iOS 5 rollout brings trouble for iPhone fans

Apple has released the update to the latest version of its mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads, but many users are reporting problems with 'bricked' handsets and lost data while performing the upgrade
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

The long-awaited Apple iOS 5 update, which brings several new features to the iPhone and iPad, has been causing frustration for some people trying to get it onto their devices.

Apple iOS 5

Apple's iOS 5 update for iPhone and iPad has caused frustration for some users. Screengrab: Donald Bell/CNET News

The company began rolling out the new mobile operating system at around 6pm on Wednesday. Soon after, people started complaining on Twitter and forums that they were seeing long delays in downloading iOS 5 and that the update wiped their apps and contacts. They also reported it had 'bricked' their device, meaning the handset stopped working completely, until a factory reset was performed.

"Do not do iOS 5 update on iPhone or iPad — it fails. Just bricked my phone, now factory reset — Lost everything," Peter Sheppard (@Pete_Shep) said in a post to Twitter on Thursday morning.

The iOS 5 update is being pushed out for iPhone 4 and 3GS, the iPad and iPad 2, and third- and fourth-generation iPod Touch devices. The OS will be preloaded on the recently launched iPhone 4S, which goes on sale on Friday.

A number of Apple phone and tablet owners bemoaned the amount of time needed to download the update, with some reporting that it took several hours to complete. Some people speculated the lag was a result of the load on Apple servers. According to The Guardian, internet exchanges around Europe saw a huge jump in traffic at the time iOS 5 was released, with the UK seeing a four-hour spike equal to one-fifth of normal traffic.

Users download iOS 5 via iTunes on their device. According to some reports, this is at the root of some of the update issues, as iTunes needs to contact Apple's servers to verify and activate the update, and this causes a lag. Apple did not respond to a request for an explanation of the problems.

iOS 5 features

Demand was expected to be high for iOS 5, which provides more than 200 new features and has appeared in seven beta versions since its announcement at Apple's WorldWide Developers Conference in June. These include a notification centre for viewing and managing alerts in one place, plus a native feature called iMessage. This allows iOS owners to send an SMS text to other iOS devices for free, using only a Wi-Fi or data connection. This means they can circumvent charges imposed by carriers for sending SMS.

iOS 5 also introduces iCloud, Apple's replacement for its MobileMe service that lets users track a lost device or the location of their friends. It also provides storage to back up contacts, pictures, mail and music.

Alongside iOS 5, Apple pushed out an update to its Lion operating system, upgrading its Mac desktops and laptops to Mac OS X 10.7.2. This also comes with iCloud sync support, which offers features like Find My Mac for locating, locking and wiping lost or stolen hardware. It also has Back to My Mac, which provides remote access to a user's Mac from any other internet-connected Mac.

In addition, the Lion revamp brings the ability to re-order desktop spaces and apps in Mission Control, meaning people can drag files between desktop spaces and full-screen apps. Another new feature is the ability to boot into Lion Recover from a locally attached Time Machine back-up, and a number of security updates.

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