My Experience Upgrading the iPhone 3G to iPhone OS 3.0

At Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference, it was announced that iPhone OS 3.0 would be available on June 17.

When June 17 finally came, I was excited to try out the new iPhone OS! I plugged my iPhone into my computer and set off to start the update process. The first thing I realized was that I needed to upgrade to iTunes 8.2. Ugh! I hate upgrading iTunes because it is a pain the ass. After about 20 minutes, iTunes is finally updated! Woohoo…I can finally start downloading the iPhone upgrade! Uh-oh..I keep watching my download…it’s going very slowly and keeps timing out. Hmmm…I’m never going to get this downloaded.

Something I should mention is that after the iTunes upgrade, the application told me to restart my computer. I still can’t figure out why after all these years I still have to restart a PC after I upgrade an application. It’s completely ridiculous. Anyways, I restarted my laptop and re-opened iTunes to start the download again. Ahhhh the download is finally moving! After about 45 minutes to download the 230MB update, I was finally ready to watch the upgrade install. Little did I know…

After the download completed, the upgrade process started. It started by backing up the device. What I didn’t realize is how long it would take. First off, while the backup was being completed there was a screen on the phone that said “Synchronization in Process” and other than that, the progress indicator within iTunes wasn’t very helpful in that it did not list a percent complete which would have been more helpful or at least gave me confidence that the upgrade wasn’t freezing up. The other thing that I didn’t notice was that every time I hit the slider to access the phone, I was actually canceling the backup process. When I finally read the screen a little closer, I came to this realization and said oops!

After I figured out not to leave the “Synchronization in Progress” screen, I began to wonder why the backup was taking so long. So I started google searching to see if any other users were reporting backups taking a long time to complete while upgrading to OS 3.0. Eventually, I found this C-Net article which described backups on the iPhone as taking a long time to complete. Now that I knew backups would take a long time to complete, I left my computer with the upgrade in progress for 30 minutes. I came back and waited an additional 15 minutes. After this 45 minute delay, the OS was finally being installed!

I noticed a series of reboots with the iPhone 3G. This process took about 5 – 7 minutes in total. Finally, a screen came up in iTunes that said the update was complete. Whew! I finally survived the upgrade process and didn’t brick the device. Unfortunately, by the time the upgrade finished it was 11pm at night and I needed to get some sleep. Playing with the new OS would have to wait until another day.

Notes to Apple:
1. If I access my phone during the upgrade, give me the ability to pause the upgrade and pick up where I left off.
2. Please speed up the backup process on the device (Maybe this has improved with the 3G-s)
3. Please let me update iTunes only and not require me to download iTunes and Quicktime through the software update

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