back to article Ever wonder why those Apple iPhone updates take so damn long?

It's a recurring pain experienced by all iPhone owners: the huge and very slow software updates that require you to plug your phone in and forget about it for 30 minutes. Many have also wondered why the phone feels the need to shut down, start up again, shut down again and start up again before finally letting you get at it. …

Re: explains why they bricked my Iphone 4

If by "bricked" you mean made-totally-inoperable, that's what happened to my iPhone when I left it plugged in the other night.

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Re: no no no no no no no, Apple

"So Apple doesn't keep old hardware on hand for testing? They don't have an automated test process that would allow multiple test scenarios to play out? They don't have any sort of virtualized test environment?"

Only an idiot (MS?) would rely on that and then do a full roll-out.

Even MS, with OS as a service, have hopefully now learned that they must roll out gradually. Would you rather have 1% or your user base needing tailored help, or 100%?

There is a reason I always delay any updates as long as it takes to get feedback from those who can't wait.

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Re: explains why they bricked my Iphone 4

I've resurrected my iPhone! Took off the plastic protection cover so I could *seriously* press the buttons to reboot, and the screen came back to life. Yeah! (Sorry for the "bricked" misstatement.)

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I wonder

...the little quiet voices in my head (shuddup!!) Keep asking me how much of my personal data and metadata got slurped up in the validation report, to whom it was sold, and for how much. Shhh.... ahh! The meds are kicking in.

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Re: I wonder

Sorry, this is Apple we're talking about not Google. They actually respect user's privacy.

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Re: They actually respect user's privacy.

No, they don't. They've made canny business decisions wrt how they monetise your data and how they present the use of that data. Respect is not part of the calculation.

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Re: They actually respect user's privacy.

Appearing to respect user data - most easily achieved by going some way to actually respecting it - is an important way for Apple to distinguish itself from Android handsets, and thus retain their large margins. Saying that Apple slurp and sell user data in the same way as Google just doesn't make any sense.

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Re: They actually respect user's privacy.

@Sabroni "They've made canny business decisions wrt how they monetise your data and how they present the use of that data. Respect is not part of the calculation."

Monetising and presenting your data isn't part of the Apple business model; respect for your data is. It's one of the major differentators between Apple and Android.

This isn't being naïve, it's following the money. The minute Apple don't respect your data, the minute their ability to charge a premium wrt Android disappears and they join the race to the bottom in the mobile market.

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Re: I wonder

"...Sorry, this is Apple we're talking about not Google. They actually respect user's privacy..."

Hahahahahaha!

Hahahahahahahahahaha!!

Seriously...get off the koolaid. You think it's ok to test on every device out there without express permission?

You think it went well, despite the article and other posters explicitly stating that they had issues and Apple themselves rushed out an additional update?

You casually forget all the times it's been reported in the past about Apple's tracking movements, having telemetry subsystems that despite being outside of their own security models and working at such low levels as to be all but invisible are just harmless diagnostics?

Your blind faith in the cult of Apple is astounding.

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Re: I wonder

"Sorry, this is Apple we're talking about not Google. They actually respect user's privacy."

And then sell it for more.. cos you are so special.

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Re: They actually respect user's privacy.

Oh, so they introduced the iAD platform just because they wanted to make sure that their customers received a better class of targeted adverts?

In an effort to monetize their customers, Apple bragged to advertisers that they knew more about their customers than anyone else, knowing what apps they have, how and when they used them and allowed them to be targeted by age, gender, income and even the music that they listen to.

Google's business model is dependant on spying on customers. Google provide free services and make their customers the product. Apple charge their customers a premium, and then make them the product.

Sure, Apple have given up on iAd but they are now focusing on app store advertising.

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@TonyJ

What "testing" on users did they actually do? They didn't alter the existing filesystem, they just added metadata to free space to verify the conversion process worked. That doesn't require changing a single bit of your existing filesystem, so there's no risk from it. The worst thing about it was that it made the updates larger and take longer to apply.

