The Curious Case of the Missing iPhone Notes Content
July 6, 2010 10:11 PM   Subscribe

I often jot down bits, lines, concepts and even entire poems on my iPhone in the notes section, as I have found that my atrocious handwriting proves illegible if I try to transfer my fleeting, rare moments of inspiration with a old-fashion pen and paper. But recently, an entire section of one of the notes disappeared...

I put hours of work into the piece in question (occasionally i prefer the iPhone keyboard to an actual physical one when trying to rapidly get phrases out of my head), but find myself unable to remember the EXACT phrasing of the lines that mysteriously disappeared. The rest of the note remains and no other notes have seen any effect like this. I (probably stupidly) re-synced with my computer to see if this would reverse this curse, but to no avail. I checked notes.mbox (I have an old black macbook running OSX 10.5.8) but all the saved copies look exactly like the one i have on my phone, missing the meat of the piece.

Is there any way or place to recover this note? I really don't want to lose this to the fickle gods of technology...
posted by Chipmazing to Technology (4 answers total)
You may have accidentally selected and deleted a portion of the text (easy to do with a long screen press). I've never seen loss of data within a note that could be explained by anything but this.

Just for reference, you might want to consider using Simplenote which syncs with a web service and can provide versioning of notes and no ads for nine bucks a year. I use it constantly. Plus, no Marker Felt.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:42 AM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

mm... if you hadn't done the resync then there are tools to recover data from iphone backups. I've used before, but it's PC only. There are definitely mac options out there though. May still be worth a try?

If you had been running a PC, I would suggest you looked in Outlook to see if you had any autoarchive settings, and if so to look in your archive and see if the 'old' creation date had led to the note being archived. Perhaps there's a mac equivalent?
posted by Simon_ at 5:29 AM on July 7, 2010

I've had very similar problems. I add a line to a note, click "Done" in the corner, the wheel icon in the opposite corner spins, and the added line disappears.
posted by Vault13 at 9:19 AM on July 7, 2010

Depending on a how often you sync your phone, and if/how often you back up your computer, might you have an older backup of your iPhone data somewhere? If you use time-machine, and you sync your phone often enough that you would have backed up the text snipit at some point, I would download something like juicephone and then browse through your backups of your /user/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/ folder, to see if you have a backup that looks to be about the right time. Then hopefully you can get your note back (or at least the text)! Unfortunately, iTunes does not seem to keep versioned backups of your iPhone data, but if you use any sort of backup service for your computer it should have multiple versions of your iTunes backups. Good luck!
posted by dyslexictraveler at 11:12 AM on July 9, 2010

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