Continued from Part 1…
Thankfully I was able to get her phone operational again by holding down the button at the top edge of the phone until it asked me if I wanted to power it off. I powered it off and back on again and all seemed fine, but I lost just a tiny bit of confidence at that point in time, kind of like when a car has an issue and you never quite trust it again. It happened to me a few more times that night – some times it would let me power it off and some times I would have to hold that top button and the button on the front at the same time until the phone reset itself. More recently none of those tricks seemed to work and I had to do the top and front button reset dance numerous times before the phone finally came to life. That one was really scary.
I am not a stranger to computers and failure. I am in my 22nd year in infrastructure and see bugs all of the time. But this one hurt a little somewhere deep inside because, like many, I had fallen in to the fuzzy, happy world where Apple would never, ever make mistakes like this. And this was just one little piece of the issues that would rock my happy little Apple world and slap me right back in to reality, where you remember that these are things engineered, designed, coded, and tested by humans. Humans are imperfect and make mistakes, and now the entire world knows that Apple makes them as well – Activation, 2.0, MobileMe, Welcome to the real world Apple. That’s a lot of things happening at the same time that should have been avoided. It will be interesting to see if Apple learns anything from this. Scaling is hard. Enterprises are hard.
The 2.0 software and the App store are an amazing example of systems and integration. But they are not perfect. I have applications crash on me all the time. I actually blame Apple for most of these as I don’t believe any application’s crash should be able to take down the phone’s OS, but it sure seems like that happens a lot. Those apps that just crash back to the icon screen I believe are probably the developer’s issue to resolve, but the rest should sit firmly on Apple’s shoulders. If you are running applications from the App store I would encourage you to check for any updates daily. The developers seem to be working hard to get any bugs eliminated and I have seen a ton of updates to applications over the last 2 weeks.
I don’t know if Apple has a beta program for these developers and their testers, but they need to get one in place if it doesn’t exist. Right now we, the people, are Apple’s beta testers and that would bother me a little less if I hadn’t paid 10 bucks for that privilege on my Touch and if Apple would have just stated that initially. Let’s be honest, Apple still would have picked up thousands and thousands of people that would be willing to test their software – and probably pay for the privilege. But, no application crash should ever take down the entire phone. Period.
It’s probably a good thing that Apple is out of iPhones all over the country or this could be a bigger black eye than it already is. It will be interesting to see how many people stay up late at night clicking that Check Now button in iTunes when the next release rolls around. Apple, we need 2.0.1 or 2.1 or what ever you are going to call it, soon.
What do you think, will you be cautious the next time Apple releases something or will you move ahead as you normally do because it is the next great thing from Apple?