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DHH on iPhone 2.0's Glitches

iPhone 2.0: The glory wore off in wash - (37signals)

[via DF]

While acknowledging the complexity of Apple's ambitious launch, David Heinemeier Hansson says iPhone 2.0 wasn't ready for prime time on a number of levels.

Combined, it’s a rather big disappointment. I’m surprised just how much impact the small griefs have when they add up to a lack of confidence in the system. It’s a great example of the cumulative effects of problems. They have an exponential damage on the experience. [...]

It feels a little like Apple got swept up in knocking down every single detraction point from 1.0 that they lost sight of what everyone loved about the first version. Yes, it got cheaper (not really), faster (some times), installable apps, and GPS, but it lost a bit of Apple soul in the process.

David also has a laundry list of complaints on stability and performance. I went through his items and ticked off each of the ones I've also noticed (with a 01-10 for how big a problem it's been for me):

  • [ 0^ ] "Annoying delays all over the place." [MDM: Kinda. I guess that's how I'd describe it.]
  • [ -- ] "Changing to the SMS view can take more than 10 seconds at times." [MDM: Mmm. I haven't seen this. But then I hate SMS and avoid it like the plague.]
  • [ -- ] "Transitions between apps are being dropped entirely or cut short (the latter looks like a UI stutter)." [MDM: Nope.]
  • [ -- ] "It some times requires 3 clicks on the fast-forward button in iTunes to get a response." [MDM: Nope.]
  • [ 07 ] "The screen will freeze for 4-5 seconds not accepting any input, then replay ALL your feverous tapping when it finally returns." [MDM: Oh yeah. Feels like a page out.]
  • [ 09 ] "Some times the keyboard will not keep up with your input (and I’m not that fast of a typer)." [MDM: I'm a *really* slow typer and I get this almost nonstop]
  • [ 07 ] "I’ve had applications crash numerous times." [MDM: Poof. Multiples a day.]
  • [ 10 ] "The entire phone has crashed twice." [MDM: Closer to a half-dozen times for me.]
  • [ 02 ] "Restarting the phone kinda helps some of these problems, but not for long and it feels so dirty and Windows-like to do." [MDM: I guess. More opinion than observation.]

I'll also add a few of my own:

  • Wildly-varying response errors. Similar to the screen freeze I guess, I'm getting substantial lag time -- especially between ending a drag gesture and having the thing I was trying to change register the movement. I'm constantly selecting the "wrong" thing for example. Over and over.
  • The crazy-long Backup time in iTunes. Wow. Can I request a lot fewer of those?
  • Apps I've removed from the phone mysteriously reappear after the next sync
  • Hangs. Huge, old-school, everything freezes, hold all the buttons and wait til restart hangs.

Hm. I hadn't really thought about all these at once, but, yeah. That's a big bunch of broken. Let's hope an update is out soon that addresses some of these.

bensmith's picture

Re: Oh, Come on Guys!

Maybe just to clarify, because I think we are making two different points. My post was not a defense of the NDA or the App Store. As developer I hate both, I wish I could just put my apps on my website for download. I've had an app waiting a LONG time. And NDAs, while annoying, are relatively common. When I work on custom projects for my clients (compared to the products we sell) I'm always under an NDA. They are not an excuse for sloppy code (though, I definitely agree that a release would help programmers).

And I don't think end users should have to care about technical stuff, that was to illustrate the problems with the media talking about stuff it has no business talking about. If you (media) are complaining about a 3rd party apps crashing (and you aren't blaming the 3rd party apps themselves) you can't also complain about the existence of the App Store; because those are contradictory complaints (also I can't get into this without getting myself into trouble, but trust me Apple isn't "vouching" for the apps that get into the App Store).

Further, if MacWorld writes an article that says how horrible it is that there isn't background apps; their readers don't need to know about objects and autorelease pools, but they should. Otherwise they are talking about something without all (or even some) of the facts. (Which is exactly what they did).

And unfortunately these people (despite being incredibly stupid) seem to have an effect on Apple. And that's the core of my problem, they have power without responsibility. In fact they complain about the relatively obvious result of what they wanted.

As I said in my post, there are some real issues with 2.0. And some of Apple's Apps have some issues themselves. But I can tell you, with relative level of certainty, that the vast majority of the crashes people are talking about are coming from the bad behavior of 3rd party apps themselves.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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