I’ve mentioned a few of my battery and data problems with iOS 6. (here and here) Michael Tsai had linked to a TidBits post about their solution – basically doing a clean install of iOS6. A few people in the comments had told me to do that also. I was trying everything I could to avoid that eventuality. I knew how big a pain it would be. Well last night I’d had enough.
The basic problem is that there’s a bug in Safari that screws up bookmark syncing via iCloud. It appears to primarily affect people who restored their data when installing iOS 6. You can check if you have the problem by going to Settings > General > About > Diagnostics & Usage > Diagnostics & Usage Data. If you were like me you’ll have a slew of error logs. I tried everything I could short of redoing iOS 6 to solve the problem. Nothing worked.
So last night I put my iPhone 5 in DFU mode. (Hold home and power for 10 seconds, let go of power and continue to hold home for an other 10 seconds) Then I connected it to iTunes and did a clean install. Of course then all the apps you have in iTunes are synced with the phone. You then have to manually configure all the applications – often having to look up all the passwords and user information.1
First the good news. This solved my problem. I can’t speak for data usage, since I’m not mainly on WiFi most of the time. (Hopefully no big road trips again for a while) However battery life went from painful to fantastic. There for a while I could lose ⅓ charge in less than an hour of light web browsing. Just being on standby by my bed I’d lose about ⅔ charge overnight. (Since I don’t have my lightning to 30 pin adaptor yet) I’ve been using the phone much of today and I’m still at almost 80% charge. That is pretty impressive.
Then there’s the bad news. It took forever to organize the apps into some semblance of order. Weirdly Spotlight could find some applications like 1Password but I couldn’t find it on the pages of icons anywhere. It sure would be helpful if Spotlight in iOS could find an app as well as run it.
My solution was to use the app organizer in iTunes by selecting the phone and looking around. Apparently I had 12 screens of apps and the last two weren’t showing up on the phone – even though I’d cleared out about 5 screens so they were empty. So if you have a lot of apps and are having troubles finding them I’d suggest using iTunes. This appears to be a bug in iOS6 syncing.
I should add that while technical people can solve these things, this really is a serious bug. And I’ll bet the typical user has no clue why their battery is draining so fast or why they are using up so much cellular data. Hopefully Apple provides a fix soon.
- And hope you added it to 1Password. While I’m very diligent about adding information to 1Password on my Mac I discovered I was far less diligent on iOS – probably because it’s such a pain trying to copy and paste in iOS. Seriously I wish the whole “select paragraph” mode of selection was removed. So often you can select paragraphs but not just the section you want. One reason among many why iOS will never usurp OSX for serious work in my book. ↩