December 8, 2023

It felt like the entire world conspired in opposition to me this previous week, stopping me from migrating to the iPhone 15 Professional Max. However I lastly acquired it achieved. It’s simply that the method took 5 days longer than I had initially hoped.

I’m reminded of the oft-repeated quip that Jerry Pournelle would make in BYTE Journal again within the day, “I make errors so that you don’t must.” My model of that’s, “I make errors as a result of I will be an fool, however hopefully you’ll be able to nonetheless study from them.” With that little adage in thoughts, my issues this previous week predate this previous week. That’s, I made some modifications to my iPhone 15 Professional Max order between the time I made it and after I acquired the telephone. To not the telephone itself, however somewhat to the peripherals I ordered together with it. And there was some consumer error concerned.

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As you might recall, on the time of my preorder, I had added an Apple FineWoven Case with MagSafe in Evergreen, a 20-watt USB-C energy adapter, and a 60-watt USB-C charging cable to the basket, bringing my whole buy value to a gulp-inducing $1382.24 after taxes and delivery. However with lots of lead time, I used to be capable of learn and watch some evaluations, and so I made some modifications. I returned the FineWoven case as a result of they’re so horrible, after which I ordered a similarly-colored silicone case to exchange it. And since this iPhone can cost at as much as 30 watts, I additionally returned the Apple energy adapter, did 10 seconds of analysis, and bought an Anker 30-watt Nano 3 energy adapter from Amazon.

In fact, the iPhone arrived extra shortly than anticipated, which is sweet for all the apparent causes, but additionally as a result of it could give me extra time with the machine earlier than Google launches the Pixel 8 Professional. But it surely additionally arrived earlier than my substitute case did, stopping me from switching my eSIM over to it as a result of I refuse to deliver this costly, fragile, and slippery trinket out into the world with out a case. And when the case did arrive only a day later, I figured, nice, I’m good to go. However I wasn’t. I had mistakenly ordered a (non-Max) iPhone 15 Professional silicon case for my Max. Not the Max case.

I’m a genius!

Doy. So I arrange a second case for return after which ordered a Professional Max case as an alternative. Which was set to reach on Thursday, three days after I acquired the iPhone. And we are going to rule this error to the fielder, so to talk. That means me.

Even with all of the returns and exchanges, the overall value of this buy didn’t change as a result of Apple’s circumstances all value the identical, and the Anker energy adapter is identical value as Apple’s. So assuming I get my full $480 trade-in worth for the iPhone 13 Professional—which I nonetheless haven’t reset and despatched in; I’ve a complete of 14 days to take action—the ultimate tally will nonetheless land at round $900. Which, sure, is some huge cash, however not a lot larger than the common value of a smartphone within the U.S. (which is about $823 proper now).

In order that was the primary blocker.

Then the correct case lastly did arrive, and on schedule, and so I used to be capable of shield the iPhone 15 Professional Max, arrange that eSIM, and take it for its first excursions out on this planet. Is what I want I might write. However because it seems, life wasn’t achieved messing with me.

The case arrived late Thursday afternoon, which appears to be the traditional UPS schedule at our house, after I was busy writing up my newest digital decluttering put up, an unintended magnum opus that I had hoped to maintain to a a lot shorter size. And so I popped on the case however left the iPhone subsequent to me whereas I completed working previous dinner. Throughout this time, I looked for and located a hero picture, took after which resized some screenshots, and re-read the entire thing but once more in WordPress whereas utilizing the Grammarly extension for an additional grammar cross. The standard, for certain, nevertheless it was getting late.

This was the second blocker: this previous week, just like the earlier week, was extremely busy from a piece perspective. And by the point Friday was winding down, I used to be wiped. However whereas I used to be ending up that article, I saved trying over on the iPhone, and saved excited about the horrible, prolonged course of I all the time undergo on T-Cell as a result of I’ve to name or chat with a buyer help consultant and was dreading that. After which I remembered that just a few readers had commented in my first impressions put up that they have been T-Cell prospects and by no means wanted to try this, that their expertise was the traditional one: Simply arrange the eSIM your self and go. And I began to get distracted. Perhaps T-Cell lastly reverted again to the traditional means of doing issues. In spite of everything, this was imagined to be momentary. And if that’s the case, I might simply activate the iPhone and get going with it.

And so I picked up the iPhone, ignoring the ultimate steps of publishing that put up for a second, and tried to simply activate the eSIM like a standard individual. And what I noticed after I went into Mobile settings was that there have been two inactive eSIMs configured, one for my T-Cell account and one for my Tel-Mex account. These had been configured beforehand on my iPhone 13 Professional, and so after I upgraded this telephone it had clearly pulled them each over. That the Tel-Mex SIM was a bodily nano-SIM and nearly definitely wouldn’t work as an eSIM was no downside, I might simply transfer that SIM to a different telephone (one which helps bodily SIMs). I used to be extra within the T-Cell account.

