Saturday, October 11, 2008

iPhone 2.1 Freezing Update

I'm sure many users are wondering what's been happening with this issue. Although we're not yet able to say that the problem is 100% resolved, some significant progress has been made. After a detailed analysis of server log records from devices belonging to users who reported freezing had happened, our engineering team were able to reliably reproduce the freezing problem.
There are two parts to the freezing syndrome: why the device freezes; and the conditions that led to it getting into the frozen state. On the first part, we believe that there is the potential for deadlock in the iPhone 2.1 sync software. We're also confident that the deadlocking problem will be fixed in the next iPhone software update. We don't know when that will be released.
Freezing seems to occur when a particular set of circumstances arises : a change is pending from Google, but the iPhone times out reading the change from our servers; then later before the device has caught up with that missed change, a second change is made on the device. Having discovered the set of conditions that can lead to the device deadlock, we wondered if we could make changes to the service that would reduce or even eliminate the potential to trigger it. As a result new service code was deployed this past Wednesday. It makes sure that any changes from Google are flushed to the device soon after they are seen. The result is that any device that might have got into the pre-freezing state, where a change was missed due to a timeout, will no longer do so. Unfortunately devices that were already in that state before the new code was deployed can still freeze up. This is because our change only addresses the first stage towards freezeing, not the second, which happens outside our control, on the device.
So far the results are encouraging. The number of users reporting new freezing episodes has dropped significantly. Evidence we are able to gather from server logs is also positive.
However, I don't feel that we can declare complete victory yet. There may be other conditions that can trigger the deadlock than the ones we have studied.
We'd like to determine the best method to un-freeze a device. So far only the 'Reset All Settings' method works reliably for us, although users have reported other methods working for them here (change Neuvasync password, turn on flight mode, etc). If you have thoughts on this please post comments.

38 comments:

vestini said...

Great news. In particular the collaboration Apple seems to be showing. An iPhone calendar with sync is a killer application and, whether the sync is done through NuevaSync or MobileMe, it sells iPhones. Tremendously. Apple is therefore wise, in my opinion, in helping a rival, if the rival has come up with a smoother system. They should do likewise for ALL prospective iPhone apps that improve on the original iPhone software.

Pieter-Jan said...

I just upgraded my 3G in 2.1 firmware
Everything worked fine with google and Nueva and it's even speeder than before (2.01)

MERCIIIIIIIIII :)

Henning Vestergaard said...

Dear Nuevasync,
considering your insight in the google calendar and exchange mechanisms, do you think it will be possible with syncing several calendars two way, instead of combing all calendars on google to one on iPhone?
I hope you figure it out.

Kevin said...

I haven't seen any recent freezes (thanks guys) but I have seen a recent significant drop in battery life on my version 1 iPhone coinciding with the new code deployment. This could very well be unrelated entirely, but I thought it deserved a mention.

hang said...

I've been into the freezing state before and everything is fine after I removed and re-setup the exchange service...anyway thanks Nuevasync for this great services!

AlexT said...

FWIW I had the freeze and had to fully reset settings to recover a functional device. Since then - and this was before your code change - everything works just fine.

Michael said...

Henning,

What you are asking for (multiple calendar sync) is listed on NuevaSync as one of their "top new feature priorities", but unfortunately there is no telling how soon this will be available to end users like us.

Meanwhile, I have finally figured out how to accomplish this using MobileMe service. The key to it is a piece of software called "CalGoo" which is capable of syncing individual Google Calendars to individual Outlook folders - from where MobileMe sync client works. I am not sure if this works with Outlook connected to Exchange Server though (have not tried yet, but will)

-Michael

Manzers said...

Yes, the multiple calendar support could be THE killer feature of nuevasync. This is the only reason while I'm using nuevasync only for contacts until now.
If the multiple calendars are working, nuevasync could replace MobileMe completly!
At the moment a lot of "workaround" tools are needed to get multiple calendars synchronized with google and iPhone. :(

Ody said...

I am experiencing "freezing" since Monday.
Was fine before.

Anything changed in the meantime ?

David Boreham said...

ody: please send us your username to support@nuevasync.com, subject line 'freezing since Monday' and we will investigate your device activity.

Ody said...

I have allready sent an email to support.

I'll resend it with the subject you suggest.

John said...

I have been getting the freezing too.. I'm discontinuing use of this service (which I'd be willing to pay for) until some point it doesn't tank my phone.

Kevin said...

The battery life issue is still my biggest concern of this new code - disabling the nuevasync service for a day was the only way I was able to get through today without the battery draining to nearly 50% by the end of the day. Previous to the code update, it seemed to last much longer. Any thoughts? Perhaps I have a setting incorrect somewhere...

David said...

Any idea of when the multiple calendar support will be released? I'm checking back daily for the release! Please, please, please!

Mark said...

Following up on Kevin's comments, I've also seen a pretty dramatic drop in battery life. I've been scratching my head trying to work out what's changed. I even reduced the fetch setting on e-mail, from 15mins to 1hr, but with limited benefits.

The only thing that I think has changed, in the last few days, is NuevaSync.

NuevaSync - can you give any indication if the recent changes may have impacted battery life?

