Monday, July 21, 2008

Updating iPhone Applcations - Steps to Install iPhone Updates

After downloading my first iPhone App or Application, I wondered if the third party developer upgraded their application:

1. Would I get the free upgrade?
2. How would I be notified of the upgrade?

I finally figured it out the answers to these questions and it prompted some other issues too.

3. First of all, the App Store icon will have a number in the upper right corner notifying you if an application update is available. If you tap it, you will be given a list of the updates available to your iPhone, similar to Mac Software Update or Windows Update.

I, tried to update some of the applications from wireless home network while sitting on the couch watching television. What I discovered is that most of the applications that were previously crashing or were not operational were on the list, i.e. Version 1.0.1, 1.1, 1.2 etc. I also discovered the following:

4. The best way to upgrade is to do so from your PC. Open iTunes, under Library click Applications. On the rigth bottom of the screen, click "Check for Updates". The upgrading worked best for me if I upgraded while connected to iTunes and with my phone connected to my PC rather than using the iPhone connected to your home wireless network. After you upgrade and synch, your updated applications will be installed.

Note: If you are upgrading using your home wireless network or Edge (not advisable, it takes forever) the application updating goes through several steps: a) You tap Update and/or Install on your iPhone or iPod Touch Upgrade Application Screen and you wait a few seconds or more then the application icon would be displayed on the screen with; b) A "Loading" message a progress bar displayed under the application icon; c) An "Installing" with the progress bar displayed under the icon; d) If the application upgrade was successful the Application title name would appear under the icon.

During this upgrade installation/loading time, I wondered if I could use the other features on the iPhone without causing an installation issue? I ran some test including dialing my phone and I was able to receive a call while the application was installing.

There is an Update All screen. When I clicked on this for six applications needing updates, it took about 25 minutes (similar to Windows Update and much longer than most Mac Software Updates). This is probably the best option but I'm still not sure what happens if an error occurs with one of the software updates.

7. Lastly, some of the applications took a very long time to install both when using a PC and without, so make sure you have set aside more than just a few minutes to do this.

Here is a new KB article on the Apple Support Site listing this process.

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