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Upgrading My iPhone Part One: Setup

I presently own an iPhone 6s Plus. That phone was released on September 25, 2015, and I bought it shortly thereafter.

A couple of weeks or so ago, I purchased both an iPhone 8 Plus and an iPhone X. Steve will end up with one of them. I might end up with the other. Since Steve is not out here with me right now, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try them both out to see which one I like best, or if I want to upgrade from my iPhone 6s Plus at all.

I have a month to return either or both devices because of the holiday season. That, I thought, would be ample time to see what I liked and felt best met my goals.

I have 2 main goals I want to achieve with a new phone: 1) A brighter screen I can see better in bright, direct sunlight when flying my Mavic Pro, 2) A better camera all around, but especially for 4k video.

My experiences with the 3 devices surprised me a good bit. Things I thought I would hate, I love. Things I thought would be much too challenging aren’t, and I really like them. But all of this will be detailed in a series of 5 posts.


iPhone XiPhone X

With all the hoopla, I decided to start with the X. Setting up the phone was surprisingly time-consuming, taking me about 4 hours. I’ll spare you the tedious details. Suffice it to say, you will need to know or have the following things, which nobody tells you, to setup your phone:

  • The latest iTunes desktop software (It’s hard to keep up to date these days.)
  • The latest iOS on the new phone (Mine had supposedly arrived at the Apple Store from the factory the day before and was already out of date.)
  • Know how to disable “Find My iPhone” on your new device (Settings → AppleID, iCloud, iTunes… [at the very top with your name] → iCloud → [scroll down] Find My iPhone)
  • Know where your IMEI number is before you call AppleCare (Settings → General → About [scroll down])
  • Never tell the AppleCare automated assistant you want technical support on a new phone. Just tell it you want technical support and let it ask you for what device. Otherwise, the automated assistant sends you to a different support line that rang for eternity (at least it sent me there 6 times and nobody ever answered!)
iPhone 8 Plus

I’ve never had a more horrible experience setting up a device as I had setting up this phone. I thought it would be easy because I had figured out all of things above. But, setting up the iPhone 8 Plus took me just under 10 hours. Yes, all day. I was furious.

I won’t go into all of the details of the horror, though I did document them as they unfolded. I’ll just say that AppleCare’s senior representative shared my screen after multiple calls and was completely baffled as well.

Looking back, after the horrible setup ordeal, I think the issue was with my AppleID. I don’t know if Apple was migrating it to another server, if a server was down, or what. But I noticed that, even the next day, on my AppleTV, my media purchases were in complete disarray–missing massive amounts of content, etc. that later just magically reappeared. Whatever! That cloud shit!

None of this would be a problem if Apple still used iTunes to backup your device’s apps on your hard drive. But they no longer do that. You have to download them all from the blessed cloud, and that’s where the nightmare began and remained. Over and over and over and over…

Regrettably, the setup process was such a traumatically negative experience, that I sincerely worried for a couple of days that I would never be able to like the device. The device was too closely associated with such a negative experience. I was predisposed to loathe it because setting it up was such a debacle. Ultimately, I worried something might actually be wrong with the device, and it would never work properly.

In The End

After getting the devices setup and using them for a few days each, I got past the angst of associated loathing and have grown fond of both iPhones for different reasons. The user experience is actually different between my existing iPhone 6s Plus and the very similar iPhone 8 Plus. The user experience between the iPhone 6s Plus and the iPhone X is really significantly different.

Check out the posts in this series:

  1. Upgrading My iPhone Part One: Setup [This post]
  2. Upgrading My iPhone Part Two: The Unexpected
  3. Upgrading My iPhone Part Three: Flying the Mavic Pro
  4. Upgrading My iPhone Part Four: Using My Osmo Mobile
  5. Upgrading My iPhone Part Five: Which Phone Am I Keeping?