I got a new iPad 3G. I called up Apple’s support and asked them the best way to transfer all of the content from my old iPad to the new one. They said to back up the old iPad through iTunes, plug in the new iPad and follow instructions. I backed up the old iPad, plugged in the new one, and got an “unknown error”. I called Apple support again. They said to reboot. I did, and things appeared to work until I entered my personal data and clicked “Submit” during the registration process. iTunes threw up an error message saying “You backtracked too far”. I wasn’t aware that I had backtracked at all. There seemed to be no way out of that screen. I unplugged the iPad, waited for it to disappear from the iTunes sidebar, and plugged it back in again. iTunes recognized it, and asked me if I wanted to set it up as a new iPad or restore from the backup of the old iPad. I chose the latter.
The restore started, and iTunes gave me a progress bar. At first, it thought it would be done in 9 minutes. By the time the green ribbon had gotten halfway across, it thought it had 11 minutes left. 45 minutes into the restore, the progress bar was 3/4 way across, still indicating 11 minutes left. After an hour, the time to completion finally began to decrease, and an hour and a half later (including ten minutes at “less than a minute” to go) iTunes declared the restore done. But iTunes wasn’t done. It started installing apps.
Finally, iTunes told me to go ahead and unplug the iPad. There was still manual work to be done. I entered the local Wi-Fi password; apparently I’m going to have to do that for all the hotspots I use. That’s a pain, but the consolation is that I’ll be able to use 3G access as a backup. I had to enter my Exchange password. Then there was a really long wait while the iPad downloaded my inbox. I’m going to have to download all my Exchange folders manually again.
I opened the Kindle app. It wanted me to register and provide a password. When I finished doing so, I tried to read a book. I got an error message saying to delete the book from the iPad and re-download it from the archive on the Amazon web site. All the books were similarly afflicted. I deleted them all, found most of them in archived items (why can’t Amazon let us sort the archive by when last accessed?), downloaded them again, and was pleased, but not surprised, to see that my place-marks were still intact.
The New York Times app worked fine, with no new password entry required. So did the Wall Street Journal app, but it took ten minutes or so to download the current and a few back issues.
The NYT crossword app was MIA. I re-downloaded it. My iBooks bookshelf was empty. I added some free books. I had never bought any, but I’m assuming that I wouldn’t have been charged again if I had.
Kayak remembered my previous searches. Numbers had my previous spreadsheets. Pages knew about my earlier docs. PowerOne had my calculation history down pat. The NYT crosswords had my earlier solutions, even if I had to get the app again. The Apps Store said Zinio needed an update. I gave it one. Then it refused to start, giving me a blank screen for about three seconds before bailing to the button screen.
I went to the Apple web site and figured out how to sign up for an ATT data account. It’s easy; you can do it right from the iPad. It takes about 5 minutes if you don’t read the agreement, maybe an hour if you do. At the end of the process, there wasn’t a lot of satisfaction; I got an activation failure message. Maybe I need to activate where there’s a strong ATT signal.
I reset the old iPad to the factory settings, and packed it for shipment. Total elapsed time: a little over three hours, with no reading of license agreements.