iPhone XR Why doesn’t the iPhone allow iCloud backup or software updates over mobile networks

KOTN91

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Considering that in 2019 most people now have either unlimited data, or essentially unlimited data, it seems very strange that you must be connected to WiFi in order to backup your phone to iCloud or to install updates. Isn’t it about time Apple offered to do this over 4G
 

Puonti

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Mar 14, 2011
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Apple is moving in that direction. In iOS 13 the user will be able to choose to download apps larger than 200 megabytes over cellular. It likely also applies to app updates, but I don't know about system updates and iCloud backups.
 
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adrianlondon

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Considering iCloud backups can be quite small (if music and photos are sync'd to the cloud already, for example) it does seem silly that (a) it won't back up over 4G/5G and (b) they won't run automatically unless you're connected to the charger.

My routine is ... use phone all day, plug it into charger and turn it off at night, unplug it and turn it on in the morning. With this routine backups never run unless I initiate one manually.
 

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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In regards to downloading apps and updates, yes, I think it’s time to open up the restriction. It’s dtupid that I cannot download apps that are only a few hundred megabytes while on the go.

As for iCloud backup,however, maybe there’s a good reason. A corrupted iCloud backup can be a nightmare for users and tech support. Backing up via unstable connectivity like cellular might be the consideration Apple thought not to allow it, to avoid risking corruption. Remember that iPhones used to require to be tethered with a USB cable to be backed up via iTunes. It’s not until quite some time that Apple allowed backing up via WiFi, and that even still resulted in problems for many people.
 

adrianlondon

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There's absolutely no warning that a backup is running if one starts and you then shut the phone down, or turn off wifi, or walk around out of a wifi area, or unplug the charger. Due to that, I have to assume that the backups are verified somehow such that corruption is pretty rare, and when it occurs it's noticed and the backup restarted.

However, your logic still sounds good and might have been the reason it was designed like this originally. Times have changed and as app downloads in iOS13 can all happen over mobile data then I think backups should be next.

I'd log a Feedback recommendation but Apple are too busy ignoring my bug reports to notice and ignore my feature requests :)
 

eyoungren

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Considering that in 2019 most people now have either unlimited data, or essentially unlimited data, it seems very strange that you must be connected to WiFi in order to backup your phone to iCloud or to install updates. Isn’t it about time Apple offered to do this over 4G
You can do this if you're jailbroken.

I've been jailbroken for so long that I'd forgotten about this Apple restriction.

3GUnrestrictor: http://www.3gunrestrictor.com/get/

http://cydia.saurik.com/package/com.kstreich-dev.3gunrestrictor5/
 

now i see it

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You can do it without jail breaking by connecting it to your Mac via USB and tethering the Mac to the iPhone- essentially tricking the iPhone into thinking its on wifi where actually it's sending data to the Mac, and the Mac sends it to the Internet through the iPhone-in a convoluted loop.
Since I can't get wifi where I live, this is the only way I can download "forbidden" genuine Apple software or backup to iCloud. Works fine but isn't quite as fast.

The murmurings on the street as to why we can't use cellular for iCloud backup and iOS updates is because of an alleged deal set between Apple & the carriers. The carriers don't want hundreds of millions of iPhones clogging up their network with iCloud backups or iOS downloads.
Backups and iOS downloads are sent in sequential small packets with checksums. If the checksum doesn't add up, iOS knows the download or upload is corrupt and won't use it.
 
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posguy99

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Considering that in 2019 most people now have either unlimited data, or essentially unlimited data...
Except most people don't. Does Apple really want to listen to people whine about perhaps a multi-gigabyte download on their data plan blowing up their bill? Or have to listen to them whine about how long it takes, because coverage wherever they are isn't the greatest?

No. It's not like An Android phone, where Samsung or LG or whomever is a faceless target that the customer can't rail against. The Entitltled believe everything, no matter what, is Apple's fault... and they're a nice fat target.
 
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joeblow7777

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Considering that in 2019 most people now have either unlimited data, or essentially unlimited data, it seems very strange that you must be connected to WiFi in order to backup your phone to iCloud or to install updates. Isn’t it about time Apple offered to do this over 4G
It's Apple protecting people from themselves.

However, I think it's pretty presumptuous of you to assume that "most people" have unlimited or near unlimited data. And even those who technically have unlimited data are often have their transfer speeds throttled to near uselessness by their carrier when they surpass a certain amount.

You're right that iOS should at least allow for the option, though I understand why it wouldn't be the default. But again, Apple likes to protect users from themselves.
 
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joeblow7777

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Nope. The Entitled will just turn it on and leave it on.
And what's wrong with that? If users deliberately turn on the feature they are then responsible for it. iOS could even give a little pop-up warning and ask if you're sure. That way, those that aren't worried about data overage have more freedom and no reasonable person can blame Apple if they incur an overage fee.
 

posguy99

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And what's wrong with that? If users deliberately turn on the feature they are then responsible for it. iOS could even give a little pop-up warning and ask if you're sure. That way, those that aren't worried about data overage have more freedom and no reasonable person can blame Apple if they incur an overage fee.
The thread is getting a little far afield, but the Entitled are anything but reasonable and it doesn't matter what they might have agreed to, it's certainly not *THEIR* fault. After all, it's Apple *forcing* (sarcasm) them to download whatever it is.
 
