It’s Amazing That Anyone Upgrades Their iPhone — 500ish Words

I’ve owned every iPhone since the original one back in 2007. Each time that I get the latest version I do something many people consider crazy: I set it up as a new iPhone, rather than restoring a backup of my last device. My rationale is both simple and silly: I like the idea of this being a natural “reset” of my phone–a way to determine which apps I really want, or more to the point, need, on my device. It’s always far fewer than I think. And certainly less than I would have if I restored and deleted just the ones I thought I wouldn’t miss.

Anyway, I bring this up because this process, while in a way liberating, is also a pain. It takes a long time to re-download every app that I actually want. And, of course, even longer to log in to each of these apps. One by one.

And yet I was reminded this week that my process actually isn’t that much more laborious than the more traditional restore. A few weeks back I bought my wife the latest iPhone–she had been using an iPhone 8, and I wanted her to have the best camera to take pictures of our little girl–but she kept pushing off setting it up. When I asked her why, she noted that the restore process is incredibly slow and cumbersome.

Actually, that was my prim and proper translation of what she said. She really just said that it sucks. And I know she’s not alone in thinking that.

This sort of surprises me since I had heard the restore process had gotten a lot better in recent years as iCloud itself has gone from a laughing stock to quite good. And again, doing this all over-the-air sure sounds much easier than what I do each time with a full rebuild from scratch.

But as it turns out, restoring an iPhone does indeed still suck. While you can do everything via the cloud, there are still a whole slew of things that are no better than a clean install. And in some cases, actually worse.

This is a difficult situation. There is some data that gets lost if you don’t upgrade: health data, and passwords (if you don’t have iCloud Keychain turned on). So the best way is to do an iTunes backup and restore from that.

But the author points out the problem with the new phone that needed an iOS update in order to load the backup, because the phone he had backed up was on a later version of iOS. This is quite frustrating, and gets me every time I don’t get an iPhone on the very first day it’s released.

The whole process is needlessly complicated, especially since iTunes no longer manages apps, and you have to download them all, which can take more than an hour with my internet bandwidth.

Source: It’s Amazing That Anyone Upgrades Their iPhone — 500ish Words

0 thoughts on “It’s Amazing That Anyone Upgrades Their iPhone — 500ish Words

  1. I’ve set up three iPads and an iPhone in the last month and a half. It went pretty smoothly. I think the article doesn’t give an accurate description of the process, let alone a balanced view. The process is much simpler than it used to be.

    Of course things can go wrong, and it can be confusing or frustrating. I often call AppleCare, and they are generally helpful. Any new device has 90 days of free telephone support, and the support technicians are best at setup problems.

    When the upgrade process works, it could hardly be simpler–– bring the old device and the new one together, tap a few buttons, capture the image of the Apple daemon swarm shown on one screen in the camera of the other, and then just leave the two devices close to each other for half an hour.

    Apple has worked hard on this upgrade/migration process, and they have made good progress. My biggest complaint about the quoted article is that absolutely no details are given to explain why, in the author’s opinion, ‘restoring an iPhone does indeed still suck.’ This provides no useful information to the user, and it is contrary to the experience of many users. ‘there are still a whole slew of things that are no better than a clean install.’ Really? Name one? ‘And in some cases, actually worse.’ This statement is even less credible. Without some details and points of comparison, this article is a meaningless rant, and could have communicated an equally minimal amount of information in four hundred fewer words.

  2. The last time I got a new iPhone, I needed to update iOS first, which meant that the process took several hours. I think it depends on a lot of variables, but I don’t think the bit with the camera and image copies everything; the last time I tried that (on an iPad), it only copied basic settings, not apps.

  3. What Apple needs to provide is an app (Mac or iOS) that makes an exact duplicate, a literal carbon copy of the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

    In other words, it backs up EVERYTHING on the device, including each app, all of its settings, all of the bookmarks, all of the ebook notes, EVERYTHING. That way one could be sure that they had a mirror back up.

    If disaster strikes, one could directly restore. Plus, if one upgraded the iOS and didn’t like the new version, they could revert at any point, at any time, to what they once had.

    It should be that simple!

  4. It gets even more complicated if you are running one of the public betas or developer betas on your phone when you try to “restore” it from a previous backup. This requires setting up as a new phone, logging into your public beta or developer account to download the proper profile to load on your device, then restarting and updating the OS to the latest version, and then finally restoring from backup…

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