OK so I’ve spent the last day updating my devices and data to the new model. My overall reaction is Apple once again (just like the .mac to MobileMe transition) is yet to really understand the cloud and the expectation of uptime that each of these transitions requires. Don’t feel so bad. Intuit, has gone through the same transition. The basic fact is that Apple is a device and device software company trying to turn itself into a cloud entity. It wants to be Amazon or Google by approaching that from its product base which is terminal products (am I dating myself with that terminology?). Intuit similarly is going through that transition…they have been approaching it from the desktop financial products…adding cloud-ish features and capabilities and hoping the that customers will eventually transition to the cloud versions of their products. Truly, Microsoft is going through that same transition with OfficeLive.
You have to start somewhere.
That being said, I’m still a bit sore with Apple about a couple of things. The first being them abandoning the OSX version of the Apple TV. I’ve got a brick now, that’s the dilemma of the early adopter…it’s the chance I take of course. I’m also sore that my $99 a year MobileMe subscription will become free, while the thing I’ve paid for (web hosting and syncing of my device settings) will be going away next June for free syncing in the cloud of my secondary information (music and photos).
Anyway, since I’m a technologist and an early adopter, I complain briefly and then enthusiastically try the next thing, adjusting my world view to the new products.
So knowing that October 12 was going to be the day I would get iOS5 on my recently purchased iPhone 4, I spent most of the east coast morning in iTunes hitting “Update” waiting for it to tell me that I was ready to move from 4.2 to 5.0. Then suddenly the machine told me that I needed to update to iTunes 10.5. So I did that.
Once that was loaded and installed, about every 15-30 minutes I hit the same button in iTunes and nada, I was at the most recent rev of iOS available. Then I read a blog post saying that the expected time was 1pm Eastern. Crap, I had a meeting at 1. Hit the button once at 1PM (no dice again) and then during a quick bio break at 1:20 came back and this time it began to download.
About 40 minutes later came back to my cube and the update had downloaded and was waiting for me to agree to terms. Well of course. Then while the device was updating I hit the “Software Update” on my MacBook Air and noticed that there were updates to Lion (10.7.2) and iPhoto (to support photo streaming)…so I began to load them onto the MBA.
When the iOS5 update loaded, I told it to go ahead. 5 times it crapped out just after the backup and just as it started the restore. Someone else with an iPhone 4 across from me said he blew away his iPhone (hitting the restore to factory settings) and that seem to be the trick. He warned me to save away my backups…but I am intrepid so I killed the iPhone4 and then when it restored, it brought in iOS5 automagically and yay! I was up.
Well sorta. Now I needed to update to iCloud and I couldn’t do that until my MBA was updated. Just about this time the download of 10.7.2 finished and I told it to start. then another meeting (hey I work for a living). I came back about an hour later and the machine was asking me whether I wished to reboot and I said yes. several minutes later, 10.7.2 was running. I brought up the new iPhoto and it pleaded with me that if I wanted to use PhotoStreaming I needed to move to iCloud. my phone was complaining about a similar thing. Both kept complaining that my MobileMe password was failing. Now I was starting to get concerned.
When I walked through the online iCloud migration it would get to the final screen and then crap out. Both me and the other guy were seeing the same thing. We rightly attributed it to the fact that once again, apple the device mfg had failed to have enough capacity to handle the millions of us doing the same thing at the same time. By about this time, I was ready to go to school. I went to class that night and went through the iCloud wizard a couple of more times and concluded that until the west coast went to sleep I wasn’t going to get satisfaction. I did notice that the new reminder app on my phone wasn’t getting any of my MobileMe reminders from iCal. I tried a couple of more times at midnight. Still nothing (hey that’s 9:00PM on the west coast). Went to bed.
Wednesday morning I couldn’t play but I did notice that my phone was still complaining about my MobileMe password failing. I was using those credentials to log into MobileMe so I attributed this to the aforementioned “not ready for prime time” bugs. I went to work. By about 10:30 AM I had tried 3 times to do the iCloud transition and still got errors. Then suddenly about 11AM voi la! it converted. Suddenly my mac and my phone were in sync in calendars, reminders and music. Very nice. Now the difficult part. I still had 2 mac’s to go. My work desktop and my old MacBook Pro. I figured I do my personal machine first so that evening I updated that to 10.7.2 and I was up. Then I noticed that some reminders and appointments were duplicated in iCal (Arrgh). killed a couple and then things seemed to make sense again.
The following day I updated my desktop at work. This was a bit fraught with peril since I was updating something w/o support. I was told that I might have active directory problems. Didn’t happen and the update happened. Since I had only recently migrated from windows to the mac at work, I had little info on the new machine so the mac osx apps got what I wanted and caused no duplication.
At this point everything is up, things are working and I’m here typing on my MBA and my iPhone 4 is on the desk. I’m afraid of one thing though…my old AppleTV is downstairs. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I get to it. is it going to barf on its iTunes connections? We’ll see.
So here’s my thumbs ups after the transition
- reminder app and sync across all devices
- recently purchased on iTunes (music on my machine without syncing with a wire)
- Photostream (kinda, for new pictures, see thumbs down)
- iOS5 iWork apps and icloud backups (bought them last night, but see thumbs down)
- New iOS5 reminders. This is really nice…except (see td)
- the drawdown reminder gesture on the regular display on the phone. Very Nice.
- iWork Desktop apps don’t speak to iCloud (updated thinking they would, my bad)
- Photostream doesn’t automagically (or even ask) to move MobileMe galleries to photo stream
- The whole software update process overwhelmed apple backbone
- reminders on the lock screen don’t drill down automatically (why did I think they would)
- Since I don’t have an iPhone 4S (and Siri) the rest of the features were cool but not earth shattering.