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mrochester

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And what's wrong with that? If users deliberately turn on the feature they are then responsible for it. iOS could even give a little pop-up warning and ask if you're sure. That way, those that aren't worried about data overage have more freedom and no reasonable person can blame Apple if they incur an overage fee.
From my experience it does not matter in the slightest what warning message you give someone they will still find a way to blame someone else. And when you give these people the ability to broadcast their discontent very publicly on social media bringing your brand/business into disrepute, it’s no wonder certain limitations are put in place to prevent that situation from happening in the first place.
 

Project Alice

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Considering that in 2019 most people now have either unlimited data, or essentially unlimited data, it seems very strange that you must be connected to WiFi in order to backup your phone to iCloud or to install updates. Isn’t it about time Apple offered to do this over 4G
I've submitted a feature request for this. I don't understand why this sort of thing isn't even optional. It should be disabled by default but there needs to be a way to enable it. You've been able to do this on Android as long as Android has existed. As much as I enjoy iOS there are just some things that will always be better on Android.
 

posguy99

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I've submitted a feature request for this. I don't understand why this sort of thing isn't even optional.
Because as a class, people are stupid. It will be turned on, left on, and then the Entitled will whine. It certainly won't be *their* fault when they go over their data, and have to pay, it will *have* to be Apple's fault. Disclaimers are useless.

Android is different. Who are you going to go after? There's no single target. I imagine it would probably be the carrier.

Personal experience point... the Android community doesn't really have the Entitled class of user, either. Subjective, but it's my experience.

The OP who wants to claim that most people have unlimited data, really needs to have their head examined for holes.
 

eyoungren

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Personal experience point... the Android community doesn't really have the Entitled class of user, either. Subjective, but it's my experience.
Subjective reason for your experience…the entitled don't like anything that proves their error.

Apple controls the user environment and experience which makes it easy to blame them when things go wrong. With Android there are many ways to do things and since the Entitled don't want to be bothered to learn even one of those ways they can be caught out.

In a nutshell, Android is too complicated for the Entitled.

My supposition.
 

rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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It could be the carrier has asked Apple to keep back ups off their cellular network.

I suspect that when we are all on 5G, total cloud backups would only take a few seconds and they would for sure allow then.
Yep, this most likely. Carriers would be hard pressed providing bandwidth for automatic backup and restore like this on millions of devices. Most unlimited plans already throttle video streaming. This would be even worse unless they throttle to levels where you'd need to wait forever for backup/restore to finish.

I actually have attempted an iCloud restore over hotspot when I was setting up a new iPad (had 35GB rollover data expiring anyway). iCloud backup size was only 1GB with an extra 2GB for app downloads. Speedtest reported 8Mbps down so that should've meant less than 30 minutes for restore (already had an up-to-date backup). Figured I'll just pause downloads for most of the apps.

At first it said restore will finish in 30 minutes then it became 1 hr then 2 hrs then 3 hrs upon which time I cancelled the restore, installed iTunes on the laptop and did an encrypted backup+restore.

Maybe it's because I don't do much on Android but it seems to me backup data and apps tend to be much smaller on Android compared to iOS.
 
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tdhurst

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Dec 27, 2003
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Considering that in 2019 most people now have either unlimited data, or essentially unlimited data, it seems very strange that you must be connected to WiFi in order to backup your phone to iCloud or to install updates. Isn’t it about time Apple offered to do this over 4G
Why do you think most people have unlimited data?
- - Post merged: - -

And what's wrong with that? If users deliberately turn on the feature they are then responsible for it. iOS could even give a little pop-up warning and ask if you're sure. That way, those that aren't worried about data overage have more freedom and no reasonable person can blame Apple if they incur an overage fee.
Because then the entire network slows down for the rest of us.
 

Closingracer

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Jul 13, 2010
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It could be the carrier has asked Apple to keep back ups off their cellular network.

I suspect that when we are all on 5G, total cloud backups would only take a few seconds and they would for sure allow then.
Because it can’t be done on Android... it’s an Apple thing not carriers. Apples dumb rule which only changed with iOS 13 making large apps only downloadable with WiFi is absurd. I would have to go to McDonald’s to download updates because I don’t have WiFi. Hell I have to go to McDonald’s to update my phone or use a VPN and use a public WiFi spot on the MTA buses since they block that usage normally
 

Closingracer

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Why do you think most people have unlimited data?
- - Post merged: - -



Because then the entire network slows down for the rest of us.
Because nobody actually sells data anymore. Even with Verizon non “unlimited” plans it’s still “unlimited data” I believe in that you only get 4GB of LTE data and then it’s slowed I believe.
 

CTHarrryH

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I don't have unlimited data and neither do a bunch of people I know. Also I've found occasionally that cellular occasionally has blips - so if you do big over the air you might get a bad download - might not make much difference if you are doing a video but big issue if you are doing a software upgrade.