Applications on the iPhone

   15 August 2008, terribly early in the morning

Yesterday my iPhone decided to eat all my phones 3rd party applications. Well, not all of them, but most of them. This isn’t such a big deal, you can just download them again from the AppStore and call it a day. In some cases the applications store data that I would have liked to have kept: so that’s no good. The iPhone 2.0 release seems to pretty buggy, especially when compared to the old phone’s software.

What’s worse here is that I’ve had much more trouble with Apple’s AppStore than I have had with Null River’s, which was the unofficial tool used to distribute jailbreak applications. The AppStore misses updates to applications all the time and often gets out of sync with iTunes. The AppStores advantages are that it is better organized, and nicer looking. One would expect more from Apple’s offering.

The AppStore does have one other advantage: there is a better selection of applications I actually feel inclined to use. Currently the applications I’ve downloaded and use with some regularity on the iPhone are: Evernote, Twinkle & Twitteriffic, Things, Pennies, Sudoku, Galcon, Exposure, and Box Office. That’s not to say everything is all roses here either. The AppStore boasts many applications, but a lot of them are pretty crap.

Another deficiency with the current crop of applications is that Apple doesn’t let developers build applications that can be ran in the background. Apple has some push notification service they plan to run to get around some of the limitations this imposes. Still, there are still lots of applications that can’t function unless they are allowed to run in the background. (MobileScrobbler is one example where push notification isn’t going to cut it.) Apple is also policing what sorts of applications it allows in its store. NetShare was available briefly, and now its gone, for reasons unknown. So while the jailbreak applications are for the most part pretty lame, there are still some key applications that aren’t available elsewhere.

I’m waiting to see if the 2.1 update which adds the “push notification” features will break more things, or improve the stability of the phone as a whole.



  1. as far as bugginess goes, my biggest complaint is still the persistent lag that I encounter half the time when I am typing. SMS threads more than a few messages long, emails with a lot of text, etc. It’s maddening. I can get so far ahead typing that I have to wait 30-60 seconds for the device to catch up.

    Aside from the too numerous app crashes, that is the only thing about the phone that I find completely unacceptable.

  2. That is brutal. Were you on 2.0 or 2.0.1? And yeah, the typing lag has reared its ugly head for me a few times too.

    Those problems, the crashing, the MobileMe fiasco, the 3G problems – this is all pretty uncharacteristic of Apple. I’m sure it will mostly be sorted in a few weeks though.

  3. I’m running 2.0.1. I’m not sure if this is all related to me moving my iTunes library a couple days ago. (The thing is, the move looks to have been a total success, so I’m not sure that’s it.)

Don't be shy, you can comment too!

Some things to keep in mind: You can style comments using Textile. In particular, *text* will get turned into text and _text_ will get turned into text. You can post a link using the command "linktext":link, so something like "google": will get turned in to google. I may erase off-topic comments, or edit poorly formatted comments; I do this very rarely.