Where the #$%@ is the iPhone 2.0.1 firmware?! - Macenstein

Where the #$%@ is the iPhone 2.0.1 firmware?!

In the first 13 months of owning an iPhone I restored my iPhone ONE time, and it was a voluntary act I performed to see if it would get rid of a little sluggish behavior (which it did). Since upgrading to the iPhone 2.0 firmware, however, I have had to restore my iPhone six times, in just 8 days. And this 6th iPhone restore really hurt.

Yesterday I went on a trip into NYC with the family to see Miley Cyrus perform in Bryant Park (not exactly my idea of fun). The 4am trip involved quite a few headaches, but we made it, and despite the concert, we had a great time. We went to the top of the Empire State Building, we went to Jim Hanley’s Universe, The Disney Store, Mars 2112 (well, that sort of sucked), FAO Schwarz, and of course, the 5th Ave Cube. And all along the trip, I took pictures with my (formerly) trusty iPhone camera. We brought along a real pocket camera too and took some shots, but I grabbed quite a few stills on the iPhone of some of the more bizarre Apple stuff I saw, some of which I planned to use in upcoming articles here and at Son of Macenstein.

Well, needless to say, after such an exhausting day, I did not pull off those pictures when we finally got home around 8PM, and thanks to this morning’s iPhone crash I lost them. I had gone a solid 3 days without a crash, and perhaps had been lulled into a false sense of security, but needless to say, I am now more or less viewing my iPhone as simply a phone and iPod that may or may not work. The idea of traveling alone to the city or even being on a long car ride now gives me pause, as I know if I want to do something crazy, like, oh, I don’t know, rearrange my icons, or play the $10 game of Scrabble I bought, it could mean I am without cell phone service until I get home.

I realize for many the iPhone 2.0 firmware has been working flawless, but I also know I have seen an amazing amount of horror stories that mimic my own. Having a buggy version of iPhone software runs a very close second to having a buggy Mac OS on my computer on my list of things that screw up my life (a rather long list, btw), and in some ways it is actually more annoying. Perhaps it is time Apple widen the beta testing pool a bit on the iPhone so not so many of us feel like beta testers ourselves when the final release comes. I want my (thoroughly tested, of course) 2.0.1 firmware, and I want it NOW.

29 Responses to “Where the #$%@ is the iPhone 2.0.1 firmware?!”
  1. vastheman says:

    “I want my (thoroughly tested) 2.0.1 firmware, and I want it NOW.”

    And here’s the issue: you can have it thoroughly tested _or_ you can have it now – not both.

  2. Wrong! I am an American consumer! I deserve to have everything yesterday, and working awesome.
    -The Doc

  3. Zac Bedell says:

    Two words: Clean install. Don’t restore all the stuff from your 1.whatever firmware when you reinstall 2.0. Start with a completely clean phone image, and when it asks, “Do you want to restore this junk from another phone that had the same name,” say no. Should be solid as a rock after that.

    My initial runs of 2.0 were dreadful. I started clean, and I haven’t had a (non self-induced-while-debugging-my-app) crash since.

  4. Tom says:

    What are you people doing to your iPhones to need it to be restored this much? I have some issues, nothing major. My biggest hangups are lack of support at ATT stores (they just put you on the phone with Apple) and some connectivity issues (Today a large swath of KS was having 3G issues). Other than that, a few apps I downloaded act weird, but have not required a restore. My battery drain unexpectedly once. Again, put it on the charger and everything worked fine. The most annoying one is when I have someone on the phone and the accelerometer of whatever sensor keeps putting the screen dark when I am trying to hit the speaker button. I’d love a 2.0.1 update or even a 2.1, but only if it adds a few of the missing features and stabilizes the phone a bit. A rush job that leaves either the Apps unsupported or has such few improvements will just make people madder. The bigger issues are quality of service to customers not next to an Apple Store. Many of us want person to person contact not emails and phone conversations. ATT staff need more information and better updates on what is happening in their own network. THey don’t need to be product specialist, but give them the basic troubleshooting routine scripts. They can do it. It would make customers happier and cut down on the calls overloading Apple.

  5. Mr.The says:

    you went to see miley cirus and this is your penance.

