Thursday, October 13, 2011

iOS 5 update? Not so fast


Update at Oct. 13; 10:24 a.m. ET: Obviously, the problems I had with the iOS 5 installation was not an isolated case. I heard from several readers who encountered similar snags.

In my case, after a few more tries and baffling error messages, I was able to restore my iPhone 4 to its factory settings. From there, I finally upgraded to iOS 5 successfully. All seems well for the moment.

Our original post
Soon after Apple made the iOS 5 update available this afternoon, I connected my iPhone 4 to my iMac and attempted to download the new operating system software, which I had been testing on an Apple loaner iPhone 4S. With 200-plus features including Notification Center, iMessage, Twitter integration, Reminders, camera enhancements and iCloud, the software (along with the iPhone 4S hardware itself) earned my praise.

So now I was eager to install the upgrade on my own iPhone. Only the process has been anything but smooth.
It seemed to start out OK. The iOS 5 software appeared to download properly inside iTunes, and the long process of backing up the apps, media, contacts, calendars, notes and more that were on my phone commenced. But when that part of the drill was completed, I received an error message that the iPhone "could not be restored. An internal error occurred."

On a second attempt after I restarted my Mac, I received a different message: The "iPhone cannot be restored at this time because the iPhone software update server could not be contacted or is temporarily unavailable."

A third try brought up the following: "iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (3004)."

I have no idea what the (3004) code means, but I'm guessing Apple's servers may be overtaxed — I'm waiting for official word from the company. Of course, Apple surely must have expected the onslaught in demand.

I did better installing the free update to the Apple TV box connected to my high-definition television. That let me test a new wireless 4S (and iPad 2) feature called AirPlay Mirroring that as its name suggests gives you the ability to mirror or stream the Web, games, photos, videos or whatever else is on the phone screen on the TV screen. AirPlay Mirroring generally worked fine, though video that I was playing off the phone sometimes paused or hiccuped on the TV.

In the meantime, let us know if you are running into similar issues with iOS 5 or have had better luck with the upgrade than I've experienced.
It seems like Apple did not properly prepare for this release.   Poor planning leads to a poor customer experience.   I bet some fanbois are going to say the problems have been fabricated or blown out of proportion.  I though Apple is supposed to "just work".  Obviously not.


  1. Yeah, everyone (or at least the stupid people) simply believe that Apple stuff works all the time without any glitches. My Android phone's has received minor and major updates over the past 2 years without any problems. Each one worked on the first and only try.

  2. iOS 5 Download for iPhone 3gs, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS 5 Features checkout here

  3. The new updates are a joke. Android has had most of those features for years.

  4. I won't dispute that some people encountered problems. It's pretty clear that Apple servers got hit pretty hard.

    My upgrade happened to go fine, as did most, I suppose.

    Although I'm an Apple fan, I know Apple is not perfect. But neither is the competition. Most iPhone users these days have had previous experience with the alternatives, and all things considered, we still find Apple experience to be superior.

    If things are really awful in iPhone land it will show up in the user satisfaction stats. Let me know when Android tops Apple there. I won't hold my breath.

    Meanwhile Dave will keep combing Internet for examples of Apple's imperfection, as if these could somehow outweigh all the good things that Apple does.

  5. The problem is, a lot of people believe Apple is perfect. I just want people to know that they are flawed just like everyone else in some cases, more so.

    Android is already outselling iPhone so I guess that shows what people prefer.

    Lastly, I don't have to comb the internet for stories about Apple, they pop up in the news all the time, they make it easy for me.

  6. I don't think as many people believe that Apple is perfect as you seem to (better perhaps, but not perfect). The readers of your site are most unlikely to think so. So what are you really trying to achieve other than to comfort other haters. Perhaps you believe that there could be defection in the ranks? Yeah, that's gotta be it. Apple is winning them over one at at a time, and you feel compelled to fight back. You can't possibly believe that an Apple owner that stumbles onto your site could be swayed...." Oh yes my eyes have been opened. I see the error of my ways. No more Apple products for me!"

    Yes, Android phones outsell iPhones (if you don't count other mobile devices running Android and iOS) . So, can we assume that if the iPhone were to somehow manage to overcome Android phones in the marketplace, you'd take that as proof that the iPhone is superior, and shut the hell up? I doubt it. And you'd be right. Market share domination is not the only, nor necessarily the best, measure of superiority.

    There are a lot of reasons why a product might be best-selling that have nothing to do with quality. For example, simply being more widely available might account for higher sales. A phone that is given away or sold at a loss is not a sale based on technical merit.

