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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If your iPhone update times out

I had a computer nerd moment this morning with the iPhone. I don't have these too often, and when they happen, I can't resist writing them down on this blog. I think, Maybe they're profound. Maybe they will help some other computer user in need some dark night. But mostly I don't really know what's going on.

Anyway, the iPhones -- oh, we love us our iPhones around here, and when I hooked mine up to the computer for a late night backup and a charge, ding! The gods and goddesses of Apple were telling me that there was a software update available for the phone. Now, one of the smartest guys I know, Mr. Fearless, is an absolute compulsive when it comes to having the latest software immediately installed on all his gadgets, and so seeking to emulate him, I merrily clicked to get the update going.

But fail! As the kids would say. Epic fail! The iTunes program (to which one must succumb to have an iPhone) kept trying to update the phone, but it would stop after a while and tell me "Your network connection timed out."

To a guy like me, that ain't real helpful. It took a bit of Googling, but here's what I figured out. When iTunes gets slapped onto your computer as part of iMania, usually Apple takes that opportunity to put another program called QuickTime on there, too. I'm not much of a fan of QuickTime, particularly the fact that if you don't specifically instruct your Windows computer not to do it, QuickTime is going to start up every time your computer does. It eats up resources and slows down Windows startup times, which in case you haven't noticed are now measured in hours. Whenever I see the little icon on the bottom of the screen telling me that QuickTime is running, I close it right down and cuss out Apple a little, and Microsoft slightly more. (However annoying it is, QuickTime will never be as bad as the loathsome Real Player, which I absolutely will not allow to be installed even if it comes with a free Prius.)

Well, by closing QuickTime, apparently I had doomed my iPhone update. And so just for kicks, I started up QuickTime manually, then ran the iPhone update, and voilĂ ! It no longer timed out. Still, the update took a lo-o-o-ong time, and I'm sure there will be something or other that's new and not immediately apparent about the new version of the software. Fun with computers is endless, isn't it? But it feels good when you're kinda smart about something they're doing to you.

Comments (8)

Well, one of the things that is new and exciting about the software, is disabled tethering. No more of this.

Hey, on my wife's iPHone (sorry I am a PC person), if I plug it into a USB hub instead of straight to the USB port, I do get timeout errors on updates. If you are still trying.

Similarily, I am not crazy about having to do everything thru iTunes.

Even though I am a Mac person, I cringe every time I see there is a new update for iTunes because it inevitably means there will also be an update for QuickTime - which always seems to be twice the size of any other download.

Hmmm, Real Player runs just fine. I can interface with it and many 3rd party audio app, and when I have any problems, it's always, always my lack of understanding the setup. Get it right and it runs fine.

As to iPhone, why all I do is use my Verizon. No iTunes. for that, there are fine mp3 players that cost under $100. I have one.

I will say that Verizon sucks in many ways, but I will not use iPhone.

Too many manzanitas out there.

Thanks for the post, Jack. Like you, I kill QT when it appears and I've been suffering all summer with this problem and AppleCare has been unable to resolve it. Now maybe there's a solution for me. But beware of the 3.1 update: "iPhone 3.1 problems flood our tip box" at http://tinyurl.com/qrhcsy

Strange. I've been running the various beta releases of 3.1 and, now, 3.2, the update for 3.1 installed without any problem. Of course, my iPhone already had an install of 3.1 on it, but this merely overwrote the existing code with refreshed code. Unfortunately, I've discovered that 3.1 sucks battery life quickly and painfully. I can't figure out what causes it - the beta didn't do it. In any case, I'm probably going to have to have my phone replaced as it is impossible to go backwards on an iPhone. You can't install 3.0 after you've already installed 3.1. The baseband can't be downgraded. The only solution is to replace the handset. Fortunately, mine is under warranty and Applecare.

disabled tethering

Are you sure? Let's just say I'm not sure.

3.1 sucks battery life quickly and painfully

Sorry to hear that. So far today, my upgraded phone is behaving the same as it did pre-upgrade, from a battery standpoint. But then again, I have the cheapie phone, with the smallest level of memory.

Have you tried resetting the thing? Or powering it off and on, at least?

Oh God, I've gone all the way through to reinstalling the update from ground zero. The "restore" option. Still sucks battery life. Time for a replacement phone. I figure that this is the price I pay for beta testing the iPhone software as part of the iPhone Developers Group.

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