Tag Archives: iTunes

Solution – iPhone Apps are not syncing with iTunes after a restore

So you have got a new iPhone; you did a backup of your old iPhone and restored it to the new device. Everything seems to be working except that Apps are not installing. You try to re-sync with iTunes but nothing changes.

Looking at the Apps tab in iTunes shows that the Apps will be installed. So the question is when? Seems never right?

Well, it happened to me recently when I was doing just the same thing for an iPhone I was migrating. I even tried to restore a second time, but it didn’t matter.

I then stumbled upon the “Restrictions” settings, funny enough it was disabled. The original phone had restrictions turned on and Apps installation disabled. Just in the off chance of a bug here, I enabled restrictions, just to make sure all options are set to enabled, and turned off restrictions again.

Right after, I did another sync with iTunes, and all the Apps started to install.

There you have it, there’s a bug in the process. Maybe it was specific to my situation, where the source was an iPhone 4 with iOS6 and the target was an iPhone 4S with iOS7.

Nevertheless, here’s an experience I’ll share, in case if you encounter a similar issue.

iOS Upgrade fail with error 23 – the workaround

So after trying iOS 5 myself, I’m feeling good to upgrade my wife’s iPhone 4.

Strange thing occurred that once I asked iTunes 10.5 to upgrade the iPhone 4, after the first dialog box that says something about backup, the next thing I get is error 23. Which actually means the phone has a hardware problem. Is there an underlying problem? I have no idea, phone seems fine.

So, what I did that made it work… or at least now it’s gone past that stage. Put the phone into recovery mode, and now iTunes 10.5 is downloading iOS5. Will know soon enough if it will work all the way.

*update* the workaround was successful!!

*update 2* to get the iPhone into recovery mode, do the following

  1. have your computer running iTunes 10.5, and the iPhone sync cable plugged into the computer
  2. don’t connect the sync it to your phone yet, and shutdown the phone
  3. after the phone is off, press and hold the home button (don’t let go of the button)
  4. keep holding the home button, and plug the sync cable into the phone (still, hold on to the home button, don’t let go yet)
  5. when you get to the recovery screen, you’ll see the iTunes logo and the sync cable show up on the phone, you can now let go of the home button
  6. iTunes will detect and report that the phone is in recovery
  7. Follow the wizard to proceed with the upgrade

iTunes 10.5 can sync 2 devices simultaneously

Things have been different, and I didn’t have anything good to write about. Until now…

I’ve just updated my iPhone 3GS then my iPad to IOS5. The sync was taking quite some time and I decided to try to sync my 3GS while the iPad is being restored. Searched around a bit and found some old posts saying that Windows iTunes can’t sync simultaneously. Yea, that post is a little old, from 2009.

So now, I’m trying it myself. It works!! The improvement now is that for music, videos and app sync, the device doesn’t stay in the lock screen anymore. It’s more like a background process.

There’s more to be discovered with iOS5, hopefully some more good stuffs to write about!

IOS Devices : Automatic App Installation On All Devices You Own

I didn’t stay up to catch the Apple WWDC, but it’s the first thing I checked out when I woke up today. One of the new features which has got all my thumbs up is the ability for your devices to automatically download purchased content. More details is in this Mac Rumors posting.

I haven’t tested this yet, but what I believe it’s suppose to do is this; Say you have an iPhone and an iPad. If you’ve purchased ¬†content, Music/App/Book, from the Apple Stores, it will automatically make it available on both devices. That sure takes the hassle out to trying to keep both devices in sync.

Without this, I’ve been maintaining synchronization using iTunes, or just manual re-download. Now it’s all automatic! That’s cool!

The best part, you don’t need to wait for IOS5, all you need is the currently available IOS 4.3!

Great place for “Old Apps”

a recent task I had to do involved getting a bunch of old versions of applications. The search for these brought me to a website www.oldapps.com. I first came across this website from watching Tekzilla. (good video podcast for tech fans, and the hosts are great!).

The website hosts a lot of popular applications, and every version of those software that have been publicly available. Most of the times, these software are no longer found on their main website, and even hard to find on the P2P network. Fret not as this site has it!

So, if there are any vintage versions of Winamp that you like, but lost due to a system rebuild. You can hop over to Old Apps and download that favorite version you like.

DROPBOX – keep files in sync and have a backup copy in the cloud

I’ve been using this nifty little tool for many months now, and it works like a charm!! I first got introduced to it watching Tekzilla, and I’m now hooked!!

What Dropbox does is that you identify a particular folder in your computer that you want to be kept in sync between computers. For me, this is my desktop, notebook & netbook. Everytime your computer is on the internet, it will keep all the files sync’d in this folder. So, no matter which machine you are on, you have access to all the files in that folder. Update the file any where, and the rest will get the updates too. To make it even more awesome, you can access these files on your iPhone or Android device.

Dropbox installs a small client on to your computer, and gives you 2GB of free space at the start. With some successful referrals, your free space goes up to 10GB!!

I use it to keep my frequently used files in sync between my computers. I’ve read other usage as to keep iTunes libraries in sync between computers, some others use it to keep emails sync’d between computers, and much more. The possibilities are endless.