And … it didn’t work. It’s doable that it might need labored if I had been utilizing it actively on my earlier iPhone on the time of the switch, I’ll by no means know. However again in March, I switched the eSIM from the iPhone 13 Professional to my Pixel 7 Professional and have been utilizing it there ever since. So I’m not stunned it didn’t work. However I used to be stunned that there was no means within the Settings UI to alter the configuration of both eSIM. Or, ominously, delete both one and simply begin over. Each have been simply marked as “used” and “NO SIM.”

So I put in the T-Cell app on my new iPhone, which was related to simply the Wi-Fi, and contacted help utilizing chat. After a protracted wait, I used to be related to a human, waited, supplied them the requested EID and IMEI numbers, waited, and was lastly instructed that I ought to see a message on the iPhone confirming the profitable eSIM change. I didn’t see this, so I waited. And acquired frightened.

After which it occurred to me: I had inadvertently launched one more blocker.

As you might recall, I all the time do a clear set up on my telephones, however for some purpose, I made a decision to have the traditional expertise this time and I did what I assume most individuals do by letting it improve from the earlier iPhone, what I consider as an improve. This was why my earlier iPhone’s eSIM configuration was already on there. A fast Google search landed me on an Apple Assist web page that verified my worry: There was nothing T-Cell might do to repair this problem and appropriately configure the eSIM. As one commenter to that help thread famous, “That is on Apple.”


I defined to the customer support rep that I might be resetting the telephone, not their fault, and that I might contact them once more later. After which I did simply that, blowing away the improve configuration that I had stupidly allowed this previous Monday and eventually doing what I ought to have achieved within the first place. As I did this, the tragic waste of time this triggered occurred to me: Due to my case fiasco, I had delayed setting this factor up fully for 3 days. However now I might delay that additional as a result of I used to be resetting it. If I had simply achieved what I normally do, it could have been good to go.

For all of the errors, one factor did work, and sudden: When the iPhone 15 Professional Max got here again up, the mobile sign related instantly throughout setup. The “push” that T-Cell had made previous to the manufacturing facility reset had one way or the other taken regardless. I raced via setup to verify it was OK, constructive that I might be spending extra time with T-Cell help Thursday evening. But it surely labored. I exchanged textual content messages and a telephone name with my spouse, and it was effective. Thank God.

It was additionally nearly 8:30 pm by this level and the 2 of us normally begin watching TV at 8:00 pm. I had defined the stupidity I used to be enduring with T-Cell to my spouse earlier, and because the evening’s actions unfolded, that we’d be beginning late. And so after I lastly sat right down to get via a little bit of middling binge TV (Night time Agent on Netflix, about as unexceptional because it will get), I instructed my spouse that I’d have to sit down there and set up and configure apps so I could possibly be able to roll within the morning. No worries. And by the point we had gotten via two episodes have been previous prepared for mattress, the iPhone was in a fairly good place.

And as promised one million phrases in the past, I lastly did take it for its first excursions out on this planet, this morning, throughout our every day 40-minute stroll. Sadly, it was gloomy and overcast this morning, and we left a little bit bit late—we normally get again simply in time for First Ring Every day on weekdays so time was of the essence—and so I wasn’t capable of take as many photos as I had hoped. However nonetheless, it was lastly occurring. I simply had just a few configuration duties to finish, certainly one of which was fairly essential.

Gloomy morning, 5x zoom

Friday was busy, it all the time is, however by mid-afternoon, I used to be beginning to consider the subsequent steps for the iPhone. There was one main problem hanging over my head, my Microsoft Authenticator app. Over the previous 12 months, I’ve added increasingly more accounts to this 2FA system on my Pixel, and redoing all of them manually on a brand new telephone is a tedious slog. However I hoped that there was some backup/restore system that might work throughout the platforms, saving me from this.

There’s not. One more blocker.

Because it seems, you’ll be able to solely restore from a Microsoft Authenticator backup on the identical platform. And that I meant I needed to re-do each single account I exploit, one after the other, on the iPhone. That took about two hours. And by the point my spouse requested me once we have been leaving for dinner Friday evening, at 5:30 p.m., I used to be actually simply wrapping that up. Tedious. However off we went. At the least I used to be achieved.

Two notes associated to passwords and authentication.

First, I did examine changing Microsoft Authenticator with the brand new Google Authenticator app as a result of the latter helps account sync, which signifies that you can deliver all of your saved accounts between platforms, and possibly fairly simply. (And, sure, I do know that this app presently lacks end-to-end encryption, although that function is coming.) The issue is that (client) Microsoft accounts (MSAs) and Microsoft Work and College accounts don’t work seamlessly in Google Authenticator as a result of these accounts use a number-matching function that the latter app doesn’t help.

