Apple iOS 5 cleans out stored files

Apple's new iCloud backup keeps your iPhone from getting clogged with files by moving them to the cloud. But now, files tucked away to stay local for offline use are getting "cleaned," meaning deleted.

Reported by the creator of Instapaper, an app to save information to read offline, this change in iOS behavior may delete files from ebooks, comic book apps, and non-iTunes podcasts gathered by apps. Since the offline use files have been hidden in areas not backed up (because their content changes so often), once they're "cleaned" they're gone.

Did iOS 5 delete your apps, music, and data? Here's help

Getting low on space triggers more aggressive cleaning, so 8GB and 16GB iPhone users will suffer before those with more storage. But if you read files in the subway, or other areas without network access, you may soon tap on an unpleasantly clean folder.

Bad news

So much for Maps on the iPod Touch. This is not good news.

DoctorGonzo on macnn.com

I write several offline mapping apps, and this is totally throwing us for a loop. We're recommending our power users not upgrade to iOS 5.

smokey_the_bear on news.ycombinator.com

Every year before I go on vacation (to somewhere where Wi-fi is dicey at best) I load up my iPhone with podcasts to listen to. If I show up at my destination and find out that they've been deleted because I decided to download a song while waiting at the airport... I. Will. Be. Pissed.

brijazz on gizmodo.com

The auto-cleanup without a storage alternative is a blunder.

jeromeparadis on news.ycombinator.com

Misconceptions

Why cant you just admit it. iOS5 was not tested properly and rushed out the door. I dont know a single person that has had a clean upgrade.

slite on gizmodo.com

What part of "cache" or "tmp" suggest "persistent storage that doesn't get deleted when space is needed for other things."

malax on macnn.com

I wonder if there is any chance that Apple will change how this works - it seems like this should be doomsday for a large swath of apps.

andrewljohnson on news.ycombinator.com

Workarounds

Simply don't sync too much onto your device and you will not run into this issue. Leave a few gigs free after you sync and you should be fine.

aristotles on macnn.com

I read a blog entry by Laridian (creators of the PocketBible software) saying the same thing. Apple warned them about it, then insisted they change it before accepting their app submission.

lawson1 on gizmodo.com

How do you balance between making something user friendly that plans ahead for you, and giving the user options to change the predefined behavior?

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