Friday Afternoon Fall Musings –
Summary: This week’s post is not about sales or marketing leadership. For nearly 4 years I lived harmoniously with my iPhone 4S and managed to dismiss the Apple marketing sirens hearkening me each September – first to the iPhone 5, then iPhone 5S and then iPhone 6/6Plus. But I gave in to the calling of the new iPhone 6S Plus. Here’s how, why, the good, the bad and what I’ve learned in about 24 hours. This is NOT a review of the iPhone 6Plus vs. any other phone or platform, but simply about how I arrived at my decision and the steps, challenges, and lessons learned once I received it from Verizon.
Update: To appreciate where the iPhone came from, here is a video of Steve Jobs announcing the original iPhone in 2007. It seems so long ago: S. Jobs iPhone Announce In some ways it’s a touching remembrance of the man, and his vision we’ve embraced.

Under Pressure

ip1I have never been one to chase fashion, technology or other highly advertised products. Like ones that make others impulsively wait in long lines, often in inclement weather. Most of the time, I have no interest because I have something else that fulfills my need, and don’t need the expense, the learning curve or the eventual extras that absolutely must be purchased along with the product. But then, without warning, I suddenly felt it. I broke my own rule, and was convinced that if I didn’t take action, my body would awaken on its own, sleepwalk to the closest Apple store and place an order, which I would find the next morning had happened without my conscious permission.

Crazy Little Thing….

ip2What nudged me into a replacement of my trusty iPhone 4S, in perfect working order, was when I actually had the opportunity to closely study the iPhone 6 Plus. Back in the spring, I had dinner with my friend Joe D. (who I referenced in my LinkedIn Job Change Blog post minus his last name to protect him from paparazzi). He had recently purchased an iPhone 6 Plus, which I got to inspect, sans the 3 foot anti-theft cable that is required at all Verizon stores. I liked, nay I loved, the feel of it in my hand, and was delighted that I was able to actually read text messages without searching for my glasses. Prior to actual tactile inspection, I had been foolishly led astray that the Plus was nearly as big as half an iPad Mini. Nonsense. It fit my hand like a proverbial glove. I’ll confess, it was a rare me-machine-love-connection moment, but I somehow summoned the self-control to wait, knowing the 6S/6S Plus was mere months away.

Another One Bites The Dust

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Gone are the days when you could buy a $700 phone for $199, since most, if not all, US cellular carriers have eliminated subsidized smartphone purchases in exchange for a 2 year commitment. The new Verizon model for cell phone service gives you 2 choices for an iPhone 6S Plus: 1) Pay full price for the phone which for a 64GB is $850 upon receipt, 2) Pay a zero-interest rate install plan which takes the retail price and divides it into 24 monthly payments, which I choose and adds $35.40 to my monthly phone bill. There are apparently some service savings passed along since the phone company is not working in that subsidized expense, and from what I can tell I’ll save about $15 a month on my service so my actual cost to own is really $20. And I even got a $100 credit for trading in my 4S to Verizon and not having to deal with any of the other avenues like eBay, Gazelle or SellCell. So, my trusty 4S has officially bitten the dust for me, but lives on through Verizon recycle and charitable endeavors.

 

A Night at The Opera (or how I was awake until 3AM trying to move my music from the 4S to the 6SPlus)

ip4I’ll admit it. Maybe I started wrong from the beginning, but my experience moving all my music, pictures, documents, passwords, and apps was stressful and kept me up into the wee hours. I tried using iCloud – But I think this really depends on how much you have to upload if you don’t want to buy extra Cloud storage. I had thousands of pictures and videos of my family. I had hundreds of songs arranged into playlists. I had apps that didn’t make the trip during back up. So I guess if you’re working with a smaller set of data, iCloud may work for you. Or maybe there’s another way. Let’s move on.

Here’s where I started. First, I did a backup from my 4S to my computer using the iTunes PC app. But even with both phones plugged into my laptop, I was unable to restore the 4S backup to the 6S+. So I decided to select “essentials” by doing a backup from the 4S to the iCloud with encryption checked (which eliminates having to log back in to every email and app). But no music.

