I’ve been an inadvertent Apple user for some 6 years now. When I joined my current employer the phone they gave me was an iPhone 4. Fast approaching 40, I’d already established it was taking me longer to adapt to new user interfaces; the nuances of my previous HTC one Android phone hadn’t ever bedded in, and I’d never established the necessary neural pathways for me to remember how to do anything other than the most basic operations. Consequently I was slightly resistant to having to get used to a new way of thinking – ‘what do you mean it’s only got one button!’ (the same exclamation was true whenever using a colleagues macbook as well).
Roll on 6 years, and two models down the line I’ve come to accept the things I cannot change. Now I readily acknowledge where Apple have got things right and improved my day to day life with features that make the little things easier. 3D Touch to get Google Maps loading the best route home is just one.
But, there are still times where they get it completely wrong. Case in point this weekend; my daughter has inadvertently managed to disable her iPhone – carelessly mistyping her passcode in wrong 6 times.
In there infinite wisdom Apple dictate the only way to unlock it is to wipe the entire device and start with a clean install.
No data recovery.
Of course if you have backed up your phone to iTunes you can restore everything from there (well, the most recent backup which invariably could be months or years old). Equally if you have backed your phone to an iCloud account you can also restore from there too (at least as much as you had space to save – we’ll come back to this).
However, both of those solutions rely on you being acutely aware of the fact that a disabled iPhone can only be fixed by wiping it completely at the point you are first setting it up. Let’s face it, the general level of excitement at un-boxing a new phone is so high as to negate all but the most forceful of warnings in respect of such dull and tiresome tasks as setting up backups. And on a completely practical level – at the point you get a new phone there is nothing on it to lose, so naturally it’s not going to be on your priority list.
If Apple are to insist that this most draconian of security measures should be applied, then they have a responsibility to reduce the risk of data loss given proven user tendencies. What should be in place is a weekly reminder that a backup hasn’t been setup along with a summary of the photos and application files that are at risk if your phone is disabled. The consequences need to be real and present in order to encourage users to take the appropriate action.
You should also get an honest explanation of the iCloud backup option. The free iCloud backup only gives you capacity to store 5Gb of photos and application data. The standard capacity on a new iPhone 6 or 7 is 32GB and on an iPhone 8, 128GB. Yes, it’s only £10 a year to increase that to 50Gb or £30 up to 200GB but it should be made apparent up front.
And finally while I’m on a rant, can someone have words with the person who designed the process for 2-step authentication. How am I supposed to retrieve a identify verification code from my trusted device when that’s the very thing I am trying to bloody restore!!!!
OK enough. The phone is now un-bricked (albeit after a complete re-install of iTunes on my PC first) and I have added additional trusted recovery phone numbers to the Apple account in case of future mishap. iTunes backup will be configured shortly along with photo backup to Onedrive (thank you Microsoft Office 365 Family).
Now, time for a well earned beer. Catch you tomorrow.