Let’s face it — Android, Windows Phone, and iOS aren’t perfect. They’re imperfect operating systems created by imperfect beings, like Windows and Mac before them. As such, problems can always arise unexpectedly when trying to install a brand new application or an update, whether it be a freeze, a crash, or a failure to launch.
Indeed, both Google Play and Apple’s App Store are packed with user reviews like these, some of which have even plagued certain VoIP applications:
“Force closes whenever I try to open the game!”
“Application wouldn’t load and kept slowing down my iPhone. Zero stars!”
“Won’t run on my new iPad, keeps freezing when I touch the icon to open it.”
So are these crashes a case of the applications having a simple misstep? Or are they the result of bad programming? In some cases, the answer to that last question is yes. Some apps are just plain buggy, but the vast majority of applications on the market should work fine in most any phone. There’s an easy fix if you’re having trouble getting a newly downloaded application to run: Reset or restart your Android phone, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
The harsh reality of owning a smartphone is that sometimes, as is the case with computers, the Androids and Apples of the world need to be restarted or reset.
Whenever I encounter a flaky, crash-prone app, particularly one that’s new to my device, I restart my phone, and in almost every circumstance this solves the problem. Like magic. Only techy, shiny, and based in reality.
Your mileage may vary, of course. Before you give any application a negative review, delete the app in disgust, or angrily email the developer, I implore you, at least give it a try. My tried and true estimate is that it’ll work 95 percent of the time.
Don’t know how to reset your phone? No problem. I can help with that.
First, though, let’s clarify some of the terminology: A “restart” is when you power off the unit and then turn it back on again. On an iPhone, that’s done by holding the Sleep/Wake button (the one on top) for several seconds until you see the red slider, then sliding it. The location of this button varies greatly on Android phones, but most of the time it appears between the top center and the left side of the device.
Doing a “restart” may well solve your app problem. However, if it doesn’t, you may want to try a full-on “reset.” In fact, you may want to just skip doing the “restart” and do the “reset” instead. It couldn’t hurt.
The reset can be performed on an iPhone by holding down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously for about 10 seconds. First you’ll see the aforementioned red slider; just keep holding the buttons. Then the screen will go blank; keep holding the buttons until you see the Apple logo. Then you can release them.
On Android phones, you can do a reset in two ways: by turning the power off and removing and reinserting the battery or by holding the power button and clicking the option that says something along the lines of “restart” or “reboot,” depending on your phone model and version of the Android OS.
On Windows Phone devices, scroll to Settings, select About, and select reset your phone.
Performing the restart and reset may seem like common sense, but it’s amazing, not to mention disheartening, to see how many applications have gotten bad reviews simply because the phone owners didn’t reset or restart their devices. Doing a restart/reset can go a long way in prolonging the health of your device while at the same time making sure that your shiny, newly-downloaded applications are rated and treated fairly.