Below is a screen shot of my iTunes at 3AM having backed up and restored every possible way to move my music to no avail. The colored circles and squares are the sections you should pay most attention to, and if you decide to encrypt your back up, PLEASE make sure you write down the password. Believe me there is no way to recover it, despite software products that claim to brute force their way in to get it.

Even with a wonderful AppleCare tech on the line at midnight, I still couldn’t find a way to move my non-Apple store (i.e. CD Ripped) songs from my 4S to my 6S+. So here’s my workaround…

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In the end, I successfully used four software tools downloaded to my Win7 laptop, with free, albeit limited, trials to get my music (and other data) from my iPhone 4S. They created folders on my desktop, which I could then drag and drop to iTunes on my laptop. Then to get them on my iPhone 6SPlus by doing a SYNC between iTunes and the 6S+. I listed the software below and all passed my McAfee anti-virus test and are free from download.com. I have no affiliation or interest with these products and strongly recommend you do your own homework, and install them at your own risk and discretion:

TouchCopy – You can download up to 100 songs from your Apple device to a folder on your desktop. $29.99 to buy, though offered a discount coupon to get the price under $25.
CopyTrans – Free trial limited to 250 songs, then $19.99 to buy.
Wondershare TunesGo Retro – This is a device to device (i.e. no iTunes in the middle) mover of music etc. Limited version at trial, and $39.95 to buy
FoneTrans – Very new app, 30 day limited trial, $49.95 to buy

Bicycle Race (and protecting an $850 gadget no matter where I am)

ip6Occasionally, (OK rarely), I like to bike ride since the leaves are changing and the weather is turning cooler. With that in mind, one of the first things I did was buy a protective case for my new phone just to add a measure of safety. And because I always seem to run out of power, I choose a case with a built-in back up battery. Yes, I am aware that there are lots of ways to conserve battery power (and that the new phones actually have smaller batteries), and though it adds some bulk, I choose the i-Blason case available at Amazon for $50 (on Prime). Here’s a link: Amazon Case Link . I find the matte finish makes it less slippery than the factory iPhone back cover. I also wanted a screen protector, to avoid my keys from scratching very expensive glass, and that would not inhibit the Force Touch feature of the 6SPlus, so I bought and recommend the Aerb Premium Lifetime Warranty Screen Protector, also from Amazon Prime for $7.00. Here’s the link: Amazon 6S+ Screen Link

Now before the Apple-ites beat me up about how I should have just uploaded everything to iCloud or started with a fresh install, or how much easier it could have been with an Android or a Lumia – Please stay calm. My purpose of this post is to document my experiences and suggestions. I humbly admit that I could have probably done this faster, better or smarter. Maybe even taken it to the Verizon or Apple store and wait in line, though (from what I read) they still would not transfer non iTunes purchased music or videos. (To which I would have replied, I bought the CD/DVD, so I paid for the music/movie, even though I didn’t pay you, so…You know, let’s just end it there.)

You’re My Best Friend

ip7Finally, there are a LOT of very cool features that I chose not to delve into in this post, since you can find them all over the web.

BUT, I watched a TED talk on it last night, and it was OUTSTANDING in both audio and video quality.

Size-wise, while not for everyone, don’t be afraid of the size until you’ve had a chance to actually hold one untethered for more than 5 minutes. Unless you have atypically small hands, it fits more comfortably than you might think. While it’s not going to go in my front jeans pocket, it definitely fits in a hooded sweatshirt, a suit or jean jacket, and sports coat, top coat or ski jacket pocket. And thanks to Bluetooth, it goes into my cars’ glove box, so I’m not even tempted to glance at a text while driving.

Did you get an iPhone 6S/6S+? What’s your experience like? Have you found better/alternative work arounds or device protection? Please share!
As always, feedback on my post is welcome and appreciated, and if you found my musings of any value, please like, share and re-tweet. And of course Thank You for reading what I think.

ed@edcolandra.com
Twitter: @edcolandra
PS.In case you were wondering, my radio alarm woke me today to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, thus it infected my writing voice today. Sorry if you aren’t a fan of their music.