John said...

Could someone from Nuevasync please provide some updates on the freezing issues?

Michael said...

Hi All:

I fixed the freezing issue without resetting all phone settings. Steps I took:

1. Turn on airplane mode.
2. Change nuevasync password on the website.
3. Try to delete exchange account on iphone. It will freeze.
4. Restart iphone.
5. Delete exchange account on iphone.
6. Turn off airplane mode.
7. Add nuevasync account to iphone using the new password.

johane said...

Michael's procedure worked well!
Thank you, Michael.

HernĂ¡n said...

Like Kevin and Mark I'm also worried about battery and 3G data. I've been following data usage for the last couple of days and found that my iPhone jumped to 2MB per day while last month it was less than 300KB. Of course it could be my own fault, but I don't think I've changed my connecting habits during the last week.
Should I do more testings? Do you have any advise to help me isolate the problem? (FWIW, is an iPhone 3G v2.1)

David Boreham said...

Apologies for the slow response. Spent the weekend writing multiple calendar iPhone code.
Anyway, freezing we believe is only happening for a very small number of users and we've been able to find two additional scenarios that lead to the freeze. Code to address those will be deployed on the production servers shortly.
About battery life : we've investigated this issue several times in the past without finding a smoking gun. Certainly we do not see anything obvious such as the service causing the iPhone to babble constantly, which would sap power. What we see in packet traces and logs looks completely normal and very close to Windows Mobile device behavior (and nobody has ever reported poor batter life with a WM device).
We have a real live iPhone now (not easy since we live in a non-iPhone zone) and will be performing some tests of our own next week. Users have reported that turning 'push' off does significantly improve battery life. What we don't know is if the additional power drain from enabling push is to be expected, or not. We should know more next week on this.

John said...

When will the freezing fixes roll to prod? Helpppppppppp :)

Gwened said...

Michael's procedure for unfreezing saved me. I did not want to reset all, and the steps worked, although I did not perform step 7 (I'm waiting for the freezing issue to be fully resolved).

gmann21133 said...

I followed the steps to stop the freezing, and it worked well, but now my contacts won't sync unless I use Plaxo. If I add a contact to my iPhone it dissappears within seconds. The calendar syncs just fine though. I have tried all of the resets, and I have restored my phone several times and still contacts won't sync to iPhone.

Paddy said...

Mine has frozen again. This is the third time in 2 months. Have had to totally reset phone each time in order to rectify problem. PLEASE FIX IT!!

John said...

When will the freezing fixes roll to production folks? Come on, it's pretty unexcuseable to have a product that will totally take down my phone like this.

Martin Fandler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

I just deleted and re-added the exchange account as per Michael's steps and my freezing is gone for now. I noticed battery drain recently, but not sure if it has anything to do with nuevasync or maybe calendar freezing with nuevasync specifically?

All I can say is life is good again, thanks!

powpow said...

Same here. Downloaded and had immediate freezing problems. Followed the steps above and it's working right now.

When it works, it's great!

amphlett said...

found this slightly simpler routine just unfroze my iPhone:

1. Turn off all the types of syncing for the nuevasync account
2. Delete the nuevasync sync account
3. Go into calendar and see appointments have disappeared
4. Re-add the nuevasync account.

It's working really well now, going like greased lightning now

Neil said...

my iphone was working fine until i started using Nuevasync. In my opinion Nuevasync is a bad idea - too many problems and best avoided.

Stef said...

Hi, any news on this topic ?

I tried all of the above without any success :-(

I'm now trying (again) to remove the nuevasync connection from my iphone, but it's sitting there for 10 minutes already "Deleting..." I'l be patient... I promise... but NOT long anymore...

PS: Also noticed that the problem occurs even when you're in flight mode (so totally disconnected)... It seems to be a real under-the-hoods problem rather then a communication-related problem...

See ya,

Stef

nospam said...

Thanks Michael!
Your solution worked well for me.

I love the syncing capabilities of Nuevasync, but if this problem continues, I think I'll have to stop using the app until the bugs are resolved or it's out of beta.

Stef said...

Michael's trick did it for me too... I'm synched again :o)

Hi All:

I fixed the freezing issue without resetting all phone settings. Steps I took:

1. Turn on airplane mode.
2. Change nuevasync password on the website.
3. Try to delete exchange account on iphone. It will freeze.
4. Restart iphone.
5. Delete exchange account on iphone.
6. Turn off airplane mode.
7. Add nuevasync account to iphone using the new password.

Niketas said...

Whenever I followed Michael's steps, iPhone freezes again on the next calendar launching. I mean the first launching after reset is ok, but at the next... It seems to me it starts syncing in the different way, as if it only downloaded calendar at the first time and at the 2nd it starts to sync it in 2-way direction, and something crashes there.
However, I experienced some cases of successful syncing, I mean iPhone unfreezed after some time, but it undoubtedly shouldn't take so much time, especially with freezing.
I hope developers will fix the problem with a power of a new iPhone they have now. I can't wait until next firmware release ;)

Andrew Orange said...

Since installing nuevasync connection my iphone battery lasts less than a day. Definitely something wrong there. Hope it can get sorted as it would be a boon!

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