The fact "some people had issues" does not mean those issues had anything whatsoever to do with the filesystem. There are people who have issues on every update, either the phantom claims of "my battery life is worse" that happen with every single update or real claims of something they got wrong - sometimes needing a .1 update to be rushed out to address. There's zero evidence of anyone having problems with 10.1 or 10.2 due to filesystems, and if they did it wouldn't make any sense because there was no reason for any changes to your HFS+ filesystem to be made. It was left untouched, and only free space was altered for the upgrade testing.

As far as the location data that was being stored on the phone at one time, when they were made aware they fixed it. You see some conspiracy where they were tracking people and uploading that info (despite no proof it ever left the phone) because you have an obvious bias against Apple. I choose to take them at their word that they weren't uploading it, but even if they were they removed it when it was made known so at worst you can say they stop when caught. With Google you KNOW they're tracking you and you KNOW they will never stop. I guess you prefer to hate the one that MIGHT be surreptitiously tracking you and lying about it more than the one you KNOW is tracking you to an ever-increasing degree and profiting off it? Your choice.

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Re: @TonyJ

How do you know exactly what they did or did not change? Please give authoritative sources;

They didn't "fix" the location they explained what they use it for;

Go check the past stories about the other "diagnostics" functions I am referring to.

Meh. You clearly know more than the rest of us. I bow to your supercilious superior knowledge of all things Apple.

Personally I think they're all as bad as one another. I just don't get butt f*ck*d by my chosen provider minus sufficient lubricant whilst claiming it feels sooo so goo because they tell me it is.

In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king. I don't see anyone bowing to you yet.

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Re: @TonyJ

Somebody's getting awfully snarky about this. I suspect somebody broke his beloved iPhone and he can't afford a new one...

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Devil

Re: @TonyJ

No thanks. I stopped using iPhones about 3 years ago. Currently have a nice shiny S7 Edge with a much more intuitive OS on it, whatever Google's faults (and they are many).

More likely you lot are getting upset because someone (well, some ones, here) call Apple's shoinky practices out for what they are.

Or maybe I'm just holding it wrong.

Wanna herd sheep? Release a new phone.

Yet to see Android users drilling holes in their shiny...

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Re: @TonyJ

"Currently have a nice shiny S7 Edge with a much more intuitive OS on it"

Did you replace Android with something decent then?

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Re: @TonyJ

>>Apple's shoinky practices out for what they are.<<

No - go and read my other posts - this is the complete opposite of shonky practices.

Scamscum - lack of testing, rushing product to market. Exploding washing machines, Note 7, failure to reregister a domain exposing many to hacks.

Where do you think Scamscum and Google got what you claim is a more intuitive interface from - Apple.

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Childcatcher

plug your [i]phone in and forget about it for 30 minutes.

Aww....is diddums worried they might miss a farcbork update from their friends?

Seriously?!?!?! 30 minutes is a concern? Do iPhone owners never sleep or charge their phones?

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Re: plug your [i]phone in and forget about it for 30 minutes.

The time is fine. The testing on user devices without permission on the other hand - not so much...

The data is also important. Apple's update process is incredibly data hungry, which is even more annoying for those on metered data when they use them for testing, and so chuck out extra.

Also Apple literally made every iPhone and approved every single app installed on them (except the jail-broken ones which they don't have to cover for warranty anyway). So they ought to have a much better handle on what exists and testing it.

They've always been pretty cavalier with iOS updates though. When I got the original iPad, every single iOS update I had for it, broke the WiFi - where it was flaky and would keep dropping the network. And it was only after I upgraded to the iPad 3 that WiFi remained stable after iOS updates - so it took them 2 years to get that right. On devices they utterly control.

Finally, I'd say control here is the issue. Apple have the arrogant belief (admittedly not alone amongst Silicon Valley companies) that they still own my device, even though I've handed over folding money for it.

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Re: plug your [i]phone in and forget about it for 30 minutes.

No one is forcing you to do any upgrades. I don't see what the problem is with the 10.1/10.2 that added a non-destructive test (i.e. didn't touch a single bit of the actual HFS+ filesystem, only messed with free space to set up alternate metadata) to the process. If it requires more data and you have limited cellular data, do the upgrade over wifi.

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Megaphone

Re: plug your [i]phone in and forget about it for 30 minutes.

If it requires more data and you have limited cellular data, do the upgrade over wifi.