    The iPhone could suffer in market share simply for not matching the combined advertising dollars and mind share of the numerous other cellphone companies pushing Android. Apple is just one company against a sea of competitors. On the other hand, Android market share could eventually be hurt by Apple and Oracle's lawsuits. None of this has anything to do with the actual quality of the phones.

    I believe there are a lot of Android users who will eventually switch to an iPhone, just as is slowly happening in the PC market with switchers to Mac. Watch the effect of the iPhone 4S release, which starts shipping today. It will be a record-breaking phenomenal success.

    Apple has never been about selling the most devices, only the best ones.

  7. I think that if people are researching buying a new device might see this site and think twice before buying Apple. It seems like Dave is merely spreading facts and news that's already out there. I've come across many people that think Apple never has problems but they cannot afford one so they'll never know. If Apple was so great than all the Apple repair shops would go out of business, but they're not. Because Apple products break and gets viruses too dickhead. Have you ever owned or even tried an Android phone? The experience is phenomenal. There have been studies that show people are more likely to switch from iPhone to Android than the other way around.

    Another thing, tell me if I'm wrong. When activating a new iPhone 4S you have to put in the last 4 of your social? Are you serious? Apple can go f*ck themselves. That's ridiculous.

  8. Looks like I hit a nerve. Now someone is posting contradictory opinions using my Brett™ username. Nice trick. But what exactly are you trying to achieve by that? If you are trying to prove that haters are immature cheaters who use dirty tricks, you've done a good job.

    I won't even bother to respond to the content of your post.

  9. The only nerve hit seems to be yours Brett. I think the other Brett was right. I do believe I've seen some polls taken and more iPhone owners would switch to Android. I know 2 myself. Also I've been seeing a lot of people talking about the iOS update completely bricking their phone. They try to re-sync from a recent backup with no joy. Just sayin...

  10. Apparently even if you do get iOS5 to install, it's good but far from great and missing a lot of features.

  11. "Apple Inc's latest iPhone looks set to become its bestselling device ever, and one reason appears to be disenchantment with rival smartphones."

  12. That article is a joke. They informally polled 127 people and 28 of them said they were switching to the iPhone. 28.... that's what you're working with. I can't believe it got published as an article. Hey, tonight I asked 3 people at a party which they liked better, Apple or Android. 2 of them said Android. That must mean the whole world favors Android.

  13. More complaints about iOS5, post this one dave!

  14. Brett™ (not the recent impostor)October 27, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    You could buy an Apple phone and have a small chance of a problem upgrading the OS, or you could buy an Android phone and have a large chance of NEVER getting an upgrade at all.

  15. That's most likely because Apple products need the updates to keep up with Android. Also, it seems pretty obvious that older hardware can't handle the newer OS's out there. That even happens to Apple. I guess Android is just evolving faster than Apple and that's why it doing so much better.

  16. Brett™ (not the recent impostor)October 29, 2011 at 5:30 AM

    Your excuses will be small consolation to Android owners stuck riding out their contracts with non-upgradable phones. Having to buy a new phone more frequently is the hidden Android tax.

    And I think its fitting that an Android lover such as yourself has copied my "trademarked" username (Oh, sort of the way Android copied the look and feel of the iPhone)

  17. Foolish Brett,

    My friend still has the G1. That's the oldest Android phone out there She does not get any of the newer updates but she's still extremely happy with it and it works great. I guess that's the price she pays for having Android.

    Funny thing is, most iPhone users I know can get upgrades but STILL decide to get the latest iPhone because they feel the need to look cool and throw money away. I guess that's the tax they pay for buying Apple.

  18. Brett (not the recent impostor)October 29, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    I'm not saying they don't exist, but don't know a single person that bought the latest iPhone in order to "look cool". Hell, the iPhone 4S looks exactly like the last one, so I'm not sure how that would support your contention. If anyone is a slave to fashion, it's the Android folks with an endless parade of ever bigger, thinner, more feature-studded phones each month.

    When people upgrade to a new iPhone, most often they are at the end of their contracts, and they find the features of the new model compelling compared to their 2+ year old phone. The iPhone owners I know just want a nice phone that does useful things without a lot of hassle. They aren't interested in open source rooting, animated desktops, customizing widgets, interchangeable keyboards, searching for apps in multiple stores, and the like. In short they just want a phone, not a geek hobby.

    Perhaps you may have a point, iPhones may or may not brand the owner as cool, but nothing says "nerd" like a guy bragging about the all the features of his Android phone. Ooooh, and it's like totally open.

    When all is said and done, the user satisfaction statistics tell the story of who is happier with their purchase.