Second thoughts about iPhone 2.0?

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Elsewhere on Macworld, I've offered up some advice on troubleshooting common iPhone issues. That was my mostly reasoned approach to troubles that have sprung up since I've upgraded to the iPhone 2.0 software; this is my more emotional response.

I've had a colorful history with Apple's iPhone software updates. Back in the 1.x days, I was convinced that I would never upgrade my iPhone software—not while I could enjoy the best applications that my jailbroken phone could support. I softened my stance with the arrival of the iPhone 2.0 update and its introduction of the App Store, because I believe third-party apps increase the power and the utility of the iPhone—and perchance because Those Who Sign The Checks asked that I upgrade. Despite my reluctance, however, I've been generally thrilled with the third-party App Store programs that I've installed, tested, and reviewed.

But the bugs in iPhone software 2.0.x—especially the fatal locked-at-the-logo issue I mention in my recent troubleshooting article—have soured me on the entire iPhone 2.0 experience. While I understand that not everyone is having these issues, the sample size is now large enough to show that there are, in fact, some serious and widespread issues with the iPhone 2.0 software. These problems affect both first-generation iPhones as well as the new iPhone 3Gs, so it’s not a question of older hardware with new software. While the troubleshooting steps I outline elsewhere on the site may help some of the time, the reality is that they shouldn't be necessary for what's supposed to be an always-functional device.

When my iPhone was running the 1.x software, I never hesitated to recommend the iPhone to those in the market for a new phone. Now, however, I’ve changed my answer, and I’m telling people that if I were buying today, I’d hold off until (at least) the next version of the iPhone software is released, in the hopes that it solves the vexing issues many users are experiencing. Hopefully the next release solves these problems once and for all, because an iPhone loaded with a selection of third-party tools and games is easily the most amazing portable device I’ve ever used…when it’s working. But knowing what I know about the issues with the current software, I’m just not comfortable recommending the iPhone to others.

How about you?

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