Switching to a new iPhone is getting more tricky

Two weeks ago, my iPhone 7 arrived. Of course, in the meantime I had my iPhone 6 updated to iOS10, my watch updated to watchOS3 and my Mac was running the Sierra GM. I already had set up watch unlock for the Mac, which was a bit of a bumpy road to get it up and running – first I had to switch from two-step authentication to two-factor authentication. There is a guide on 9to5, which is quite helpful for figuring out the differences and on how to do the transition. Its really annoying, that you can’t switch from one to the other directly, means when switching of two-step auth, you first have to set up these silly security questions again. Apple, there you could really do better!

Back to the phone topic. It was not my first time upgrading to a newer phone, so basically I knew the process of backing up the old phone to the Mac and restoring the new phone from this backup. But with all these dependencies – phone -> watch -> Mac – it is becoming more complicated. From the last time I had to restore my phone from a backup because of a broken pages app which won’t respond I remembered that the watch had to be unpaired from the phone first in order to create a watch backup and include it in the phone backup.

Now, this process takes an incredible lot of time, but ensures that your watch settings as well as health data including the history is backed up.

What I forgot – again – was to backup my Threema messenger data. If you use Threema, here is how to do it. Threema, if you’re listening – why do I have to do this manually? Why is this not an automatic process. Anyway, didn’t think of it, so I have to start over again by adding my contacts again and plus, I lost all my previous chats. Call it kind of a digital catharsis …

Next stumbling block: Watch unlock for the Mac didn’t work with the restored watch. After some searching the web and deciding that I would not log out / re-log in my iCloud account (which is a pain in the a** and likely to be the cause for other problems ) I found that disabling and re-enabling Handoff on the iPhone resolved the issue in my case:

On your iPhone, go to: Settings > General > Handoff

Now, these early iPhone orders shipped with iOS10.0 and by the time they arrived, iOS10.0.1 was already released. That caused some disorder in the restoring process. Halfway through the restore iTunes told me that it should update the phone. Maybe this was the cause for the most incomplete iPhone restore I ever encountered, I don’t know. This time a lot of things were missing, like passwords and accounts, even though I encrypt my backups. Another example: in previous restore processes I even got back my Bluetooth devices, but this time – nada, nothing.

These are not the only reasons for me to think of keeping this iPhone a little longer that my previous ones, but they sure add up to it. These phones are now on such a great level in terms of computing power and camera quality that it should be possible to use them for more than the average two years. And taking some care of the battery, it can last accordingly long as well. The battery of my iPhone 6 still could carry me through a whole day on average usage.

Lets see, when the next major iPhone update will be announced, who wins – reason or the buying-gear-reflex …?