My iPhone crashed yesterday. Just before lunch, I woke it up, but the unlock slider was acting all funky. When it finally unlocked, my phone was frozen. Dead. Solid.
There have been a couple of times before where it has acted weird — the most major one being Safari spontaneously shutting down and returning the phone to the home screen. In those cases, and in this case, I’ve done what we’ve done to computers since time immemorial: I reset it.
And that’s when I got The Yellow Triangle Of Death.
The Yellow Triangle of Death is essentially, well, a yellow triangle with an exclamation point in the middle of it, below which is the following message:
“Please connect to iTunes.”
But here’s the thing: I was at work. I didn’t have the special iPod/iPhone USB cable with me, so I had to borrow one from somebody else.
Luckily, I had already downloaded iTunes to my work computer, so I didn’t have to wait for the download and installation process (did I mention that this was just before lunch and I was fracking hungry?), and I plugged it into my computer’s USB port and when iTunes came up, it gave me a message that I was already well acquainted with from when iTunes 7 first came out and it wasn’t playing well with my Nano:
“iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.”
Essentially, I had to restore it to the factory settings: meaning that every single but of personalization I had done was going to be gone. All of my data . . . poof.
So the best possible outcome with this crash was that I was essentially going to have to start all over again, as if the last month had never even happened. And, on the balance, it had been a pretty good month!
Sure, I had backups of my contacts, photos, music and bookmarks, but there were a bunch of other things that I was going to have to do over again:
- My saved Google Maps Locations.
- Stocks I had been following.
- Pairing with my Bluetooth devices — the earpiece and the car kit.
- Re-entering Hex key for my wireless at home (and others I had previously joined).
- Contacts favorites.
- Previous voicemails.
- Weather settings.
- And any photos that I had taken with it and hadn’t emailed to myself were gone for good. Unless, weirdly enough, I had associated them with a contact. Then, they survived. But any photo I had not taken with the iPhone but associated with a contact weren’t associated with that contact anymore — even though those photos had been restored with my backup.
So, on the balance, not a terrible thing, but just a big old pain in the ass.
Look, I understand that there is a price to be paid for being an early adopter: you get incredibly expensive 1.0 products that eventually everybody thinks are incredibly primitive. We still marvel at how we ever got along with the limited functionality of our Panasonic Showstopper Replay DVR that we purchased way back in 2000. On the other hand, it still works.
And that’s always one of the two main worries in the back of your mind when something like the iPhone does something like this: the first one is, “did I do something wrong?” But I’ve not modded it or hacked it or anything like that, so I think that the answer is “no.” I’m probably going to get some comments saying that I should be doing this or should be doing that, but the point is that this is a mass-marketed consumer device, and I’m going to use it like a mass market consumer would.
The second worry is that maybe the iPhone is not as good as advertised. I’ve obviously invested a lot of time and money assuming that it is as good as advertised, and the start of something even better. So I can only hope that this crash is an anomaly that will soon be forgotten, as opposed to a harbinger of things to come.