Category Archives: Stupid Tricks

Apple’s Automatic iPhone Backups Suck

iTunes is supposed to make a backup of your iPhone settings and data every time you sync, but I’ve already been burned twice by their crappy software.

First time I tried restoring my phone to fix a problem with no sound coming out of the earpiece. It didn’t help (plugging and unplugging the headphones several times did), but I found out that they don’t backup and restore the photos you take on your iPhone. Idiots.

Second time I decided to restore my phone before installing the 1.1.1 update, just to be on the safe side. This time, it started restoring the iPhone while the activation process still seemed to be underway. A few minutes later I get an error message on my computer that there was a problem restoring from backup because their was a timeout. No option to try again. I went ahead and tried syncing my phone. It updated bookmarks and contacts, because those were synced with desktop applications, but my e-mail account settings, my favorite contacts, my calendar, all my notes and pretty much every other setting was gone. I was going to try restoring the phone again, but iTunes only keeps one backup, and from the associated times on the backup, it had gone ahead and created a new backup from my iPhone after all the data went missing.

WTF, Apple? I thought your stuff was supposed to just work.

Maybe you should open the iPhone up to 3rd party developers, because you aren’t doing a very good job on your own.

Update: This post is old. iPhone backups are much better now.

Stop Forcing Your Crippled Mobile Sites onto my iPhone

More and more sites are detecting iPhones and helpfully forcing them to use crippled mobile versions of their sites. In most cases, the inflicted version is a completely crippled version designed to be viewed on crappy mobile phone browsers (hello, Yahoo). In other cases it’s been nicely optimized for the iPhone except that it lacks 90% of the features of the main site (HELLO FACEBOOK).

Please, Please STOP. If you want to do me a favor by helping me find your underdeveloped mobile site at least give me an easy option for using your main site.

I bought an iPhone because I wanted access to the whole web from my phone. Forcing me into your half-assed mobile version is a step backwards and makes me hate you. I’m sure I am not the only one who feels this way.

Apple sucks ass

Apparently Apple has started inserting cryptographic checksums in the DB of music stored on iPods. This breaks 3rd party software for managing your iPod music library, tying the iPod to iTunes.

I’m sure there are a lot of bad reasons for implementing this, like keeping people from creating applications that let people share music directly between WiFi enabled iPod’s and iPhones.

I use iTunes, I own Apple stock, but really, this is complete customer hostile crap. Screw them.

“Shoot Em Up” is Superbad (and not in a good way)

We went to the movies tonight. I asked for tickets to “Shoot Em Up,” the girl in the box office gave me tickets to “Superbad.” I should have taken the hint. “Shoot Em Up” was terrible. I was bored in the first five minutes.

On the other hand, we saw “Superbad,” last weekend. It was foul-mouthed, hilarious, and sweet. Seeing it again would have been a much better way to spend our evening.

Instead, I feel dirty. “Shoot Em Up,” was soul-killingly stupid bullshit. I want to take the jaded 17 to 25 year old male morons it was designed to appeal to and beat them with an overgrown zucchini. Or I would if any of them had actually wasted the tip money from their job at Domino’s on the thing. The huge auditorium they showed the movie in was pretty much empty, and at least half the audience were people over 30 who are now no doubt questioning Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti latest career choices.

You have been warned.

iPhone vs iPod: It’s called up-sell, not cannibalization, idiots.

I apologize for yet another iPhone related post, but I still have something I need to get off my chest. For months now, various stock analysts have been attracting press coverage and garnering free publicity for their firms by publicly worrying that iPhone sales would “cannibalize” sales of the iPod, that people would buy iPhones instead of upgrading their iPods.

I’m sure that dynamic has played out in a number of cases, but if you take a step back and think about Apple as a whole, it is clear that this isn’t cannibalization, its up-sell. The most expensive iPod goes for $349. The cheapest iPhone is $499, while retaining nice healthy margins.

In other words, if someone forgoes an iPod for an iPhone, Apple is getting even more money! This is not something to worry about.

It might have made sense to worry that iPod sales would slow while people waited for the chance to by an iPhone, but apparently this was not the case. iPod sales grew faster than expected in the last quarter.

iPhone Sales, Perhaps Not So Dissapointing After All

Yesterday, Apple announced they sold 270,000 iPhones in their last financial quarter. This is no doubt giving conniptions to people who were, only days ago, calling iPhone sales disappointing.

Earlier in the week, some members of the press seemed to be having second thoughts about their profession’s participation in the iPhone hype storm, so some of them lept upon a little fact from an AT&T earnings call that they’d only activated 140K iPhones in their last quarter, the last 30 hours of which overlapped with the iPhone’s debut.

This was terrible terrible terrible, because it was only a few weeks ago that they were hyping reporting the most breathless predictions that 700,000 or even one million iPhones had been sold shortly after launch. So they eagerly compared this information about iPhone service activations with AT&T over a 30 hour period to the most optimistic estimates for iPhone sales (ie, they compared oranges to apples) for the entire weekend. They also ignored or downplayed the fact that a lot of iPhone customers had trouble getting their phones activated that weekend, because AT&Ts systems couldn’t keep up.

Predictably, the same people who bought the earlier hype, happily swallowed this “news,” and Apple’s stock price, which had recently shot up on the positive spin, sank due to the negative spin. This drop then lead to more stories about how disappointing the iPhone was and reassured the press that they still have some influence.

Well, Apple stock is back up again. It’s recaptured everything it lost two days ago after the AT&T earnings call. The latest numbers hold up well against earlier estimates of earlier iPhone sales, many of which were in the range of between 300,000 and 500,000. Even if Sunday’s sales were 1/3rd of what they were for Friday evening and all of Saturday, it’s likely that Apple sold over 350,000 phones in the first weekend, and it looks like sales during the following week were also quite strong as most stores sold out of the phones almost as quickly as they received new shipments. I should note that even these estimates would probably have been considered optimistic back in June.