a sync, iTunes will gladly spend 20 minutes backing up the iPhone. It apparently goes brute force and just backs up everything on the phone, whether it needs to or not. Some of the installed apps, like Apple’s Texas Hold’Em, have tons of images and audio files, which take forever to backup. And once those files have been backed up, there’s no reason to ever back them up again; they won’t ever change! A little checksumming of files could go a long way towards solving this.

I still love my iPhone and the ability to install apps on it is awesome. I’ve paid my $99 to Apple to get into the developer program, and as soon as I come up with something decent that needs writing, I’m going to write it. So even though this post contained the word “hate,” I still love you, iPhone. XX OO XX

A day or so ago Apple began seeding iPhone OS 2.0.1 to developers, so I’m hoping that goes GA quickly and that it addresses some of these problems. Just like Leopard had problems at launch and a relatively quick point release solved them, that’s what I’m hoping for with the iPhone.

07-26-2008 16:20 Update: When I sat down to write this post, it was originally “Three Things I hate…” but at the end, I’d really only included two. So I changed the name. But a little while ago, I remembered the third thing, and that’s when you update apps with new versions, they don’t stay where I had them. For example, just this morning, UrbanSpoon had an update and when it was updated, it moved from page 2 to page 5. That’s very uncool, too.

I Paid My $99 To Apple

As I said yesterday, I finally got my acceptance letter from Apple that essentially allows me to pay them $99 in order to develop iPhone software. I have just now paid the $99, so now it’s just a matter of waiting for the license or whatever it is that they will send out. Let’s hope it doesn’t take as long as it did for the acceptance letter.

As I write this, I am downloading the iPhone SDK. I played around with the first beta Apple released, but I haven’t really done anything with it since then. That was before they got Interface Builder going, so it should be a lot better now than it was then. I’m looking forward to getting started; now I just need to think of something that needs writing.

07/13/2008 00:37 Update: About 20 minutes after posting this, my Activation Code email arrived from Apple. Fun times ahead.

So *Now* Apple Will Let Me In…

After months of waiting, I received this email from Apple just a few minutes ago:

Thank you for applying to the iPhone Developer Program.

We have reviewed the information you submitted when you initiated your program enrollment request and we are ready to instruct you on the steps required to complete the enrollment process.

Please click here to review and agree to the Standard License Agreement. You must execute this agreement prior to completing the purchase and activation process for the iPhone Developer Program.

Once you complete and activate your purchase, your enrollment will be complete.

Thank you,

iPhone Developer Program

I guess now that the App Store is live, they can let more people into the program. Now I guess I’ll have to re-download the SDK and pony up.

My iPhone Apps

After spending way too much time last night going through the App Store, I finally went to bed. But not before I took some screenshots of everything installed on my iPhone. (That’s another cool feature of iPhone 2.0: screenshots. To take one, hold down the round button on the front, and then press the power button. The screen will flash white, and then the image shows up in your photos. Very nice.)

I will most likely uninstall at least a few of the apps, as they either aren’t that great, or they require registration at some website that I’m not sure about. Anyway, have a look.

iPhone Launcher Page 1iPhone Launcher Page 2
iPhone Launcher Page 3iPhone Launcher Page 4


You can click on each one to see a larger version. I still can’t install apps from within iTunes, though. All of those apps I installed from the iPhone itself. The standout apps, so far, include
  • Mobile Flickr
  • Box Office
  • Twitterific (though I wish it had separate tabs for replies and direct messages)
  • Facebook
  • Band
  • PhoneSaber (Thomas especially likes this one)

iPhone Password Entry Is Now 600% Better

One of the most frustrating things about the previous version of the iPhone software was password entry. Apple used a masked entry field, which means that instead of seeing what you type, you see a splat. On a computer with a big monitor, that’s understandable; you don’t want someone stealing your password by looking over your shoulder. But on the iPhone, it seemed a bit silly, and it was incredibly hard to know if you’d typed your password properly.

But with iPhone 2.0, things have changed. It still uses a masked entry field, but now the most-recently typed letter is visible until you type the next character, or for about 2 seconds if that’s the last letter. Oh, mama, that’s an awesome improvement. I will make far fewer errors now! 🙂

Why Can’t I Install iPhone Apps Via iTunes?

09/15/2008 Update: I wrote this article back in July, right after iPhone OS 2.0 was released. You’ll notice from the update on 08/01/2008 that I figured out what was going on. But since so many people keep asking, let’s establish something once and for all:


It doesn’t work. It can’t work, since the 1.1.x version of the OS doesn’t support applications. You must install the 2.x version of the OS. 

Now, if you still want to read the original story, here it is:

OK, so I’ve got iPhone 2.0 loaded, and I successfully installed an app from the App Store from the device itself, but I can’t seem to get app installing working from within iTunes. I have downloaded three apps via iTunes and they all came down successfully, but they don’t show up on my iPhone. All three show up in the Applications pane of iTunes, so they successfully downloaded to my Mac, but even after manually syncing and unplugging and re-plugging the iPhone in, they never show up on the device. Going into the App Store on the iPhone itself and installing from there works, but I do get a message saying that I’ve already purchased that app, and would I like to re-download it for free. After that, the app is installed, but something is wrong. Or maybe I missed something.

08/01/2008 17:38 Update: I discovered the trick a day or so after I wrote this, but since someone else is still having the problem, I’m updating the post with the answer. Follow these steps

  1. Click on your iPhone in the Devices section of iTunes
  2. Click on the Applications tab
  3. Check the “Sync applications” checkbox
  4. Select either “All applications” or “Selected applications” and then check the ones you want synced.
  5. Click the “Sync” button.

That’s it.

iPhone 2.0, Installed. First App, Installed.

My download of the iPhone 2.0 kit finished successfully. I then installed it a restored my settings and such. Now, about 25 minutes later, I’ve installed my first app. I’m going to be digging through the App Store for a while tonight, looking for cool things to install.


iPhone 2.0 Is Downloading

I can’t wait until tomorrow to get the new iPhone 2.0 software. I’m downloading it now at a rate of 715.47K/s and once it’s downloaded, I’m gonna slap it on my phone. I’m using the instructions found here for the procedure.

Ooh! Only 2:24 until it’s finished downloading.