Weak Apple advice about iOS 6.1 bug – problems continue

I love this recommendation from Apple’s support article “iOS 6.1: Excess Exchange activity after accepting an exception to recurring calendar event” advising that one cure for the ActiveSync problem that causes Exchange servers (all versions) to be swamped by excessive transaction log generation is:

  1.     Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  2.     Select the Exchange account from your Accounts list.
  3.     Turn the switch for Calendars to OFF.
  4.     Wait ten seconds.
  5.     Turn the switch for Calendars back to ON.

Hmmm… Although I strongly believe in the age-old adage that many IT problems can be solved by a reboot or by switching a device off and on, I remain unconvinced that switching calendars off and then back on again can cure a problem with code running in Apple’s mail app on iOS 6.1 devices, even if strong evidence suggests that the bug is calendar-related. The facts are that Apple has had many problems in their mail app code, which is based on a publicly available protocol specification (last updated on 11 February 2013). At this point, you’d wonder if the programming whiz-kids in Cupertino understand ActiveSync at all. Perhaps not.

Word on the street is that the iOS 6.1.1 release that Apple rushed out doesn’t fix the Exchange problem. I don’t think this is strange as the bigger problem was that Vodafone had started to tell customers not to upgrade their devices to iOS 6.1 because of poor cellular performance. Apple seems to respond much faster and more comprehensively to pushback from mobile operators because of its potential impact on consumer buying decisions than they do when bugs affect email.

For the moment, the recommendation is to continue monitoring the situation and use some of the techniques explained in my post explaining how to control problematic iOS 6.1 devices and Microsoft’s KB2814847.

Eventually the bug will be fixed and transaction log generation will return to normal. And maybe then Microsoft might have a heart-to-heart meeting with Apple to explain just how ActiveSync works so that the mail app doesn’t run into future problems when it attempts to process a calendar request (or do anything else really).

Follow Tony @12Knocksinna


About Tony Redmond

Lead author for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook and writer about all aspects of the Office 365 ecosystem.
This entry was posted in Email, Exchange, Exchange 2010 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Weak Apple advice about iOS 6.1 bug – problems continue

  1. Mike says:

    Maybe Apple should have stopped with Step 3 🙂

  2. Thomas Hugh says:

    Has anyone else noticed increased data usage too? We have a number phones have used 1000% more data than the same period last month.

  3. Increased data usage is a symptom of the problem. Essentially the phone loops when the mail app attempts to process a meeting request and sends lots of transactions to Exchange. Your phone ends up wasting data and battery; Exchange gets lots of transaction logs to deal with.

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