A good Apple Store Experience and iPhone Erase-Restore

Since most of what I write on the internet is questions or complaints, as this experience winds down successfully I thought maybe I should put it down.

For the last couple of weeks the screen on my iPhone X quits responding. Sometimes a push or two on the right button brings it back to life, but if that didn’t succeed a reboot was required. And that takes half a minute of button holding and then maybe another half a minute to finish. I couldn’t determine any pattern. This phone has had two screen replacements, the first shortly after I bought it due to making too rapid contact with the pavement and then a couple of years later for no known reason, although I assumed it could be because it was replaced and often any fixes are less reliable than the original. I also had the battery replaced in the last few months. All work at the Apple Store. So my first inclination was that it was a hardware problem but it was so intermittent I began to think maybe a software problem. iPhones don’t have many of the kind of add ons that computers do, and sometimes the add ons are (or used to be) problematic. The only one I could think of was an accessory software keyboard which I used all the time. I deleted it and rebooted a few times and then kept using the phone for another few days; the problem was unchanged. Booked an appointment at the Apple Store. I had planned to await at least for the 14 or maybe 15 before upgrading. Better camera would be the main benefit for me. But since I’d had a few problems I had pretty much decided that I’d just use the trip to the Apple Store to get a new iPhone 14 Pro. When I checked in I told the “greeter” that and he said I should still meet with the genius. So I did and the genius said, well you should back up and try a restore anyway as it would likely fix the problem and in any case would be better for switching phones (He said the iCloud backup would be better than my backup to my iMac). Wait, I’ve told two Apple employees I’m ready to buy a new phone and they avoid selling me one. The Genius also told me I might get a better trade-in price elsewhere. I had checked and $170 for my 256GB was more or less the going price. No doubt one can do better, but I wasn’t going to work that hard for it. I didn’t have an iCloud backup because I didn’t think my 200GB account would tolerate it. I was using at least 190GB on the phone and had many documents stored. Not many photos, I use something else. After a couple of hours of trying to backup (including a lunch break), I checked back in that Genius told me briefly that I should just erase and restore at home. Took another four hours to finish backing up.

This morning I went for a short, local, mountain-bike ride and lost my phone (I was trying out a new pack). I took that as a sign that OK, I guess I’m getting a new phone. I had thought that Find My had been turned off, and in any case it didn’t show up on my wife’s iPhone (but I couldn’t be at all sure that she would be tracking my phone). We started back tracking and calling my phone from hers in places where it would be hard to find and more likely to have fallen out. On the third or fourth call while I’m a hundred feet ahead so we can check more area, she starts talking on the phone. I assumed she had gotten a call, but no someone had answered the phone and in fact was in front of our house. My phone case has pocket with a credit card and my driver license with address. I had realized that I which was a significant reason to find the phone. After both of us offered profuse thanks we just had him drop it in the mailbox because we were at least 20 minutes from home.

I had planned to do the restore in the evening, but decided to get it over with. Just as well, because many security codes and several passwords to enter. But five hours later it looks like almost all of the setting and data associated with apps is restored. I have (too) many apps so it’s taken about six or seven hours to download. But screen arrangement is the same which I don’t think has been my experience before.

So, Good Samaritan, good support at the Apple Store, and a good experience erasing and restoring. I did have some trouble finding docs to walk me through the process. But once I took the plunge it went smoothly. I should also know within a day if it fixed the screen problem. I have gone half a day without the touch going non responsive.

Did anyone get this far and stay awake?

iCloud of course doesn’t store the apps and I’d only been looking at how much total I had on my phone.

Also I’d visited that store at least half a dozen times in the last year (for the iPhone and buying a new MBP and trading it in for one with more memory) and it seemed a lot quieter than those recent visits. This is consistent with what’s been reported.