Saturday, December 19, 2015

the replacements - iPhone vs Android

I the last 3 weeks I have replaced my Android Nexus 6 for a cracked screen and my wife's iPhone 6P with an un-diagnosed failure. Choosing to accept Motorola's refurbished replacement was easy as it was the only path for a cracked screen. The iPhone, on the other hand, was not as clear. The symptoms we had been experiencing were [a] the home buttone did not always work [b] applications would hang, restart and hang again requiring them to be deleted and then reinstalled [c] applications would just hang.

I had a 4:40p appointment with an Apple genius and while he was thorough and generous he was about to recommend that we reset and restore the phone. We talked about the tests he ran which indicated that the hardware was OK and that some applications had crashed. At first we did not review that apps but we soon worked our way back around. There were 5-7 3rd party apps that failed including my favorite; facebook. But then there were also some Apple applications and services that crashed.

After discussing the cause of the Apple services crashes and that we had recently (2 months ago) already performed a reset... we got a replacement phone at no charge. Just as an aside I spent $70 on a new USB cable and Tech21 screen protector; so I did not get off Scott free.

Now that the phone had been replace we had to restore the latest iCloud backup to the phone. That took nearly 90 minutes. There were no less that 7 tries and 3 resets and one call to iCloud technical support. It's interesting to note that this person [a] had no real tools to see what was happening with the connection state or progress between my phone and the iCloud servers [b] could not offer any real support or guidance as I had to muddle my way through things myself.

In the end I think I discovered that there is either a problem with the restore program when the iTunes account uses a legacy Apple ID; where the Apple ID is not an email address. or the restore program simply does not like Family sharing and an iTunes config before the restore... as I was finally able to execute the restore by "skipping" the iTines configuration until after the restore completed.

Two last things about the Apple restore. [1] the initial restore needs to be completed before the next operation whether that is before leaving the local WiFi or getting an incoming call or some other interruption. [2] the Genius told me not to leave until after the reboot after the restore completes. Actually there were a number of steps that needed to be completed before leaving. You have to get the phone back to the home view with the application restore initiated before you leave the comfort of the local WiFi.

Facts:
- family sharing enabled
- wife is a member not the admin
- legacy iTunes Apple ID
- skip iTunes config until after restore is completed

PS one thing the iCloud person hinted about... the backup version and the restore version need to match (or be pretty close enough). Sounded like she was going to tell me that an iOS 8 could not be restored on an iOS 9 system. This could be very bad depending on the state of the phone to be replaced. My Apple genius never diagnosed that so this could have been a severe waste of time.

PSS The iCloud specialist had one trick up her sleeve, which we never executed. If I could not restore over WiFi then we would proxy my restore though a local laptop. (better for me to have my laptop local). I Should mention that a genius asked me to submit an iCloud support call from a public laptop that was not even in kiosk mode.

With nearly 7 paragraphs dedicated to restoring an iPhone and some things that went wrong. My recent Android restore required that I enter my username and password. Update the phone's core software a few times and then let the sync and application restore begin. It was by no means flawless but it was certainly not as complicated that the iPhone restore.

BTW: the Apple genius was not aware of the network issues with the Apple photo application.

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