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No user-serviceable software inside

November 1, 2010

I guess I should have not expected too much… after all, despite the name, the “Genius Bar” is just really Tier 1 support dressed in cool t-shirts. 

But I jump ahead of myself.  Those of you who know me know that I love Apple iPhones.  I’m not by any stretch an Apple fanboy but I do like the design compromises that led to a phone that’s very user-friendly.  But the design compromises are now coming back to bite me.  Specifically, the locked-down environment also means a dearth of debugging tools.  So when my iPhone proc suddenly pegged to 100% and stayed there (eating the battery in about 3 hours) I didn’t have a lot of to go on.  In fact even the tools to figure out processor utilization are 3rd-party and not that great.  And the Apple answer to that is that “users don’t need those tools”.

Wrong.

The genius at the Genius Bar restored my phone to factory spec and proclaimed that “your problems are solved”.  Well, my processor problem did go away until I sat down to set my phone up again.  30 minutes later the problems are back. 

I was pretty sure that the problem was a built-in app, since it happens after a reboot before you even touch the device.  But just to make sure I deleted all of the apps that had updated recently.  Nope that wasn’t it.

Now I started looking at built-in apps.  I had a hunch that the problem was related to email updates.  I started deleting mail accounts from the iPhone (not a big deal since all of the data is in the cloud as well, but inconvenient).  Eventually I deleted my main email account… and voila!  Problem solved. 

Except that it doesn’t really solve my problem — I need mail on my device.  So now I need to figure out why the mail client is getting confused.  Wish me luck!

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