Sunday, February 18, 2018

One day soon, it’s bye bye Apple....

......Well, in the foreseeable future—when the batteries in my iPad and iPhone die. Both devices are slowing down; the iPad is older than the iPhone, so this is understandable. I haven’t had cause to complain until today, when suddenly my iPad was ‘forced’ to download and install the newest IOS software. Up until today I have managed to prevent the iPad from doing this, because I know that the newest software versions will only end up slowing down the device and rendering it obsolescent faster than if I don't install the upgrades. And it’s already slow, but I’m used to it. I’m fine with it because I mostly use my iPad to read Kindle books and to read emails/listen to music when I travel. When I turned it on today, I was unable to activate my device at all. I received the following error message instead:

Your iPad could not be activated because the activation server is temporarily unavailable. Try connecting your iPad to iTunes to activated it or try again in couple of minutes. If this problem persists, contact Apple support at apple.com/support.

So I did what I normally do in such situations—got irritated, then googled ‘why can’t I activate my iPad?’ And wouldn’t you know, this is a problem for others too, and is connected to the installation of the newest IOS software, which I didn’t want and which I have prevented from being installed up to this point by always pressing the ‘Remind me later’ option when prompted to download the newest software. But for some unknown reason, it installed itself between Friday evening and this morning (the iPad was off during that whole time) and created a problem on which I used most of my afternoon—how to reactivate my iPad. Not nice, Apple. Could someone explain to me how this happened?

You ask, why don’t I want the new software? Well, it’s a well-known fact that Apple (and probably other companies) deal in ‘planned obsolescence’ as discussed in a recent article in Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamsarhan/2017/12/22/planned-obsolescence-apple-is-not-the-only-culprit/#5fff6f7f3cf2  Here’s the opening paragraph of this article:

Apple just got smacked with a class action lawsuit after the tech giant admitted it slowed down older iPhones. This act is also known as planned obsolescence. Wikipedia defines planned obsolescence (or built-in obsolescence) as: "in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete (that is, unfashionable or no longer functional) after a certain period of time."

Here’s another article dealing with the same: https://www.cultofmac.com/77814/is-apple-guilty-of-planned-obsolescence/; planned obsolescence forces us to buy new gadgets sooner than we want to. I don’t like this one bit. For the first, I don’t want to be buying new devices every other year. I’m not interested and I’m not that wealthy. Nor do I need to be cool by having the latest gadgets; I don’t care about this at all. I care more about the environment and about using things until they simply cannot be used anymore; we don’t need to pollute the world with lithium batteries year after year, when we don’t know how to deal with them at all.

So what did I learn from googling this problem about not being able to activate my device? I found the following website that discussed the problem and gave some solutions: https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/ipad/how-activate-old-ipad-after-update-3638936/. I tried what was suggested there--connected my iPad to iTunes on my laptop and tried to ‘recover’ my iPad (updating that keeps the current setup). It didn’t work. So I had to opt for ‘restoring the factory defaults’, which essentially resets the entire iPad. This took a long time, with promptings along the way to type in different passwords and pass codes to this and that. Finally, I was able to activate my iPad, and what I ended up with was an iPad that had installed all the apps that are currently on my iPhone—in other words, way too many. But at least that was something—I didn’t have to download all the apps again from the app store. I deleted the apps I didn’t need on my iPad and opened my Kindle app. I had to download all the unread books again, and adjust the settings back to where I had them. Then I went to Music, and realized that I have to download all the songs in my library so that I can listen to them offline, like when I travel and there’s no wi-fi. I’m saving this job for another time. Something else I don’t understand; we buy these songs from Apple and yet they’re not ‘ours’. If I buy them and download them once to my music library, why aren’t they mine? This is amazingly and unnecessarily complicated.

I have no idea how these things are done on devices made by the other cell phone/tablet companies. They cannot be that much different. But it’s getting to the point where I prefer simplicity in all things. Why can’t Apple make it simple to use their devices, and leave it up to the individual user to decide whether he or she wants to install software that will in many cases deactivate their devices? We paid for them. Why can’t we decide when we want to upgrade them? At least on computers running Windows software, an upgrade doesn't result in the deactivation of the computer. Now I have new IOS software on an old iPad. Let’s see how long my ‘new’ old iPad survives. I’m betting not past summer, at which point I’m going to buy a cheap computer tablet (not an iPad), or simply a Kindle from Amazon.