Thread: iPhone 13
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2021-11-01, 06:16

So I got an iPhone 13, upgrading from an 11.
  • Functionally, not a lot has changed. The 11 was already pretty great. It wasn't slow or anything.
  • As expected, I still love the 4/5-like design much more than I ever liked the 6-and-beyond design. Glad Apple has returned to it.
  • The blue looks great. Not really the first color that comes to mind with "blue" (it's more of a blueish teal?), but I dig it.
  • Surprise: the speakers seem to be vastly better than the 11's. This is the kind of thing the compare page… doesn't really tell you at all.
  • Battery life is also pretty good so far, though I imagine that's in part because the battery is fresh.
  • Haven't had much of a chance to try the camera. Again, the 11's was already impressive, IMHO.
  • The migration experience was less than ideal. I get that this is hard, but, meh.

More on migration:
  • first, it wasn't offered at all ("it" being: phone-to-phone migration). Isn't this supposed to immediately come up as an option? Instead, I was asked to manually enter a Wi-Fi password (sharing that, too, wasn't offered). And then the activation server supposedly didn't run? So instead, I hooked it up to my Mac and clicked Activate in the Finder. Which worked, but that UI, too, seemed a little wonky (is it doing anything? Oh, OK, apparently it is).
  • after a few steps that seemed redundant, I could choose to migrate from my other phone.
  • after that, it first had to upgrade iOS. Fair enough. What was pretty good about this experience is that the old phone just waited that part out, and resumed afterwards. (OTOH, what's not so great about this is that you now have two phones on your desk and neither of them can actually be used.)
  • the transfer took just about 30 minutes. The estimation, too, seemed rather accurate.
  • here's where things started getting really annoying. I suppose that's in part on my complicated setup: I have multiple different App Store accounts, for historical reasons, and I also have several devices attached to the main iCloud account. Weird issues included: it would ask me for the passcode of a different phone for which it only gave the name "Sören's iPhone" (wow, thanks, that really narrows it down). It would've helped tremendously if it had said, in smaller font (or perhaps as an icon), that this is a white iPhone 7. Then it didn't show my Watch in the batteries widget. Then I looked at the Watch and it wanted me to re-type the Apple ID password, which let me tell you is not a fun experience on a Watch (is there any different way to input text? Apple TV has a remote app for that, doesn't it? Why doesn't the Watch?). As ever, Apple's software never really explains why you're prompted for the password. Afterwards, I was asked to re-pair the Watch, and that did the trick. However, things weren't done: I ended up with iOS refusing to auto-download some apps (that did exist on the old phone), but not all. Why? I'm not sure.
  • after the migration, it prompted me to erase my old phone. Now that does make sense on paper, but I'm glad I didn't, because afterwards, I started discovering that some apps weren't properly set up. You kind of have to go through apps one by one to discover which ones are affected. Google Authenticator (yes, I know), for example, has completely forgotten how to sign me in. Uhhhhh, not great. My local region's Corona app has forgotten my vaccination certificates. Threema, a secure messenger, has forgotten who I am. What a fun experience.

For iOS 16, what Apple should do after a phone-to-phone migration is crawl through all apps and look for ones that explicitly store data on-device with the "cannot migrate to other device" flag (for security reasons), and then give you a checklist "please manually check how to migrate these apps". And only after you've gone through them should it offer to erase the old phone.

Overall, it's a good new device. But the migration experience left a lot to be desired for a 15.x iOS release.