The Apple ‘experience’


A quick article running through what I experienced over the weekend trying to set up a new iPhone.

Check iPhone SE and attempt iCloud backup. Realise that it has not backed up for 4 days for no apparent reason. Start new backup and go through the process 6 times until it is successful. Multiple messages saying ‘Backup failed’ and little else eventually cleared themselves and I was good to go.

Put SIM that has been working fine in the iPhone SE into the iPhone 7 and it is not recognised. It is not recognised over and over again until it is then magically recognised.

Realise that I need to update the iPhone 7 to use my old backup so I set it up as a new iPhone and start the update process. Fails to validate the update for more than 30 minutes until, again, it just magically works.

The whole process was painful and fraught with poor pop-ups telling me that something was wrong, but with no useful information that could help me.

Add to this the bizarre pop-up that appears with two-factor authentication telling me that my Apple ID is being used to sign in to a device near Middlesbrough. I understand that this is the ISP location, but surely Apple should not even display this because it’s hundreds of miles away from me and will only lead people to believe that someone has gotten hold of their ID. There is no point showing the location if it is of no real use.

All in all, the little things that Apple has historically done so well seemed to have been forgotten, for me at least, and it now feels more like setting up a Windows PC. A lot of this is no doubt down to iCloud, but the fact is that it is not the seamless experience that Apple claims it is.

Categories: Apple, Articles

3 replies

  1. Yeah, Apple has never really gotten its online mojo.

    I remember iPhone syncing for Notes circa – I dunno 2008 or 9? There was a glitch where it must have thought that the old version on the server was newer than the changes I was tapping out then, so I had this almost spooky effect of my words being undone automagically before my eyes, repeatedly. (I wasn’t even aware that Notes had been set up to synch on some server so my thoughts were– Was I going crazy? Was I experiencing a tremor I couldn’t otherwise detect that was shaking “Undo”? Was it a g-g-g-ghost???)

    It’s one of the reasons I prefer synching via cable… sure it’s a little PalmPilot circa 1997, but it works well, is reasonably fast, gives me a “physical” artifact I can backup like any other file… similar for my music library. (Hell, I even use ImageCapture to move photos and videos en masse, I’ve been annoyed by too many ‘let me manage all your photos!’ programs to trust anything but a giant folder with lots of subfolders holding image files) I’m super wary of Apple’s cult of minimalism switching to wireless charging and taking that one remaining conduit away.

    I still make good use of Cloud-ish tools, but strongly prefer platform neutral ones like Simplenote and Dropbox – both have the benefit of having strong options to access to my stuff via a web browser and still just a username and password away from setting up deeper synching on new hardware- even if it that’s Windows and Android.

    • Also, both Dropbox and Simplenote offer reliable exit options – with Dropbox I could just turn off Dropbox and point a new service at my root folder. Simplenote- moving to a new service might be a little tougher, but from their website I can download a zip with .txt files of every note, and take it from there. I’m old school but nothing offers be more security than files in a directory on local hardware…

  2. I rarely use iCloud or iCloud Drive unless the app I need requires it. Given the option I use Dropbox. Apple has a habit of hiding the details. And that’s usually a negative in my book.

    Speaking of Apple issues, my latest iTunes debacle is in the correction phase. For such an important app, iTunes could be a lot better. It’s big, glitchy, and probably does too much. A few weeks ago, I started getting messages like “541 apps could not be synced”. I’m paraphrasing but that’s the idea. When I looked at my iPad, there were dozens of apps waiting to be synced. The thing is that they weren’t what I had installed. Yes they were downloaded apps but they weren’t set to be installed. That’s when I looked at the iPad app list in iTunes. Every single app that I have says Remove, which means that iTunes thinks they’re installed. And of course if iTunes finds they’re not installed, it keeps trying until they are. Of course I don’t have space for all my apps, so I keep getting error messages.

    On Sunday I finally gave up because it was such a mess and after taking screen shots of some of my pages and folders, I reset the iPad and started reloading. I have my home page set so it’s usable and I’ll go from there. I also have to wade through all the settings and make sure I’ve reset to my specs. There’s lots of hours I didn’t need to lose. Did I mention that I dislike iTunes intensely?

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