So, wait no more!! give it a try and use my referral link here =)

iPhone Contacts Sync with Google – comparison via iTunes and over-the-air activesync

Traditionally, one would sync a mobile/smart phone’s address book with a proprietary software (e.g. Palm Desktop), or via some conduit with Microsoft Outlook. In the recent years syncing with Outlook seems more popular as it’s more widely supported and it was my preferred way to transfer contacts from a phone from manufacturer A to another phone from manufacturer B. e.g. I once transferred from my Nokia N82 to a Samsung i600, then from the i600 to my iPhone 3G.

Recently I changed jobs and no longer have access to MS Outlook (it was on my work notebook), so I started searching for alternatives. Here are the options I have (in the Windows world)

  • via iTunes – sync with Google
  • via iTunes – sync with Windows Vista Contacts (or Windows Address Book on Windows XP)
  • over-the-air – sync with Google using Activesync protocol

I have been a fan of Google, and been using Gmail for years.  Little did I know, I have been shifting towards cloud computing without planning for it. This seems to be the all new popular shift the industry is heading towards. A lot of what we know now will eventually be hosted in the Internet cloud.

I decided that syncing with my Google account will likely be the best option. One advantage will be that I’ll never have to really worry about backing up my Gmail account. It’s something I trust Google to take care of. I also expect to see more support on syncing the contacts and calendar with more devices. So, this should protect future change of devices. In the worse case, I can export contacts as CSV files to be imported to other PIM tools.

Going off track a little, I tested out syncing with my Vista Contacts. Just to see what it does. The good side is that it can sync contact photos, which Google does not support. But the bad side is that when you delete contacts from the iPhone, they remain in Vista Contacts.

The real test started first with syncing via iTunes. Let me start off with what I started the test with

  • on the iPhone – I have my full set of contatcs with phone numbers, some email addresses, etc.
  • in my Google Contacts – I have some email addresses Gmail auto saved into the contacts.

I put in the config in Tunes to sync contacts with Google. Then I let it rip. The initial sync took about 10mins (I have about 1200 contacts in the phone).

When it was done, I looked through Google contacts and everything was uploaded nicely. I had some contacts with numerous phone numbers and all showed up well. Even some has custom phone types, e.g. I have a contact with a “home kitchen” as a phone type. Google accepted it as well. I was pleased.

Syncing with iTunes over a few days proved the updates and sync are working nicely.

Then, I decided to try out syncing over-the-air. It would be nice not having to remember to plug the phone to sync every other day. Any updates to the contacts will sync within minutes with “push”.

On the iPhone, I went to settings -> mail, contacts, calendars -> add account -> Microsoft Exchange. Went through the account creation wizard, and picked to only sync Contacts, keeping mail and calendar off. (side note, the server you want to connect to is m.google.com)

It prompted that all contacts in the phone will be wiped out (this was pre OS3.0). I know that my contacts are already well sync with Google already so I could confidently hit yes.

My contacts on the phone became blank, and then the over-the-air sync started. I could see contacts starting to be populated. If you scroll right to the bottom of the contacts, you could see the total count of contacts in the phone. In under 10 mins, I could see all my contacts downloaded.

Verification : the number of contacts were right, all contacts were downloaded. Then I picked up some names and check… looked fine. Until I hit some special contacts with a lot of numbers and email addresses… not everything was downloaded. Some numbers and email addresses were missing. Double checking in the Gmail interface, they were still on Google. So the sync was not perfect. After searching around, I found that it was a limitation of the activesync protocol.

You can read the actual post here. But here’s the essence of the issue. It’s not an iPhone nor Google issue. It’s a limitation of the activesync protocol.

Activesync only allows the following per contact

  • up to 3 email addresses
  • 2 Home numbers
  • 1 Home Fax
  • 1 Mobile
  • 1 Pager
  • 3 Work (which one will be labeled as ‘Company Main’)
  • 1 Work fax

So, if you have contacts with 2 Mobile (type) numbers, only one will show up after the sync. You won’t lose the other number, but it will stay at the original source. If you have custom phone types, they won’t show up either. So, this did not work for me.

One more shortcoming when using activesync is that the phone types becomes limited. The list that I used to be able to choose in the iPhone becomes limited to that listed above. It would make sense to conclude that it’s due to the limitations of activesync.

Other than the above though, the sync worked pretty well. The push updates went well and I was pleased with that as well. But since I have needs beyond just a few numbers and email addresses, I prefer to sync via iTunes.

On the 11th July, I picked up my new iPhone 3GS from my service provider, Singtel. Out of the box, I put in my SIM card, quickly configured activesync, and BAM! my contacts came in over the air. Even before I paid for it my contacts are ready for use. That was one proud geek moment :D. But when I got home, did a restore from my 3G backup, I reverted back to sync via iTunes instead.

So, in conclusion, syncing of your iPhone contacts with Google has 2 methods. You just need to pick the option most suitable for you. If all your contacts have very minimal numbers and email address, and you have a mobile data plan, go with over-the-air. Otherwise, sync via iTunes should be preferred. At when during moments where you’ve lost your contacts somehow, or you’ve picked up a new iPhone, you can turn on activesync until you can get back to your computer to sync.