Downgrading my iPhone 3G from iOS 4 to iOS 3.1.3

In September, I made the mistake of upgrading my iPhone 3G from OS 3.1 to OS 4.0, making the phone a lot less useful and losing visual voicemail as a feature. (I had a big event coming up and Eventbrite told me their app would allow me to scan tickets with my phone. I said, “Really? It will work on a 3G running 3.0?” They said, yes, really. The event was looming and I needed to test the app ahead of time and so when it didn’t work with 3.0, I upgraded to 4.0. Come to find out, the scanning didn’t work on a 3G at all. Thank you, Eventbrite.) Since I upgraded, my 3G has been beset with some minor and major issues that make it much less useful than before. Some tasks, like browsing are usually OK, but Safari sometimes takes a while to load, other tasks like using Google Maps go from horribly slow to completely useless. Foursquare check ins can take minutes. The phone app stalls a lot when trying to make a call and, most importantly, visual voicemail does not work at all. I can still get voicemails, but there is no notification of their presence.

Yesterday, at Tim’s suggestion I decided to try downgrading my phone. It did not go as planned. Recboot didn’t work the way it was supposed to, and at one point, my phone was a brick for an hour. Immediately after downgrading to 3.1.3, I was left with a phone that didn’t have any of my data, but did give me visual voicemail. The back up I made before starting was gone so I used a back up from 9/17 running 3.1.3.

The phone functions as it did then, much faster on Foursquare and Google Maps, and tethering works again. This would all be wonderful except I again don’t have visual voicemail. I’m opposed to wiping it clean and starting over because I don’t think I’ll be able to download working versions of the apps I use.

I’m going to try to hang on for the iPhone 5, which will hopefully come out in July. Any ideas? Would jailbreaking the phone give me visual voicemail back?

+++
Update: Visual Voicemail is back after 4 months. After trying to reset the settings, I removed the AT&T Profile in the Profiles section of the Settings (I think Settings —> Network Settings —-> Profiles). I restarted the phone after that and some test VMs I’d been leaving the last couple days showed up. I guess I don’t have an excuse for not calling you back now.

Downgrading my iPhone 3G from iOS 4 to iOS 3.1.3

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