Anyone who has iPhone 2.0 software is faced with the gi-normously long backups that iTunes performs almost every time the phone is plugged in. I'm grateful for the idea, of course; I spend a lot of time customizing my phone, and I would like all my settings, and logins, and game levels, and data backed up. Problem is, Apple's implementation is terrible. Here's the Ars Technica article about the issue, but in a nutshell:
~ The backups can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.
~ The backups are not "incremental," i.e. they backup all the data on the phone.
~ If someone calls you, the backup is interrupted.
~ Whenever the backup is cancelled or interrupted — when, y'know, have to use the phone — that backup data set is corrupted.
So here's a solution. I recommend reading the whole post.
I have several (more than 30) applications installed in my iPhone 2.0 (some of them are over 10MB). I've been a bit disappointed with the oh-so-slow syncs in iTunes due to the required backup process. Searching a bit, I found that I could disable the backups by setting a hidden iTunes preference. Quit iTunes, open Terminal, and enter this command:
defaults write com.apple.itunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool YES
From the comments:
Also check out the free Backup Disabler, which is probably just a GUI for this hint.
UPDATE: iPhone firmware 2.0.1 dramatically sped up my backups! Yaaaaaaaay! We'll see if it fixes the other stuff. In brief testing, the phone feels less crashy.