  6. Kensei says:

    I just needed to leave a message because the the captcha had ‘nurses’ in it (my profession).

    So Doc you think the crashes are due to the OS itself or to the applications from the app store. I heard that Apple limited the initial developers to 4000 in order to ensure quality of apps over quantity.

    Looking at the 5-6 different fuel mileage meters on the store I am doubting this plan worked.

    Also, apparently developers weren’t given much chance to test their apps on the final OS and weren’t able to talk to other developers due to the NDA. So it could be a combination of OS and apps causing this problem.

    Something that happens a lot when apps that have majoe issue like memory leaks, code conflicts, etc affect the stability of the OS. e.g. Windows Mobile, the more you put on the more unstable it gets.

  7. Florian says:

    Mybe you should try to delete the iPhone software you keep restoring to (maybe that one’s faulty) in (I think) User > Library > Itunes > iPhone Software Updates and then redownload the 2.0 software.

    It’s always possible that you just had some bad luck downloading the ipsw file.

    Keep us posted!

  8. Hey Zac,

    Nah, at least 4 of the restores have been clean installs, because iTunes tells me my backups “are corrupt, and not compatible with my iPhone.”

    So I have had to start from ground zero most times, which takes about 1.5 hours.
    -The Doc

  9. Kyle says:

    My iPhone crashed and restarted AS I was reading this.

    I’m definitely ready for an update.

  10. Turd In Pocket says:

    “Where the #$%@ is the iPhone 2.0.1 firmware?!”

    Ha Ha! Did you not see that coming?

    You could not be so stupid not to know that ANY new software release ending with a .0, coupled with new hardware, and a new online service would be beta.

    It’s how it’s done now, so stop whinnying and take your lumps for expecting too much. As for me, I’m waiting until September for the software bugs and at least one cycle of hardware manufacturing to get the unanticipated flaws resolved.

  11. Robert says:

    Same here, nothing but problems.

    My iPhone has a new trick, if I don’t put it on the charger at night it will be completely dead by morning. To make matters worse it does not seem to matter if it was fully charged or not the night before. Yes it even does on a fresh restore with no apps loaded, and No it did not do it before the update. Yes PUSH is turned off.

    Sigh…. hoping Apple will release the new update soon.

  12. I’ve had some applications like AIM crap out on me a few times, but I’ve yet to have any need to actually restore my iPhone.

    Granted, that’ll probably change now that I post this.

  13. Jonro says:

    This is a buggy software release, but did you consider the possibility that you have a hardware problem, possibly defective memory? Before you go that route, do an absolutely clean install of everything. It’s a royal pain; you will have to restore all of your settings manually, including your network access. I had to do that and everything is running smoothly now. Hope it lasts.

  14. Hey Jonro,

    Well, I have done about 4 clean installs. It would certainly be coincidental to have a RAM problem develop the day I installed the update, but I suppose anything is possible. And of course, the couple thousand other iPhone users experiencing bugs would also have to have suddenly developed bad RAM…

    -The Doc

  15. Arisian says:

    hallow dr. mac,

    You might try going back to 1.1.4. I kept all m old firmwares just because i assumed this MIGHT end up being the case. Im pretty sure it wouldnt be hard to get your hands on a copy of 1.1.4.

    I upgraded and jailbroke my 2.0 ipod touch today but am seriously considering going back to 1.1.4 since… well… its pointless beause all the douchebag apps are in the store now (ie, paying $99 for a flashlight)

    nonetheless, going back to 1.1.4 might be a temp solution for you. Didnt read the other posts. if someone said that already, I apologize.


  16. thom says:

    Unfortunately Apple Quality Control has steadily gone way down over the last 4 years.

    MacBook Pros
    iMac displays

    You name it and every release software & hardware Apple has done these last 4 years has had major issues. Something Apple rarely had.

    I think Apple relied on us Apple devotee’s as “we’ll never lose them” who cares.

    But now, Apple has a whole new crowd of users and customers. PC converts too. I know some. And all of the Apple issues or failures, they have just said “I thought Apple worked? Apple is just like MIcrosoft”.

    And now the 3G launch fiasco (no learning from last years), with the mobileme fiasco, 2.0 fiasco.

