Re-installing an iPhone App

I was asked a question recently about re-installing an app on an iPhone, which while relatively straightforward does include a few steps which may not be obvious. So, using our favourite TodUhr

Unchecked apps don't sync. Tick that box!

application as an example, here’s how it goes. Note that the general procedure is the same whether you’re using an iPhone 3G/3GS/4 we just need to allow for the fact that the 3G/3GS phones don’t support the application ‘switcher’.

  1. For iPhone 3G/3GS users, switch off the phone then switch it on again. This is just to make sure the app isn’t running when you try to delete it. iPhone 4 users can simply kill the app by double-tapping the Home button then finding the relevant app icon in the task list, pressing and holding the icon, then tapping the little ‘no entry/delete’ symbol top left of the icon.
  2. iPhone 4 users should then tap the Home button once to close the app switcher list.
  3. Now locate the application on your phone and press and hold the icon until it starts ‘wobbling’.
  4. Tap the little ‘x’ symbol that appears at the top left of the icon.
  5. You will see a pop-up message asking if you want to delete the app and all it’s data from your phone. Tap OK.
  6. Press the Home button once to exit the application edit mode.
  7. The next time you sync your iPhone with iTunes, the check-mark next to the application you have just deleted from the phone will also disappear. The app will still be in your iTunes library, however iTunes will assume that because you’ve deleted it from the device that you no longer want to sync it back to the device (hence why iTunes automatically un-checks it).
  8. Making sure your iPhone is connected to your Mac or PC, click on your device in iTunes then click on the Apps tab.
  9. Scroll through the list of apps to be sync’ed with your iPhone until you find the one that you deleted earlier. You should find that the little box to the left of the application name is blank.
  10. Click the box once to make sure it is ‘ticked’.
  11. Now re-sync your iPhone with iTunes and the app should be copied back to your device.

It is possible that the app may be damaged on your device, so this may help by effectively ‘re-installing’ it, and the above steps will be much the same for an iPad/iPad 2/iPod Touch depending on what version of iOS they are running.If the application file (ipa file) in iTunes itself is damaged, then you would need to delete the app from within iTunes and then re-download it. This is necessary because if you attempt to download it without deleting it first, the Buy/Free button in iTunes will simply say ‘Downloaded’ and not let you do anything else. For a paid app I am assuming you won’t get charged a second time for it, but that is something I’ll have to check.

Note that I’ve never experienced a corrupt application file first hand and I am assuming that if this did happen then iTunes or the iPhone itself would tell you there’s a problem.

PS… here’s one other thing you might try to nudge an app into installing/running if there’s a problem with the iPhone. It’s a soft reset which you can do as follows:

  1. Press and hold the Home button.
  2. Keeping the Home button pressed, press the on/off button on the top of the iPhone and keep it held.
  3. After a few seconds the ‘Slide to power off’ message will appear – KEEP BOTH BUTTONS HELD DOWN.
  4. After a few more seconds the iPhone screen will go blank and the Apple logo will appear.
  5. Release both buttons.
  6. The Apple logo will stay on screen for a while as the phone reboots. On my iPhone 3G that takes about 60 seconds.
  7. Eventually you’ll be prompted to enter your unlock code or the Home screen will appear (depending on how your phone is configured).

There’s an Apple article on the technique here.

iOS 4.x = sloPhone 3G


iOS 4.x on the iPhone 3G

Every so often I have one of those dreams… you know the ones. You’re somewhere and you’re running, but for some reason you’re getting nowhere. It’s like you’re running in slow-motion or you’re waist-deep in treacle and hardly moving. You feel helpless. Eventually you wake up and if you remembered the dream you breathe a sigh of relief that everything is back to normal… until you go to use your recently ‘upgraded’ iPhone 3G that is.

You see I read about iOS 4.0 and all it’s neat new features and thought… well it can’t hurt to upgrade my two year old iPhone 3G. I mean Apple are really on top of their game when it comes to hardware and the operating system so what’s the worst that could happen?

Well, iOS 4.0 was duly installed and now my iPhone 3G is living that dream! It has made the phone so slow it’s no longer pleasant to use. Everything about it is slower, some things by a significant amount, for example:

  1. The phone now takes at least three minutes to power on.
  2. The whole interface ‘stutters’ when flicking from screen to screen, or re-arranging icons.
  3. Tapping on the ‘Messages’ icon now results in a blank white screen for around ten seconds before the list of SMS conversations appears. (Previously it was instant).
  4. Text input is much less responsive with about one in eight characters not even registering. The result is a lot of blank spaces which you then have to go back and correct (this never happened before).
  5. Most applications take two or three times as long to load, and when tapping on the camera icon it’s a good ten seconds before the ‘virtual shutter’ opens.
  6. Sometimes when taking a photo, the ‘shutter’ closes and then reopens but the photo isn’t saved.

Why even tonight I downloaded and installed iOS 4.0.1 in the vain hope it might make a difference, but all it has done is knock a couple of bars off my signal strength indicator so now I see just one bar on the O2 network in my house (where I previously used to see four or five bars).

So what about the benefits of iOS 4.x for us 3G users? Surely there are some plus points to offset this lardy performance? Well:

  1. I’ve discovered that folders are a ‘nice to have’ but hardly essential. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have a huge number of applications anyway, so the benefit is limited.
  2. Unified inbox – now that is worthwhile. I can now check my mail in one place instead of four, but it’s not worth the trade-off in speed.
  3. The camera zoom facility is more of a novelty that anything else. Given that it’s digital zoom, I don’t see the benefit of zooming when the photo is taken, rather than zooming in with a gesture when you’re looking at it afterwards?

Beyond that I haven’t really seen much benefit in going with the 4th generation iOS software on the iPhone 3G. What’s more this isn’t my phone being old and cranky or getting ‘full’, seeing as immediately prior to the first iOS 4.0 upgrade it was still pretty sprightly. Furthermore, friends of mine who also own the 3G and who have upgraded, have also complained about subsequent lack-lustre performance. Of course it would be nice to be able to downgrade the phone back to iOS 3.1.3 but apparently this isn’t a supported option according to Apple, and while Apple Store staff and even tech support acknowledge the problem, there is no ‘official’ line from Apple on these problems.

So what can one do? Well as it happens… not a lot. If you search the web for solutions there are a few, but these seem to require jail-breaking the phone and there’s no guarantee you won’t just brick your phone for good! You could ring tech support but all you’ll get is a shoulder to cry on and perhaps a bit of sympathy. But there is one glimmer of hope. I am assured that Apple do read the feedback they’re sent, so I have posted this missive to them over at:

…here’s hoping that they are taking notice and will do something about it quickly. If you’re having similar problems and your iPhone 3G is in the ‘slo-mo’ dream, then help the cause by leaving your feedback at the above link.

And if by some chance you haven’t upgraded your iPhone 3G to iOS 4.0 or 4.01. yet, then my recommendations is…. DON’T !!

Apple - iPhone - Feedback - Thank You

Here's hoping...