Jobs: Fix for crashing iPhone apps bug en route

Apple is apparently set to release a fix for an issue which is locking some iPhone users out of their installed third-party applications.

Users have been complaining about the issues in Apple support forums since earlier this month. With the first post coming before the 2.0.1 update, its not unreasonable to believe some have been experiencing this problem nearly from the start.

The initial message posted August 2 by pmonahan complains of problems that became progressively worse. While reboots would initially solve the issue, later they were no longer sufficient remedies, and eventually no applications would work at all.

"I hate to say this, but I miss the old reliable and bug-free iPhone version 1.1.4," he wrote.

Replies to pmonahan's initial post complained of similar problems. "Same problem, Deleted and restored all apps. SAME PROBLEM," another wrote. "Apple has a pandemic starting and better get on the ball before this news gets out like the Blackberry server outages," another frustrated user warned.

Many users report that their applications will load briefly but then crash, taking them back to the home screen. Crashes are reportedly occurring with both newly downloaded and pre-existing software, and updating that software doesn't appear to be a solution either. Neither the 2.0.1 nor the 2.0.2 update has made the problem any better for users.

Some believe an issue with permissions may be causing the crashes. There's also speculation that users downloading applications directly to the phone could be more at risk than those who use the App Store.

A fix may be on the way, however. AppleInsider claimed on Tuesday that it had received a report from a reader claiming to have received a personal response from CEO Steve Jobs regarding the matter.

Such an e-mail is not all that out of the question: Jobs will from time to time answer feedback to the company, however, his responses are usually rather brief. In any case, according to the publication, he assured the person that Apple knew of the problems.

"This is a known iPhone bug that is being fixed in the next software update in September," Jobs reportedly said in the e-mail.

The iPhone's problems have given its competitors an opportunity to knock the blockbuster mobile device down a few pegs, so to speak. Verizon's corporate communications chief Jeffrey Nelson sent reporters a link to a blog post by Laptop Magazine reporter Mark Spoonauer, who laments what appears from his vantage point to be the iPhone 3G's ever-amounting problems.

"These days I'm feeling a little guilty. A little over a month ago I praised the iPhone 3G for its zippy data speeds in our full review," Spoonauer wrote. "Since then complaints have been piling up from iPhone 3G owners about spotty reception, seemingly random switching from 3G to EDGE data, and frustratingly sluggish Web surfing. What the hell is going on? Did we review a different device?"

Spoonauer added that the device does "feel different" than the one he initially reviewed, and even went as far as to suggest that potential iPhone 3G customers hold off on their purchases until the issues are resolved. The iPhone 3G had received the magazine's Editors' Choice Award.

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