    Apple’s arrogance is going to come back to bite them very soon I think.

  17. Alan says:

    damn! i must be lucky!
    i’m the owner of an original pwnd (unlocked/ jailbroken) iphone 8gb and everything works sweet!
    everything i got of the appstore (Chopper, trism, enigmo, monkey b, hold ’em, a. feint, p. solitaire, midomi, remote, vnc, fb, units and netnews) are working like a charm… backup “only” takes about 10 min. so far i had 2 restarts and some lags. nothing i can’t live with another few weeks…
    the only driving me nuts is the damn autocorrection…. 🙁
    the lags while tesxting are ok…but it still means no way of driving and texting…which was possible before…$
    i really hope that something is on its way to mess up my phone…

    p.s.: chopper and hold ’em are by far the most fun…

  18. Bob B says:

    Having just decided to bite the bullet and replace my 5+ year old Treo650 because it had recently started crashing every few days (something I attributed to age as it had always been highly reliable until recently), imagine the sense of irony that I replaced it with a bug-filled Iphone3G.

    I had intentionally not purchased iPhone 1G (or 2.5 G if you prefer) — waiting to the second version to “get the bugs out”.

    Silly me — I forgot Bob’s First Law of Universal Truth — I just can’t win for losing.

  19. digiprod says:

    I am performing restore number FOUR right now on my brand new iPhone 3G in just 8 days. This is the buggiest Apple product I have ever seen and I have seen them all. The iPhone 2.0 software makes the bug-fest known as the Apple TV look stable.

    I am seriously thinking of returning the iPhone if a fix does not come ASAP. I need a phone that works. Spending hours constantly restoring ever other day is ridiculous.

    I have tried clean installs, does not matter. iPhone freezes or reboots itself and all I my iPhone is reduced to an Apple logo flashlight. It reminds me of the spotlight they used for Batman on the old TV show. Except this does not make me laugh.

    It has died downloading an app. It has died using the phone, it has died while using an app, different ones, no pattern. It just sucks!

    Since it is a new 3G I doubt I could run the old software. If I have to use this with this without any apps installed I would have stayed with a Blackberry. RIM is looking better now, I am sorry to say being a Mac user for many years.

  20. Brett says:

    I’m a huge apple guy now have a macbook pro and an iPhone and so hearing that they are going down in their service or something is hapening to software well for one it’s brand new expect this and two why did you buy a first generation of the 3g you should of waited until they fixed hardware/software bugs.

    Now if you expect it to be a hardware problem take it to an apple store and have them check it out for you I did that before and they gave me a new one.

  21. digiprod says:


    iPhone 3G is a second generation product and the software is 2.0! Should we have waited until THIRD generation?

  22. Lane says:

    I have a 3G iPhone and it’s jailbroken and runs like a champ and has since day one, my 1st gen also had NO problems being jailbroken! I have not heard of any horros stories like this other than 2.0 is a bit clunky, but not all the problems you suggest Macenstein. It might be something you are doing wrong?!?

    I find it hard to believe you have received 4 or whatever iPhones and they were all bad, No Way! Operator error, or faulty machine that you are loading it from. period.

    Are you guys installing or restoring from old firmware, or what? I have 6 friends that have iPhone 3G’s and not one has reportd a problem, much less had to restore four, five, six times etc. If you think bitching here about it and DEMANDING a firmware release NOW as you say good luck, I’m sure Apple doesn’t read and then say, ooooohhhh this guys mad we better get that rolling and fast!!!

  23. digiprod says:


    Sorry to rain on your Apple parade. But we have three iPhones in my household, 2 brand new 3G and an upgraded 1st generation to the 2.0 software. All of them have had crashing, quitting, scrolling, and we had to do 4 total restores so far. My co-worker has two iPhones and has had problems also.

    I am an Apple consultant and have had several calls from clients cursing the “clunky” and crashing 2.0 iPhone software. Macenstein is a member of a long list of people with problems!

    This by far is the most “not ready for prime-time” release in many years. I have read some emails from some Apple guys that have stated the software was not really ready and a software release is on the way. It could not be sooner!!!

    Saying that Apple does not read or care about complains on this website is a bit back-handed. All you have to do is read Apple’s OWN discussion forums and the feedback they are getting from users and see that Apple KNOWS they have a problem.

