Viber crashing on the iPhone 4/4S?

Ever since I updated to iOS 6, I had been having issues with Viber crashing out within a span of 20 seconds with no help from my side. I just had to run Viber and leave it. Sure enough, it would crash within 20 seconds. I could dial and talk to anyone on Viber, but, it would still crash out in the same time frame.

After trying all the usual stuff like re-installing and even re-flashing the iPhone, the problem persisted. Initially, I just installed a couple of similar alternate applications and some of them exhibited a similar behaviour as Viber did. They would either freeze or crash out.

Since applications are sandboxed, it was obvious it had to be something related to iOS that Viber and these apps had in common. Further analysis on these lines revealed the issue and also a bug in the OS X address book app.

I had TrueCaller installed with the option of adding the spam numbers to my address book. That way, I could see a spam call/message and ignore it. I also put a “silent” ringtone on the TrueCaller spam numbers so it would not create a disturbance.

It seems that iOS 6 handles the huge contact list of the TrueCaller numbers differently from 5.x where I never had this issue. The “Protected by TrueCaller” contact had hundreds of numbers (possibly thousands) and all the apps that were looking at the address book had issues there. So, the obvious solution was to delete the contact and resolve the issue.

Not quite as simple as that. On the iPhone, you could potentially scroll forever to get the the delete contact option. So, I simply ran the address book on my Mac and typed “Tru” in the search to get to the TrueCaller contact and delete it. Not to be. The address book on Mountain Lion froze every time I entered a search matching the “Protected by TrueCaller” contact. Okay, so, I tried scrolling to the contact and same issue. The moment the address book get to that contact, it just freezes!

Ultimately, I logged into my iCloud account on the web and managed to delete the contact. Interestingly, although the contacts were synced and removed from my iPad and iPhone 4, my own iPhone 4S would just not remove the contact. I tried deletion from one of the contact managers I have installed on my iPhone 4S and it failed. I then installed a couple of other contact managers and seems their asking for permission to access the address book fixed the deletion.

Finally, I had to dispense with the TrueCaller contact and I have Viber and all other similar apps functional again. In case anyone has similar issues, try to check your contacts for a large number of numbers/email IDs etc. That could be the problem when using iOS 6 and ML.

iMac – Check your HDD health if you have partitions!

Seems that Apple is yet to get partitioning and formatting right. One would think this used to be a DOS/Windows issue over a decade ago. Well, think again!

I partitioned and formatted my iMac HDD when Mountain Lion was released. I always like to do a clean install to make sure that there is nothing un-expected which can happen on occasion on a restore from a backup.

Everything worked fine and nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary for a while. By this time, I had filled up about 80% on the second partition with backups and downloads. Then, one day, I ran the latest update of Onyx, as I always do on any update of this wonderful free app, and to my surprise, it failed on the disk check.

The error was un-recoverable and the stock Disk Utility also had the same issue. Going through some forums, it seemed that quite a few people had encountered similar issues with no real solution listed.

I tried to re-boot the iMac in recovery mode to see if the disk could be repaired from there. Instead of booting into the recovery, as it used to, the iMac went to the internet to download something. For a moment I thought the HDD was gone as it failed to boot into the recovery. About 10 minutes later, it did go into the recovery mode and I was able to run the Disk Utility from there.

Finally, some hope…the Disk Utility corrected the partitioning issue with a message that suggested that the partition/data sizing was not done corrected and it had to resize the partition to fix the problem. So much for a tested release of an OS. I am just happy the issue was fixed and I did not have to go through a complete re-install which I had done with the Mountain Lion release.