Saturday, February 4, 2012

iPod: from 3rd to 4th generation under iOS 5.0.1

A while back, my 3rd generation iPod crashed so hard under iOS 4.3.5 that it "lost its mind". I used PC iTunes to load iOS 5.0.1 onto its wiped-clean "mind", but its longstanding port hardware problem soon thereafter became so serious that I could no longer charge it without precariously holding the cable just right (for the entire charging period, something I wasn't about to do).

I got a 4th generation iPod which was initially at iOS 4.3.3, and got errors when trying to reload it with iOS 5.0.1. The Apple error message's first recommendation was to update PC iTunes, which I did, bringing it to 10.5.1. It seems logical enough that Apple might require the latest version of iTunes for such operations. I was then able to bring the iPod up to iOS 5.0.1.

In PC iTunes, I then attempted to Restore from Backup. There were two backups, one from my initial activation of the 4th generation device (and therefore not useful), and another of the 3rd generation one from 6 days earlier. Attempts to restore from the second (chronologically earlier) backup failed, reporting that the backup session failed.

More recently I had been doing backups to iCloud, and two of those backups were there. The first had virtually no data from my activation of the new iPod minutes earlier and was therefore not of interest. The earlier one was from 2 days earlier (from the 3rd generation iPod), and I began restoring from that. Ah, the beauty of the iOS 5 backup over WiFi, which takes place when you are charging at an outlet. You always have to charge; backup is a perfect thing to occur alongside.

The iPod reported that some items could not be downloaded, but that I could restore them if I had them on my (PC) iTunes by doing a sync operation. The following apps were not restored from the iCloud backup because they were no longer available in the App Store (Could there be any other reason why an app wouldn't have been restored?), but I still had them in my PC iTunes:

  • CED
  • Go To There
  • InstaPaper Free

My outgoing 3rd generation iPod still had some battery charge (I had been conserving the remaining charge with Airplane Mode, turning it off, turning the brightness down all the way), so I could visually compare if any other apps were missing after the PC iTunes sync.

PC iTunes lists the device, presumably purely cosmetically, as a 3rd generation iPod.

I did a certain amount of work resetting app configurations and restoring data from servers associated with the apps.

Assorted impressions of the 4th generation iPod:
  • Great to have cameras. I had recently been at the scene of an accident with my camera-less 3rd generation iPod, and stayed as one of the witnesses for the police who eventually came. If I had had this back then, I would have snapped pictures which would clearly have shown the policeman that the errant driver was in the wrong lane at the time of the accident. Fortunately I believe enough witnesses corroborated that anyway. You can also use the front-facing camera to use the iPod as a pseudo-mirror.
  • The addition of a microphone changed (downgraded) what Apple included as earphones (my blog entry).
  • The power button was moved to a more awkward position away from the top edge, making turning it on/off and taking screenshots (press power button + home button) clumsier. Maybe the new placement was needed because of the cameras or other hardware issues.
  • Volume buttons were similarly moved to a more awkward position away from the side edge.
  • The 3rd generation iPod's screen always looked great to me, but the Retina display of the 4th generation iPod is even sharper. My Opera Mini browser's saved Speed Dial images looked worse than they had on the old iPod, but simply recreating them fixed that. I had the initial impression that I needed the screen brightness to be slightly higher for the new iPod than for the old, but I'm no longer sure about that.

The following links from a Google search for "restore from icloud" were of the most use to me:

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