    Take a look at the TERRIBLE rollout of MobileMe. Apple has been slammed all over the place in the NY Times, WSJ and several other mainstream publcations. Apple is offering a free month to all MobileMe users. So they know and will have to address this fast or pay the price for lousy service.

    If you release a 2nd gen product with 2.0 software it should not have been this buggy!

  24. Lane says:


    I guess I’m just lucky, my 2 iPhones have never given me probs and have jailbroken both successfully. I do admit the 2.0 on the 1st gen is a no no upgrade, a bit laggy, but never completely trashed my iPhone or forced a restore.

    I do agree, MobileMe is silly, and I’d never pay for it, until it works instantly and is stable.


  25. digiprod says:


    Glad your experience with your two iPhones has been good. But I just finished the FIFTH TOTAL RESTORE on my iPhone 3G, it cashed again this morning and all I got was the Apple Logo for three hours yet again! I will tell you this is NOT fun as the restore in the middle of the day takes a very long time and I have no phone for hours! Imagine if I was an inexperienced user who had to trek down to the Genius Bar each time my iPhone crashed?

    Also note I have restored this iPhone 3G using two different Macs, a 24″ iMac and a MacBook Pro, so we can take the Mac out of the problem.

    Before you think this is only a particular iPhone 3G, it is not. As I explained before we have two iPhone 3G and one iPhone first generation. I struggled with the original iPhone last night just to get it to sync and install AIM. This is a different iPhone and yet a different Mac (MacBook).

    Apple really blew it in my opinion of being a techie for 25 years and a Mac consultant for 7 years. iTunes and the iPhone software was not ready, period.

    MobileMe service and syncing sucks. I have been waiting an hour so far and no contact or bookmark updates, only calendars. So much for “push”

    The iPhone is an incredible product, when it works. Problem is it has never worked longer than 2 days without needing a total restore. Applications constantly quit, downloading apps from the App Store on the iPhone directly is slow, sometimes will crash your iPhone and a terrible experience.

    Apple might want to consider some serious quality control.

  26. digiprod says:

    For anyone following this. I am now doing total restore number SIX on my iPhone 3G. I made the mistake of trying to install 1password from the App Store and it crashed yet again reducing my iPhone to a Apple logo neon sign.

    This time I downloaded 1password to my iTunes on my MacBook Pro and simply tried to sync the iPhone 3G to it.

    iPhone 3G crashed while trying to install.

  27. digiprod says:

    Update, after 22 total restores and many many crashes and quits I brought the iPhone 3G to the Genius Bar, they replaced it without questions when I told them what was happening making me think I was NOT alone (although, the Apple Forums are FULL of problems with 2.0 and iTunes problems).

    I got the new iPhone 3G on Friday afternoon, I have already had to do 2 total restores on the new one! Crashs, quits, and the stuck Apple logo killing the phone has been my experience. The last two times it died was was using Safari – it crashed leaving me with the Apple logo and would not restart.

    The second time I just deleted AIM on the iPhone as it was quitting. It killed the iPhone. The first iPhone died differently so many times I lost count. Unfortunately the new repacement one that was BRAND new, not a replacement part seems no better.

    I have tried running only a few apps and restoring it from different Macs and have even re-downloaded the Firmware several times.

    I am now going to try to run the iPhone without ANY third party apps at all and see what happens. Kind of kills the point of owning an iPhone 3G, but I am at my wits end with this phone.

    The restores take forever and when it happens on the road it leaves me without a phone! This is the worst experience I have ever had with an Apple product, maybe the worst with any product. This was no ready for public consumption.

  28. Bullit says:

    Well to bad for you, i own a 3g phone for 2 weeks now, and i haven’t had any crash. and i run many third party application.

    well good luck

  29. Chris in Boulder says:

    I have a first gen iphone, upgraded to 2.0, and had many crashes with apps, but it always came back. I’m facing my first stuck apple logo. I tried holding down the home button during the boot. didn’t work for me.

    If apps crash as soon as they start, just add or delete one app to flush the app list, and they all start working again. And ALWAYS type in your itunes password when it asks, dont cancel.

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