amusing bitching iphone Web 0.1

Apple: still don’t know how to use “The InterNet … thingy”

I’m trying to download the 3.0 OS update for iPhone…and being denied by Apple’s own software – that cannot even download a single file from a website (!)

It’s a 1GB download that you “must” download via iTunes, because … well … because … um … Apple hates web browsers? I don’t know. Hard to see why it is downloaded via iT at all, really. It is rather strange.

(EDIT: it has now dropped to being a 230 MB download; I have no idea why – it was only a hundred meg or so into the alleged 1 GB download when it crashed, and when I retried it became 230 MB. Odd…)

And yes – it really *is* downloading a website file (that’s all it’s doing):

GET /,2_3.0_7A341_Restore.ipsw HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: iTunes/8.2 (Macintosh; N; Intel)
Connection: close

That’s missing a key line. The line that resumes the download from where it left off. Apple apparently decided to write a “crap” web-browser, and embed it inside iTunes. Why? Why, when they have one of the world’s best web-browsers, do they insist on writing an extra one – and missing out fundamental basic features (like resumable downloads)?

There are occasional latency spikes on my net connection. iTunes is such a terrible “web browser” that when this happens, it arbitrarily (note: no other web browser would do this!) decides to cancel the download. There is no “resume” option and no “retry” option.

Congratulations, Apple! Having 2 copies of the same “core” software, one which works and one which doesn’t, and not allowing the user to use the “good” one when they need to? You’re well on your way to becoming Microsoft :).

4 replies on “Apple: still don’t know how to use “The InterNet … thingy””

I know for a fact that iTunes can and will resume an aborted download if the server is capable of doing so. I’ve experienced it a few times when I lost wifi. It might well be an issue of Akamai (edgesuite) and since Apple knows this they don’t bother including it in the header. That doesn’t excuse the locking into iTunes, but at least they’re providing good defaults and relieving the user from knowing which of the many firmware packages to download. With Microsoft you would probably just have been lead to a download page where you have to select your model number and size and then run the genuine advantage activex control, then getting a file that you have to copy to the device that shows up when connecting the music player and finally holding down two buttons to reset it only to find out that you downloaded the wrong file accidentally and now your player is bricked…. that’s my experience with Microsoft :)

I only knock it because I love it ;).

(but the quoted http packet is genuine – direct copy/paste, no faking – promise!)

Even if iTunes did have reliable, working resumable downloads, it’s still insane to require the user to download updates by leaving iTunes open when they could just use a browser or download manager. It’s introducing an extra layer of complexity and possible point of failure where none is necessary – nobody gets any benefit out of it, not even Apple (since it frustrates their customers, resulting in posts like this one.)

Self-destructive design at its best.

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