Thursday, March 10, 2011

Are Slow Upgrades getting you down? Here are a few suggestions to speed things up.

With every release of the iphone or ipad there is always a software update.  Sometimes the updates will come midcycle without a hardware release.  It is always an exciting time to see what new things one can do with a phone or gadget just because of a simple update.  However, for some of us, each update is wrought with negative feelings.  Will it brick my phone?  Will my usual apps crash?  Have the developers of my favorite apps kept up with the updates?  For me what is always scary is when I hear that Xcode has been updated along with the software update, such as what has occurred today.  This usually means that a new iOS is on its way.  And that usually means a hardware upgrade and the distinct possibility that  the new handset or gadget that was purchased a year ago will be totally obsolete or begin to run slowly.

But I digress.....For now, the main issue is whether the backup will go smoothly or take forever.  Indeed synching can take up to an hour on some systems and I have found a few reasons why:

1.  Too many photos in the iPhone directory.   This has long been a source of derision.  the plist file is usually corrupt in iPhoto.  It is one of the easiest to go astray.  Backing up photos can take up to an hour as some people may have up to 6,000 or more photos.   There is a discussion list on correcting the plist file on the Apple forums.  

2.  New Synching apps.  With the advent of iPhone4 we got what we craved for and we must pay the consequences.  A few apps allow the direct downloading of files without the use of iTunes or they act as sole downloaders in iTunes to download further files.  For the latter VLC requires iTunes, but you can drag and drop files from anywhere for a quick upload.   For the former, it is important to ensure that despite the fact that you can do over the air (OTA) downloads without the use of iTunes, iTunes wants to do a backup of the files that you have downloaded.  This can account for up to 16 gb of movies, music, pdf's and other files.  The ones that I personally own are these:

Air Sharing
Documents to Go

For these particular files, I tend to delete the files that I don't think I will need before doing the backup, upgrade or synch.   For example, before the iOS 4.3 update, I checked Air Sharing, OPlayer and Documents to Go and erased all movies and large pdf files that I didn't need.  I can always get them back later.   For movies, that accounted for 12 gb!  PDF's were over 5 gb!  Never the less, the update took me a total of 40 minutes with backups included.   I also decided to forego backing up the iPhoto directory as I back this up to an online service to preserve my computer memory.

Hope this helps....

*Photo taken from

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