And my point proven. Not everybody has all you can eat data on their broadband connection. They might have a limit of 10GB a month, or 20 or 30 - but the point is that's their fucking data! For which they are paying, and belongs to them. Not to Apple to piss around with. So I've no problem in a bit of diagnnostics data going back and forth, and obviously you choose to install updates - but those should be only the size neccessary to do the job, and not include the kitchen sink, or some Apple software design team's pet project.

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Re: plug your [i]phone in and forget about it for 30 minutes.

"They might have a limit of 10GB a month, or 20 or 30 - but the point is that's their fucking data!"

Do the update when and where it suits then - maybe at your local Apple Store with the free wifi. You're not compelled to perform the update at a certain time, and iOS helpfully warns you how much data it will take - you know, so you can make an informed decision.

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Childcatcher

Whatever the reason given - it's bollocks

That is not the way you test a new filesystem out - it would amount to commercial suicide if you had any doubts as to its efficacy. You can't test a fs in a "fiddle with the current - test for a short while - put it back and crack on" - test.

There was another reason for this nonsense, whatever it is.

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Re: Whatever the reason given - it's bollocks

The rest wasn’t the file system itself. The test was the conversion!

I’m sure there was a thorough test before hand, and it was done in a way to insure that it couldn’t cause damage. What better would you recommend to test something major like this across every possible combinations of things?

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Re: whatever it is.

Massive arrogance?

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Unhappy

Re: Whatever the reason given - it's bollocks

"What better would you recommend to test something major like this across every possible combinations of things?"

How about asking the owners permission first for a start?

Or is part of the cult the fact that you never actually own the ithing but are just using it with Apple's gracious permission?

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Re: Whatever the reason given - it's bollocks

"across every possible combinations of things?"

These are Apple devices. A fairly limited selection of fixed platforms and OS version combinations, not Android where world+dog has a device and their own jimmied version of the OS.

Therefore surely not beyond Apple to test in-house.

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Re: Whatever the reason given - it's bollocks

After you test in house, if you want to be really sure you got things right, you test everywhere. People are acting as though this could have actually lost data for them. Since when has altering blocks in free space ever corrupted a filesystem?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever the reason given - it's bollocks

And just where did you get this information that that's what they did (altering blocks in free space) from?

I've not seen that anywhere and afaik you are just speculating out your ***

It almost sounds like you work for Apple and just want to cover their butt

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Re: "After you test in house,...you test everywhere"

Think twice about that, in my experience people with that sort of attitude get swatted.

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Re: Whatever the reason given - it's bollocks

>>And just where did you get this information that that's what they did (altering blocks in free space) from?

I've not seen that anywhere and afaik you are just speculating out your ***

It almost sounds like you work for Apple and just want to cover their butt<<

Now which Anonymous Coward is writing? Look at:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/wwdc-2017-what-we-learned-about-apples-new-file-system-on-macos/

under cloning.

Also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_File_System

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"But I don't care!"

Says every Apple fan boy.

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Meh

Re: "But I don't care!"

Well, actually I don't.

Nor do I sit and watch the thing whilst it is updating. I have other things to do in my life.

Just saying

Cheers… Ishy

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Re: "But I don't care!"

Not a fan boi, have an iPhone, don't care.. Let the downvotes commence.

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Re: "But I don't care!"

I didn't notice anything odd about the update, I set it off, put the phone down somewhere then a bit later I picked it up again and it was done. I would never have known.

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Re: "But I don't care!"

Stage 15 has been completed successfully for this one - start stage 16.

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Anonymous Coward

This poses an interesting question.

Where did it put all the data while changing the file system? Not once but twice.

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Where did it put all the data?

I presume you have just skim-read the article then?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where did it put all the data?

No, I've just re-read it and it doesn't mention anything about user data just that the file system was updated and rolled back twice then updated.

Maybe it was done on the fly but that would be quite dangerous in my opinion.

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Re: Where did it put all the data?

>>No, I've just re-read it and it doesn't mention anything about user data just that the file system was updated and rolled back twice then updated.

Maybe it was done on the fly but that would be quite dangerous in my opinion.<<

Well, your opinion doesn't count for much. This was obviously not just someone at Apple waking up one morning and saying "I think we'll change the file system today". No it has obviously been a very carefully thought out process.

