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ManuCH

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 7, 2009
1,407
1,049
Switzerland
So I'm usually the one who sets up new iPhones, iPads and Macs to all family members around me. It's become second nature, I just click along and set up things according to how they like it. I know everyone's needs and it's the fastest thing if I just do it.

Lately, 2 family members got new iPads. They both never had one before (but they both own an iPhone). Unfortunately, I wasn't there to set it up, so I told them to just give it a shot and to ask me if they needed anything.

Oh boy was that a mess! They both made very similar mistakes and had to start over. For non-tech savvy people, these concepts seem to create a mess in their heads:

  • set up as new vs restore from backup
  • what data is actually synced on iCloud
  • restore from backup vs syncing with iCloud
  • device-to-device data transfer (when replacing an iPhone or iPad with a new one)
  • 2FA on iCloud
It took them a couple of hours to get those devices ready. And in the end both said "but what is someone supposed to do if they don't have an IT guy to ask how it works?".

They both first made the mistake of restoring an iPhone backup to the iPad. The reasoning was: "Well, I enabled iCloud on the iPhone and I want the same data to be synchronized to the iPad, so it would make sense to restore an iCloud backup, right?". It took me a while to explain that iCloud synchronizes data even without restoring a backup.

I got tons of text messages with pictures of screens because they were insecure. "What should I click here?"... and funny enough, both separately asked me the exact same questions.

For me as an IT person that stuff is just normal but... for the non-tech savvy, UX of the whole onboarding process has gone down for sure, at least in my opinion. There are so many things to click, you need to read very carefully to not choose the wrong path down the rabbit hole.

Did you also notice such a trend, or is it just me?
 

kitKAC

macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2022
771
712
They both first made the mistake of restoring an iPhone backup to the iPad

When I first got an iPad many years ago, I did this... it gives you a good jumping-off point to setting up your device. Your iPad looks like your iPhone, just with a bigger screen.

You might have made their setup more difficult by telling them not to do that.
 
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NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
5,915
4,514
You might have made their setup more difficult by telling them not to [restore from backup].

Yup, and also gibes with OP's comment about how difficult it is these days.

I will only do a clean setup if running into problems with a new device. And that's happened only once years ago (2017?). These days, so many switches and options that need to be toggled, some buried in not obvious places. Throw in setting up each app from scratch and their switches/options, will waste hours getting to close to what one is used to, wants.

Briefly had a brain cramp and tried to setup as new with my most recent iPhone purchase: quit after about 45 minutes of doing it and not making any real progress.
 
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Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
20,707
4,154
New Zealand
I have to agree. I got a new iPhone in the iOS 15/16 timeframe and was astounded by how many questions it made me answer before I could do anything. I've been using iOS since either 1.1 or 1.2 and I'm sure there were only one or two questions back then (albeit on the Mac: you had to do the initial setup via iTunes).
 
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ManuCH

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 7, 2009
1,407
1,049
Switzerland
When I first got an iPad many years ago, I did this... it gives you a good jumping-off point to setting up your device. Your iPad looks like your iPhone, just with a bigger screen.

You might have made their setup more difficult by telling them not to do that.

That's actually also an interesting point of view. I've never even considered setting up an iPad using the iPhone as a jumping-off point.

They also told me they don't want their whole iPhone on the iPad, just some things. So my thought was that it gets way too messy and full of year long history/garbage if I make them restore the iPhone backup to the iPad. It's a new device type and they wanted to start off clean. Also to avoid confusions like having banking apps on the iPad which don't support multiple devices or other edge cases like that.

In general, I just find there are too many questions to answer. The first setup should be way faster than what it is today.
 

ifxf

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2011
447
710
You also need to go to your iphone and enable SMS forwarding for your ipad. This is not vey Apple.
 
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ManuCH

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 7, 2009
1,407
1,049
Switzerland
You also need to go to your iphone and enable SMS forwarding for your ipad. This is not vey Apple.

On the other hand, "calls on other devices" is activated automatically. A complaint I got right away was: "why is the damn iPad ringing? I don't wanna use it as a phone" 😂
 
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jb310

macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2017
264
595
It's especially strange that Apple makes people jump through so many hoops to set up a new iPhone / iPad, when setting up an Android phone is relatively quick... you'd think it'd be the other way around, but apparently Apple is the company favoring needlessly complex setup processes now.
 

dk001

macrumors demi-god
Oct 3, 2014
10,808
15,147
Sage, Lightning, and Mountains
That's actually also an interesting point of view. I've never even considered setting up an iPad using the iPhone as a jumping-off point.

They also told me they don't want their whole iPhone on the iPad, just some things. So my thought was that it gets way too messy and full of year long history/garbage if I make them restore the iPhone backup to the iPad. It's a new device type and they wanted to start off clean. Also to avoid confusions like having banking apps on the iPad which don't support multiple devices or other edge cases like that.

In general, I just find there are too many questions to answer. The first setup should be way faster than what it is today.

Setting up using your other Apple device as the starting point is good IF you plan on using them similarly. Made that mistake once and had to redo.

For teens these days … that can be a real eye opener. My grand-daughter uses her 13 as her social media point. Her iPad was used as a laptop replacement for HS and she is going to use it for class stuff in college this fall.

I am also sure to @NoBoMac point that many could do use one as the starting point.

I occasionally setup as new to get rid of the junk from running betas and definitely see your point. IOS and iPadOS are no linger simple nor intuitive. Be cool if that came back.
 
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NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
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Setting up using your other Apple device as the starting point is good IF you plan on using them similarly. Made that mistake once and had to redo.

Even if not using similarly, using an existing device makes for an easier starting point imo. Easier to remove, undo things vs doing everything from scratch.

In OPs case, don't want bank apps on there... just remove the app.
 
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cjsuk

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2024
140
508
My relatives tend to just buy a device and I help them provision it. Just did the two youngest kids' iPads the other day.

This is all still much easier than the hoard of problems when someone brings some old rancid HP netbook along from about 2014 and a brand new bottom end laptop running windows 11 and asks me to help them with it. This is responded usually with I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT PCs (which is not even remotely true 🤣)
 
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ManuCH

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 7, 2009
1,407
1,049
Switzerland
My relatives tend to just buy a device and I help them provision it. Just did the two youngest kids' iPads the other day.

This is all still much easier than the hoard of problems when someone brings some old rancid HP netbook along from about 2014 and a brand new bottom end laptop running windows 11 and asks me to help them with it. This is responded usually with I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT PCs (which is not even remotely true 🤣)

Oh I absolutely refuse to set up Windows PCs 😂 I switched everyone to macOS/iOS because they knew they wouldn't be getting my support otherwise.
 
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papbot

macrumors 68020
May 19, 2015
2,195
1,029
I’ve found this process to be easier than ever. It pretty much walks you through everything. I always use the quick start feature when setting up a new device, using the one I am replacing. There were 2 times for some reason when I was setting up a new ipad and the quick start function did not appear on the old ipad. So I brought over my phone which immediately brought up that screen and all passwords and other data were brought over from it. Even then it was quite simple. I may have had to enable a restore from a previous ipad iCloud backup but that was just to get the home screens to have the same set up as the old ipad which is different from my phone. If not replacing a previous ipad, that quick start from a phone takes care of all the tedious stuff, other than activating cell service for the ipad if needed.

I recently set up a new Apple TV and was surprised how simple that was by just bringing my phone up to it. This is all so much easier than the old days when you had to use iTunes or had to do a restore from backup which I almost never have to do now.
 
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