Have you ever had this problem? I've noticed that a lot of people have because I found their pleas for help in various forums when I was trying to find a solution. Some people said to reboot. Some people said to use iTunes to remove the apps. Some people said to tap on the waiting apps. None of these suggestions worked for me and I see that I'm not the only one with this problem.
Usually I just update one app at a time just because I don't want to have to wait so long for them all to download or because I'm afraid that an update might remove functionality like in the case of the Pixelpipe app (not their fault) or cause problems like in the case of so many other apps. I am talking about updating the apps on the iPhone and not updating them with iTunes on your computer.
But this time I was thinking of upgrading to iOS 4 from 3 and thought that I read it somewhere that it was a good idea to update your apps before upgrading to 4.0. So that's what I thought I would do. Update all the apps. And THAT was my downfall.
The updating apps got stuck with gray icons and "waiting" captions. None of them had progress indicators showing that they were indeed in the progress of being updated.
After that I couldn't use the app store. I couldn't use Safari to access the Internet. I tried holding down long on an app to activate the wiggling apps but the little red x that allows you to delete an app did not appear on the waiting apps.
And I was afraid this was going to happen to me again today when a downloading app got stuck again.
In my case, I think I have a clue as to why this happened but more importantly how did I recover from this problem? I reset the the network settings and that did the trick.
On your iPhone (mine is a 3Gs with OS version 3.1.3 (7E18)) go to
Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
Exactly why they all got hung up and I couldn't access the Internet any more is a mystery to me, kinda, and why this fixed the problem I don't know but it worked for me so it might work for you too.
Now why did this happen? I don't know but it happened when I was access the Internet over a shared (ICS) network connection through a firewall. As a side note, it not only prevented my iPhone from accessing the Internet but it also made it so that the computer that was sharing the connection could only just barely use the Internet. And like I mentioned earlier, it almost happened again when installing, not updating, a new app under the same conditions.
One more interesting thing is that, up until I had this problem, which took several hours for me to solve, I had not been able to access the Internet over the 3G network after having installed an APN to disable the cellular network. Even after removing the APN profile I was still not able to connect to the Internet even after rebooting. So for the last year I have only been accessing the Internet with my iPhone over free wireless access points. This makes my wife happy and probably saves me from wasting a lot of time. After resetting the network settings I was once again able to connect to the Internet over the cellular network. Woops! Now I'm going to have a bill to pay at the end of the month! That is one reason why I am interested in upgrading to iOS 4 because there is a setting to disable connectivity to the cellular data network.