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October 12, 2008

Mobile Safari Crashing, Solved?

As soon as I clicked "publish" on my previous entry complaining about excessive Mobile Safari crashing, I realized what I should have tried a long time ago: clear Mobile Safari's cache. And sure enough, after I cleared the cache and the cookies, I went nearly 2 hours of constant browsing before it finally crashed on me. Yes, it still crashed, but before clearing the cache, I couldn't even go 2 or 3 pages before it crashing.

My problem was that I kept thinking about the iPhone in terms of consumer electronics and phones and that it should "just work," thus I wasn't thinking in terms of troubleshooting the problem. It should just work, damit! Instead I should have been thinking about it in terms of what it really is—a tiny computer that makes phone calls. Computers crashing, that I have had plenty of experience with.

Now, if I could get the mail fetching to work again.

October 25, 2008 Update

Nope, not solved. It still crashes all over the place. With frequent purging of Mobile Safari cache, the frequency of crashes seems to be lower, but it still crashes way too often. I don't recall a single day without the browser crashing on me, and often it's multiple times.

The latest remedy I've tried is doing a hard reset (holding down the power and home buttons together for a few seconds) after the browser has crashed a few times in succession and that seems to make the crashing temporarily subside, but I'm not sure. The browser crashes so randomly that it's almost impossible to detect a pattern in order to identify a cause. It crashes on long pages, it crashes on short pages, it crashes on text heavy pages, it crashes on graphics heavy pages. It just crashes. Sometimes it can go for an hour without crashing. But then the crashes sometimes come in bunches. This is a typical scenario: Load page, finish loading, read, crash. Re-open Mobile Safari. Load a different page, during loading, crash. Open Mobile Safari again, load same page, finish loading. No crash. Yay! Load another page. Crash.

Maybe it just crashes whenever Mobile Safari runs out of memory which I assume is very easy to do since there's only 128mb of ram in the iPhone (what were they thinking?!). I think I read somewhere that Mobile Safari keeps running in the background until the OS needs the memory, so perhaps Mobile Safari just keeps crap in memory and grows and grows until it crashes.

I guess Mobile Safari is simply not ready to be used like I'm using it, which is usually at least an hour a day of browsing on it...

I haven't tried a complete restore from iTunes yet, but you know what? I don't want to spend days troubleshooting this damn thing!!! I give up. Forget about phones, even computers should not be this frustrating to use. It says something about the iPhone (its UI, its functionality, its packaging, and yes, its marketing... the Reality Distortion Field is strong with this one) that even with a major part of its functionality essentially broken (actually mail fetching is also broken, so that's two of its major functionalities), I can't even fathom giving it up and using another phone. I'm just going to have to suck it up and hope they fix it.

Filed Under: Technology
Tags: apple, iphone, mobilesafari