I upgraded to iOS 5

Well, I upgraded my iPhone 4 to iOS 5.

And had terrifying flashbacks of the ’90s when Apple kept shooting themselves in the foot.

When I connected my iPhone 4 to my Mac and opened iTunes, I had to wade through several confusing, seemingly-contradictory windows to upgrade to iOS 5. One window said that upgrading would restore my iPhone to factory settings (That doesn’t sound like what I want), but that same window also reassured me that my iPhone would be backed-up first (That sounds good).

Except upgrading to iOS 5 did restore my iPhone 4. It removed every app, song, and video. But… It kept all the bookmarks I had saved to the Home Screen(!) And it kept all the photos and videos in the Camera Roll(!).

The flashbacks became more vivid.

Next, I tried to move from MobileMe to iCloud. This did not work. I had to make sure every device I would want to use with iCloud was upgraded to the latest release. (Hour-long pause to get every device upgraded.) Then iCloud tripped at the last step. Literally. The “Finish” step. It said it could not complete it at this time and I should check my service status (or something). Clicking on the link took me to a page I had never seem, which simply said that all services were working.

So I started the moving process again. And again. And again… The fifth time worked. (That could be a slogan!)

The flashbacks continued, however, as none of my logins worked. Long story short: I had to manually change my iTunes, App Store, and Game Center logins.

Total time to upgrade to iOS 5 and iCloud: 4 hours. (“The Fifth Time Worked!”)

I posted a short version of this tale on Facebook and five friends commented. All had similar problems.

I now have iOS 5. And stomach-tightening flashbacks.

There is now a Video app. But it doesn’t have videos from the camera in it. Those are in the Photos app. The iPod app is now the Music app. No videos there. Is this better or change for change’s sake?

With its new name, the iPod app gets a new icon. An embarrassing icon. It looks like Microsoft designed it. The value and intensity of the color do not fit (with the rest of the Apple icons). The design, color, and thickness of the music notes on the icon are wrong. Apple’s design philosophy is (still) “White”… except for that wart of an icon.

Speaking of warts. The new ways that notifications work is quite a mishmash, for Apple. The original alert style was “Windows 7 / Fisher Price”. And we still have those one-at-a-time, rounded-corner, pop-up alerts. The new fold-down box-at-top alert style is “Android”–dark and small. But there is a third(!) alert option: the pull-down from the top, which has the same dark theme as the fold-down, box-at-top, but the pull down window does not fold down, it is a third, different action. It really feels like I’m using three different UIs… all at once. Ugh.

I also have to mention the “List – Date” buttons at the top of the Reminders window. They provide backwards visual feedback. Other buttons throughout the UI looked pressed when pressed. These twin buttons look neither pressed when pressed nor unselected when the other is pressed. Grr.

If this were from any other company in the world, I would notice but move on. But this is from Apple. The one company that cares about all the details.

Please make the flashbacks stop.

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