Last month I was visiting my in-laws. One of our most urgent tasks while were there—per the pleading of literally every friend, coworker, family member, and random barista we encountered—was to help upgrade my wife’s parents’ aging iPhones.
We were working with an iPhone 6s and a 5s. Resistance was strong to the new, different Face ID designs instead of the classic home button. Passwords for assorted logins were long forgotten. My mother-in-law could only access her work email on her phone, and the answer for how to set it up anywhere else was [panicked texting a coworker, who didn’t know either].
Thank goodness, then, for the iPhone SE 2020, effectively an iPhone 8 with newer guts.
“We’re getting you new phones.”
“You saint! Wait, how big will it be? I don’t need one of those giant phones.”
“It will be exactly the same size as your current phone.”
“You national treasure! Wait, but it’s a new phone? Am I going to have to learn how to use it all over again?"
“It will work exactly like your current phone.”
“You king among men! Wait, two new phones are expensive!”
“This is the cheapest iPhone of them all. Two of them cost about the same as one new-new one.”
“You angel, heaven sent! Wait, my work email? No one knows how to set that up anymore and I need it!”
“Hold my beer.”
Enter “Quick Start”, the black magic device-to-device transfer for setting up new iPhones and iPads. You power up the new phone, do a little dance to get it speaking to the old phone, and give it, I dunno, 10 minutes?
Then, blam, the new phone is set up and everything is exactly the same as it was. Apps are in the same place. They’re still logged in to all their social media. Work email accounts with ancient Microsoft Exchange credentials are still functional. You need to re-enter thumbprints for Touch ID, but that’s it. It’s the same phone, but newer.
So, my in-laws now have new phones that don’t terrify them and have batteries that last for more than a few minutes. It all worked without a hitch. I am a conquering hero.
I will share one more bit of conversation and I want to be clear that I’m sharing this with great affection and love for my father-in-law, a kind and smart person who just does not use computers, like, at all.
As we were packing up to go home, he asked me, “Oh, do I have apps now?”