Second, iOS 17 has a brand new possibility in Password settings that can robotically delete verification codes in Messages and Mail after you insert them with AutoFill. Due to authenticator apps, a lot of these 2FA verification are much less frequent now, nevertheless it’s a pleasant factor to allow. (Google Messages affords an analogous function on Android.)

I at the least had some cheap check photographs by this level, serving to me perceive the iPhone’s digital camera system, which is usually fairly acquainted. The goofy multi-tap foremost lens button within the Digicam app is, effectively, goofy, and I doubt I’ll go away that enabled. The photographs, usually talking, are excellent, however I would like extra examples to make sure. Anyway, listed here are just a few check photographs.

By Saturday morning I used to be able to wrap issues up. The following (ultimate?) steps have been to configure notifications on the brand new iPhone whereas concurrently copying the information from my outdated iPhone to a PC so I might then archive them on the NAS, wipe out the outdated iPhone, and ship it again to Apple and get its trade-in worth faraway from my invoice.

Configuring notifications entails turning off all of the pointless notification pop-ups and sounds. And to be clear, iPhone notifications are horrible. (For all the professionals and cons of iPhone vs. Pixel, this one is sort of one-sided. And in Pixel’s favor.) However you go to battle with the military you could have, and I did simply set up dozens and dozens of apps, all of which at the moment are vying for my consideration. (Significantly, a few of them are insane by default, triggering a number of notifications every day.) And somewhat than spend the subsequent week reactively configuring notifications on an app-by-app foundation as they occurred, I figured I could possibly be proactive and configure this technique as a lot as doable to my liking.

And I want this was higher.

For instance, I might ideally be capable of disable all notification sounds globally after which allow them in solely the small variety of apps—Cellphone, Messages, perhaps some messaging apps—the place sound is fascinating. However that’s not how this works. On the iPhone, there are Notifications settings and Sounds & Haptics settings, and after a little bit of forwards and backwards, I noticed the latter was helpful for this process and that I’d must individually configure notifications for each single app I had put in on the telephone. And which means reacting to notifications as they arrive could, in reality, be essentially the most environment friendly alternative. Assuming I can dwell with the triggering sound of pointless notification sounds for the subsequent week or no matter. One other blocker.

There’s all types of weirdness to this technique. For instance, I had configured the Amazon app’s notifications as I most well-liked the primary time it trilled its pointless sound and lit up my iPhone’s always-on show with a pop-up. And now it studies that its notification type is “Ship Quietly.” Which is neat, besides that there is no such thing as a “Ship Quietly” alternative in Notifications settings. As a substitute, you get this title while you configure an app to not show banners, sounds, and badges, and, sure, you must configure every a type of choices for each single app the place that is the case. On and on it goes.

Some apps, granted, are straightforward to configure. In case you simply don’t need any notifications, right here’s a single change for that. But it surely’s nonetheless a per-app factor.

This method makes me loopy. And for a lot of causes past configuration. For instance, when there’s a pending notification for an app, its residence display icon will show a crimson dot (a badge) to let you realize. On Android, you’ll be able to press and maintain on that app icon (like right-clicking) and see and take care of the pending notifications proper from the pop-up menu that seems. However on iPhone, you can’t. You need to open the app. Come on Apple, study from Google. You’ve achieved it prior to now.

Whereas I used to be scuffling with this, I had related the outdated iPhone to my desktop PC through a USB-to-Lightning cable so I might copy the contents of its “Inside Storage” folder to the PC after which archive it to the NAS. However it could by no means efficiently copy; it simply quietly stop half means via time and again. I actually babysat this factor all morning and by no means acquired it to work, and so I ultimately simply copied the folders over in smaller teams. And that lastly did work. At 1:30 pm, many hours after I had anticipated to finish this copy, reset the iPhone, clear it up and pack it, and possibly even deliver it to FedEx, all I had achieved was replicate the iPhone’s contents on my PC. Nicely, at the least it lastly labored.

Besides that it didn’t. I all the time verify the properties of the supply and vacation spot on a replica like this to make sure that the overall measurement and variety of information are the identical on every. And the iPhone (slowly, f#$%ing Lightning) reported that it had 6 GB of information on there, whereas the copy on the PC was … 21 GB. What the what.

Yep. One other blocker.

Lastly, I simply tried one other PC. Similar slowness, in fact. However this time, as I in contrast the relative sizes of every batch of folders, I acquired equivalent values every time. I do not know what occurred with the opposite PC, all I do know is that I wasted hours and hours making an attempt to make it work. Aggravating.

As I write this, the file copy remains to be ongoing. But it surely’s working. And when my outdated iPhone 13 Professional is lastly backed as much as the NAS, I’ll reset it and bundle it up for return. The machine is in nice form, partially as a result of it’s all the time been protected by a case, and it served me effectively sufficient throughout the on-again-off-again instances I used it. That mentioned, I cannot miss its small show and Lightning port. Good riddance.

And now I can lastly simply use the iPhone 15 Professional Max. You realize, like a semi-normal individual.