By Michael Evans
I BLAME O2's update to MMS messages for causing my Messages application to stop running. After upgrading the OS of my phone to version 3.0 I received a text message to say that the phone was being updated to handle MMS messages. Good. Some minutes later I received a regular text message and when I touched the Messages icon a blank screen (but with top bar) appeared for a few seconds and then closed, returning me to the home screen.
I called O2 and the general operator told me that, yes, many people had had this problem and he would transfer me to the iPhone team who would know what to do. Eventually I was put through to Miss Nocando in the said iPhone department. She denied categorically that this problem had been reported or that any other subscribers had been effected. I'm a trusting soul, so of course I believed her. No solution was offered, but she did give me the number for Apple support. Full marks to O2 for keeping details of Apple support numbers on a convenient Post-It note.
Here was the usual genial, patient help you expect from Apple. They hadn't heard of this problem, but I was guided through several steps to try to reset the device. In the end we agreed that a full restore to factory settings would be necessary. This I did, followed by re-entering of passwords and some lost data. A curse on those application developers who encourage you to use their spreadsheets, note takers and the like without providing any means of backup.
Thanks to Mobile Me and web or wifi synchronisation, most updates went smoothly. In particular I'd single out OmniFocus, Evernote, Netnewswire, Skype and 1Password for praise. No fear of losing any data with these programs.
All this isn't for the faint hearted, so I would recommend all iPhonistas to make sure that they use only applications that provide a recovery strategy in case of disaster (or, more aptly, in case of a need to upgrade from a 3G to a 3GS).