Third time's a charm?

Last night I went to the local Apple Store to get a second iPhone 5 replacement—which is to say my third iPhone 5. I’ve now owned more iPhone 5’s than all previous models.

The reason for this replacement was the same as for the last one: brown spots in my photos caused by dust (or something) within the camera.

Camera phone spots

The spots themselves look the same, it’s just the position that’s changed. According to a photographer friend, the fuzziness of the spot means the debris is close to the sensor but not on it. Further from the sensor and it wouldn’t be visible at all; on the sensor and its edges would be sharp.

The Genius didn’t hesitate to make the swap. The time consuming part was “restoring”1 my last backup to the new phone. It took about 40 minutes, and that was just downloading the Apple stuff and rebooting. They put me at a special table during this process where I could surf the internet on a MacBook Pro as I waited.

When the phone rebooted, I experience a new twist on Apple’s obsession with having us enter our passwords multiple times. A dialog box2 popped up asking for my password. As I was typing it in, another box appeared on top of it, also asking for my password. I typed it in to dismiss that box and then finished the password in the first box. The Genius who’d been assigned to babysit me during the setup of the new phone looked over and smiled.

“Did you enjoy the password explosion?”

With the new phone up and running, I wiped the old one and went home to finish downloading my non-Apple apps. It took quite a while, but there were no hiccups. The thing is, even after it looked like I had a duplicate of my old phone, there were still some things that needed to be set up, like

I reallyreallyreally hope I don’t have to replace this one.

Update 6/5/13
I’ve been told by a couple of people that restoring from an encrypted backup will bring back more saved passwords than doing it over the air. The Geniuses definitely steer you into an OTA restore, and there’s some sense in it: you don’t leave the store until you know your new phone is linked to your account.

I suppose the best of both worlds would involve doing the partial restore (enough to get to the reboot stage) in the store, and then doing a full restore from an encrypted iTunes backup when you’re back at your computer. Since my iTunes backups are on my office computer and I didn’t want to go to the office in the evening, I probably still would have just used OTA, but it’s worth considering if I ever have to do this again.

  1. I kind of understand why Apple uses that word, but the new phone isn’t being restored—it’s never had any of my data on it. 

  2. Or alert or whatever the hell they call it on iOS. You know what I mean.