My original first gen iPod touch has been, without doubt, the best gadget I’ve ever purchased. It’s been used daily for almost 3 years now as an MP3 player, email client, TV, photo album, and PDA. However the headphone socket has only played out of one ear for about 6 months, and about a month ago I lost a whole swathe of pixels at the bottom of the screen, so today I went out a bought a new one.
Initially I though this was going to work out well. I synced the new iPod with iTunes and it said it was going to upgrade to iOS 4 and restore the settings from my old iPod – great. However I’m now collecting a list of problems which I thought I’d enumerate here.
- Couldn’t connect to my home wifi network. The new iPod picked up the stored password from my settings, but couldn’t connect to my network. All other machines (and my old iPod) worked fine. I had a very similar problem where my Macbook Pro wouldn’t connect to my parents network after upgrading to snow leopard. Research for that problem let me to several posts which linked the problem to the use of WEP on the connection. I therefore changed the encryption to WPA and the new iPod now connects. Is this a backdoor route through which Apple hope to increase the security of home networks?
- Couldn’t connect to my email. Although my email settings were carried over, the password wasn’t. Oddly I wasn’t prompted for it but rather told to go into the mail settings to find the appropriate box in which to add it. Once I’d added the password I could connect.
- But – I’ve had some oddities with my email. I uses an SSL encrypted IMAP account and I’ve had messages which wouldn’t move to unread status no matter how many times I viewed them. I also had a ‘ghost message’ with no title and no content – but it was apparently unread and couldn’t be read or deleted. It took a reboot to get rid of that, but it’s reoccurred after some more use. It seems that I’m not alone but the immediate fix (use the multitaking switcher to kill mail) doesn’t work for me because this iPod doesn’t support multitasking.
- Although all my media seems to have synced over OK, one of my podcasts (This Week in Tech as it happens) is duplicated on my iPod. The same episodes appear in both copies. I’ve removed and readded the podcast from iTunes, but it just duplicates it all over again. No idea what else to do with this.
This experience has further reinforced my love hate relationship with Apple. When their stuff works it’s great. Well thought out, nicely implemented and consistently integrated. Everything you could hope for really. The problem comes when things don’t work out properly. The ecosystem within which Apple operates is so closed that they won’t acknowledge when problems exist and you’re left with an unknown wait until a future update magically fixes things. People contacting apple support about the IMAP problems have been talked through resetting their mail accounts and a few other fixes which Apple must know don’t work. Contrast this with open source solutions where all bug tracking is out in the open so you can see not only that the problem exists and has been identified, but also get an official response for the best work around and can track the progress on a permanent fix. Would adopting this kind of system really cause harm to Apple?