16 Replies
      Latest reply on Aug 18, 2017 4:18 AM by Eric Walter
      rcfa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        I updated several devices to iOS 10.3 beta, upgrade went seemingly smoothly. Things were working, etc. However after updating several apps, first my iPhone 6a plus, then my iPad Air showed no more apps on the home screen. NONE, neither built-in Apple apps, nor 3rd party apps. The only thing that still shows are Safari Bookmarks added to the home screen, but these don't open, as iOS seemingly can't locate Safari. ***?!?! Anyone seen anything like it? Can't believe I'm the only one, given that two out of four of my devices display this behavior, and who knows when the other two follow suit. Siri doesn't work, either: double-beep then screen blanks quickly, then back to (empty) home screen....

        • Re: iOS 10.3 beta: springboard sees no more apps...
          rcfa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

          It's interesting, that there is no activity on this one. I now have had this happen on four out of my four iOS devices, on three of them multiple times, and across different versions of iOS 10.3 betas.

           

          If this is an iOS 10.3 bug, I'd expect this to happen to other people, too, given that it happens on my devices with regularity.

          If it's not an iOS bug, then what is it? The devices aren't jailbroken or anything. Malware? If that were the case, it would point to a rather bad security hole in iOS 10.3, since this sort of behavior started with the 10.3 betas, didn't have it before.

           

          Alternative: malware that has been hiding somehow in something that's backed up and restored each time I restore the system.

          In that case, it could be an old security hole in iOS, but one that that trashes the system only since 10.3, since it's written for HFS+ and can't deal with the changes in file system semantics when going from HFS+ to APFS?

           

          Sounds ridiculous, but except for my old iPhone 5s, neither the iPhone 6 plus nor the iPhone 6s plus last for more than a few days after a restore before being haunted by this behavior again.

          • Re: iOS 10.3 beta: springboard sees no more apps...
            pkirvan Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

            Sorry dude, I've never seen or heard of anything like this and it seems you're on your own. Nuke it and restore from your iCloud or iTunes backup. You do have a backup, right?

              • Re: iOS 10.3 beta: springboard sees no more apps...
                rcfa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                I do have a backup, but Apple doesn't allow selective restores of backups, so I'm either forced to give up years of message history, or restore the full backup, which more often than not, already causes the issue again before the restore is fully complete.

                So on the iPhone 6 plus, it may take a week or so to finally have the system successfully restored, and then it could be a few hours or a few days, and it's back to the issue. I don't even have enough time to weed out unused apps...

              • Re: iOS 10.3 beta: springboard sees no more apps...
                Eric Walter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                I have the same issue on an iPhone 7 Plus 256GB. It has occured 5 times now on release version of 10.3 to 10.3.2. The one unsual thing about my device is, that I have >1000 apps installed.

                When the issue occurs, all Apple apps go missing, including Settings, App Store, Camera, Siri. All but about 5-10 3rd party apps are gone. But all desktop bookmarks and their containing folders are still there. 4 out of 5 times, the issue has been occuring after a power off, power on cycle. One time just after returning to the springboard with the home button.

                When attaching the device to iTunes, it show that memory usage stays the same. But almost all memory used is now in the "other" category.

                Last time it happened yesterday. Unfortunately, the backup I made before doing the power cycle also exhibits the problem. First time this happened.

                I'll now be using a 3rd party Mac backup utility (iMazing) to make sure multiple generations of backups are kept.

                Eric

                • Re: iOS 10.3 beta: springboard sees no more apps...
                  skippingrock Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                  I have the same issue.

                  There have been a few apps that have been having trouble updating, I would get the message that _blah_ couldn't download.

                  That and I would have moments where no touching the screen would work.

                   

                  Same issue, I can't even turn off Find my iPad because I have no Settings App!

                  No amount of rebooting would help.

                   

                  I've had to force my iPad into DFU with REIBOOT FOR MAC.

                   

                  When I view my iPad it said I had one non-Apple app installed.

                  I have a few other icons, but they are just buttons for webpages, and they don't work either because I don't have Safari or any Apple app.

                  My dock is a big thick grey bar.

                   

                  When I go to iTunes it shows that I have 20.42 GB free, only 1 app installed of 66.6 MB and 83.07 GB of Other. My 6.79 GB of photos are still there and I am currently downloading them all to Photos on my MacBook Pro before they are gone.

                   

                  If I can post any screenshots here I will try.

                  • Re: iOS 10.3 beta: springboard sees no more apps...
                    rcfa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                    If you're wondering why you have only a few third party apps left: The issue is somehow related to maintaing the springboard/app launcher database (which demonstrates the problem when things aren't just simply file system based, where things are either there or missing). When the installation/update of some app causes the issue, while other apps are still in the process of being downloaded and installed, then these apps, upon completion of their installations, will be visible, since they are being inserted into what seems to be a reset app database.

                     

                    I suspect, that there's an undeclared soft limit on the number of installed apps, which Apple neither declares nor enforces, and the limited RAM in the A-series SOCs results in a corrupt database, or a crash with an automatic re-creation of some SQLite db that maintains the list of installed apps, or something like that. The reason I make this speculation: the problem is much worse with the iPhone 6 Plus than it is with the iPhone 6s Plus, and even though the same OS file is installed on both, one has less RAM than the other, and the one with less RAM is the bigger problem.

                     

                    Main issue: Apple has no means of selectively restoring a backup. So it's all or nothing: lose your pictures and message history and start from scratch, or restore an entire backup, and deal with the issues from the get go.

                     

                    iOS 11 doesn't solve the issue, either, in some ways, it actually makes it worse (which might be due to the bigger memory foot print beta software tends to have from being less optimized). The only hope I hold out for iOS 11: iMessages in the cloud. Once I can sync everything into the cloud (macOS is currently not cooperating), I can attempt to set up everything from scratch. Pictures will, unfortunately, start counting from 0 again, and Safari will lose the open tabs, but at least the rest of the apps will have their data in iCloud and can be restored from there.

                     

                    Guess, don't install more than a few hundred apps, seems to be a potential the solution.

                    • Re: iOS 10.3 beta: springboard sees no more apps...
                      rcfa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                      Here a question: of those who have the problem:

                      How far back does your update cycle go? In my case, iOS is updated since 1.0 on the original iPhone, each time restored to the next phone and newer iOS as they were bought, or became available.

                      I'm trying to figure out, if anyone has that issue, who started from scratch with a recent iOS version on a recent iPhone, i.e. if there are potentially legacy settings being carried along since the early days, that now give iOS a head ache, e.g. apps that don't exist anymore, but which are still stuck in the list of "installed" apps, app or system settings that are ancient and now cause issues, etc.

                        • Re: iOS 10.3 beta: springboard sees no more apps...
                          Eric Walter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                          My update cycle goes back to an iPhone 4S 64GB running iOS 5. Then an iPhone 6 Plus 128GB. Now an iPhone 7 Plus 256GB. The issue first occured on the 7 Plus after updating that device to 10.3.

                           

                          I previously had some frustrating, persistent stability issues on the 6 Plus converging in infinite boot loops serveral times. Llikely also related to the large number of apps. This had cause me to roll back to older backups several times.

                           

                          For the short time I had the 7 Plus running on 10.2.x, no trouble at all.

                        • Re: iOS 10.3 beta: springboard sees no more apps...
                          Eric Walter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                          In this thread on MacRumors, user jaisin experiences the same problem:

                           

                          https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/half-of-my-apps-disappeared.2056865/#post-24806035