Had they not done that final dry-run test, you would have been saying they did a dangerous file system upgrade without sufficient testing.

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Apple vs Google vs Microsoft

If Google had done it, my first thought would have been that it was a data-slurping exercise, because this is what Google does. It makes money by connecting all of the various bits of your data and metadata and then selling it to the highest.

Apple, on the other hand, is a hardware company. They want to sell you expensive hardware as often as possible. This means causing as few problems to the end-user as possible, The hardware and software must just work. There must as little hassle as possible. This tactic of theirs, while bold [1] in the extreme, is not at all bad. 30 minutes' separation discomfort and sweet bliss.

Microsoft is a software company and wants you to buy expensive software licences as often as possible. It is caught in the middle. It lacks the panache of Apple and has a much more heterogeneous base than Apple. There might have more goodwill towards Microsoft had they not interfered with their UI as much as they did (the ribbon in Office and all UI changes from Windows 8 onwards).

[1] For Irish readers, it was naughty too.

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Sil

Re: Apple vs Google vs Microsoft

Apple is a hardware company ? What's the most profitable, most growing source of income for Apple ?

Please stop with the old stories about MSFT, do you think that the ~~ 400 millions Windows 10 users, not counting the hundreds of millions of Windows 7 users have nothing else to do than bear ill will ?

Then Windows 10 has been a free upgrade for years, way to go to sell expensive licences, and Microsoft does not want you to buy software, they want you to purchase a subscription, just like the whole industry.

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Re: Apple vs Google vs Microsoft

Sil» Please stop with the old stories about MSFT, do you think that the ~~ 400 millions Windows 10 users, not counting the hundreds of millions of Windows 7 users have nothing else to do than bear ill will ?

My understanding of Microsoft is that they make their profits on server licences — SQL Server, Windows Server and the likes. I am open to correction on this though. It may well be that The Cloud (Azure, subscription-based access to services etc.) becomes a big money maker for them in the future but I haven't read anywhere yet that it has reached the point of serious profitability.

I can only speak from personal experience and people whom I know really don't like the ribbon (I, personally, quite like it) and miss Windows XP and 7. Windows 8-10 may be faster, more energy efficient, safer and less trouble but the UI changes have not been well received,

And Apple is still a hardware company. While they make lots of money from the iTunes Store and apps, they also sell a great many tablets, smartphones, gimmicky devices (as well as a few actual computers). The iTunes Store and the devices go hand-in-hand. One makes the other great.

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Happy

Re: Apple vs Google vs Microsoft

"It makes money by connecting all of the various bits of your data and metadata and then selling it to the highest."

Gasp! Do you mean that Google has a contract with God?

Probably should have added "bidder" just to make things clearer.

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Re: Apple vs Google vs Microsoft

You are correct. I realised it too late and the 'edit' button had disappeared.

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Anonymous Coward

Using your customers as testing and QA

Lazy & stupid IT practice.

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Re: Using your customers as testing and QA

Lazy & stupid IT practice

But isn't that the whole basis of the continuous development methodology?

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Devil

Re: Using your customers as testing and QA

Lazy and stupid you say? Oh dear. Perhaps we shouldn't do it.

Cheap? Oh, OK then. Go ahead, that sounds great!

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Other than it taking a bit longer to update

Was anyone remotely inconvenienced with this?

If they'd asked users whether they wanted to change from one file system to another 99% of users would have had no idea what a filesystem was.

Even if a phone did die in the process restoring it is trivial.

If you're ever worried about an update bricking your device then wait to see how the update went for the masses before installing it yourself. They're not forced on you.

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Re: Other than it taking a bit longer to update

> Even if a phone did die in the process restoring it is trivial.

To you it is trivial, but to Joe Bloggs who has just been faced with a dead 'phone for the first time, not so much. Where does he find out how to restore it? Look it up on the Web? But his 'phone was how he normally accesses the web.

> Was anyone remotely inconvenienced with this?

Restoring a 'phone is so trivial it is actually _convenient_ to do so? Interesting use of the word.

And as for the "anyone", well, what about Tachikoma earlier on in the comment thread?

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