First look: Setting up the new iPhone 4S with iOS 5

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Thanks to iOS 5, iPhone 4S marks the first generation of iOS devices capable of being fully setup and activated without ever plugging into iTunes. Here's what the process looks like.



iPhone 4S isn't the only model to take advantage of iOS 5's "PC free" setup. All new iOS devices now ship ready to use out of the box, and existing devices upgraded to iOS 5 no longer need to be connected to iTunes to first activate, nor is iTunes required to perform ongoing backups or software updates anymore.



Most competing mobile devices have always been "PC free" in the sense of begin able to set up and use right out of the box. Apple's iTunes-centric setup and maintenance for iOS devices initially helped make iPods, the iPhone and iPad easy to setup and use, but the process also involved some steps that could be frustrating, especially if your iTunes system wasn't available or if you didn't own a PC.



The new PC Free setup of iOS 5 means that all the advantages of having your music, videos, apps, books, documents, photos, backups and software updates managed through iTunes are still there: Apple still offers the best App Store experience, the easiest to use backup and recovery system and the fastest and least troublesome device sync and software update mechanism.



However, Apple has done away with the initial necessity of plugging into iTunes, and made the USB tether an alternative option to performing wireless setup, content purchasing and sync, backups, restorations and updates, thanks to new cloud integration. Users now have a choice.



Out of the box



iPhone 4S appears identical to the existing CDMA iPhone 4 sold by Verizon, apart from having a new SIM card slot that enables it also work on GSM/UMTS mobile networks. In fact, it looks so similar to Apple's previous model that you might mistake it for a Samsung product.













Same box, same accessories (adapter, USB cable, mic-integrated white earbuds), same dual-mobile antenna design (meaning it will work with Verizon iPhone 4 bumpers but not necessarily those designed for the original AT&T/UMTS iPhone 4, which has a slightly different lock switch positioning) and an identical external appearance of its camera (despite being significantly improved).



Apart from the SIM slot, the only other real difference between the iPhone 4S and the previous CDMA iPhone 4 is a new swath of European regulatory graphics on its back, something the Verizon-only model didn't need.



That makes for a rather tepid unboxing, but at least you now have photographic proof that the new model still comes with Apple stickers.



On page 2 of 3: Out with iTunes



Out with iTunes



While pulling the latest iPhone out of the box isn't a new experience, setting it up is. Rather than booting up to a graphic asking you to plug the device into iTunes, it now presents a simple "iPhone" graphic with an unlocking slider control to get started. There's also an information icon that, when touched, present the device's serial numbers.







Similar to setting up a new Mac, iOS 5 devices like iPhone 4S now step through a series of basic setup options, asking the user to first select a language and region. During the setup process, the background smoothly animates characters in a variety of languages and then a map, offering an initial taste of the iPhone's hardware accelerated graphics.







iOS 5 setup next asks the user to enable Location Services or not, offering a link that outlines exactly what that means.







Next, iOS 5 asks the user to select a Wi-Fi network or use the cellular network to obtain Internet access, and subsequently activates. The page warns this step might take up to three minutes. The first phone we activated on Sprint activated immediately, but our AT&T model sat in an activation queue for a very long time (hours). However, even after activating properly on Sprint, the phone subsequently said there was no service for the next ten minutes.



The phone reported, "We?re sorry. There was a problem completing your activation.You can restart the activation process by turning your iPhone off and on. If activating via iTunes, please disconnect and reconnect your iPhone."









On page 3 of 3: iCloud options



iCloud options



Next: choose whether to set up the device as a new iPhone or restore your previous content and settings from an iCloud or iTunes backup. After setting up new, iOS 5 asks for your Apple ID. But since Sprint service hadn't yet begun working, we got a warning saying there was no network connection and asking if we wanted to skip the Apple ID step or continue configuring an alternative data connection.







If you opt to skip entering an Apple ID (or setting up a new one), Apple warns that a variety of services depend on having an account, and that setting up a new one is "free and easy." Once entered, the Apple ID setup occured quickly.







An Apple ID ?is the login you use for just about everything you do with Apple,? the setup instructions explain, including configuring iCloud services, downloading software from the App Store, buying songs and video through the iTunes Store, connecting to FaceTime & iMessage, managing game achievements and challenging other players in Game Center, using Find My iPhone, iBooks, Apple?s online retail store, and to make Genius Bar appointments.







After entering or setting up a new Apple ID, iOS 5 asks you if you want to use iCloud, and outlines what the free service offers. Subsequent steps ask you if you want to backup to iCloud or to your local computer using iTunes; whether you want to set up Find My Phone and whether you want to activate Siri, explaining what those choices mean along the way.















Once finished, you're dropped at the Home screen and encouraged to try using Siri (if the service is available in your language). A companion "first look" followup profiles how Siri works in practice.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    In fact, it looks so similar to Apple's previous model that you might mistake it for a Samsung product.





    I had to read that bit twice. The funniest thing I have ever read in these forums.
  • Reply 2 of 38
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    I gotta get one of these. Having a conversation with your phone. Actually its an AI. I like that. I have no girl friend and this would be a good substitute.
  • Reply 3 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    I gotta get one of these. Having a conversation with your phone. Actually its an AI. I like that. I have no girl friend and this would be a good substitute.



    Believe it or not, girls can do some things that iPhones cannot.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Believe it or not, girls can do some things that iPhones cannot.



    Such as?!?! Throwing around unsubstantiated claims, I'm going to need to see some proof!
  • Reply 5 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Such as?!?! Throwing around unsubstantiated claims...



    Now THAT is something girls/women EXCEL at!!!
  • Reply 6 of 38
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    iCloud is great, but also a pain in the butt.



    I really wish there was a way to:



    Convert My Apple ID to a me.COM e-mail address




    A lot of people have their GMail address as their Apple ID, but would love a free, new, push and ad-free me.COM e-mail address for Mail and Apple's new services.



    The whole thing is way too fiddly and complex for existing Apple ID users. And, frankly, very un-Apple.



    - - -



    It's funny, new-to-Apple users have a much simpler set up. And can snap up a me.com Apple ID and e-mail address worry-free.
  • Reply 7 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In fact, it looks so similar to Apple's previous model that you might mistake it for a Samsung product.



    Take my wife. Please.



    Funniest thing I've seen all day! Thanks for the mood-lift.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    That makes for a rather tepid unboxing, but at least you now have photographic proof that the new model still comes with Apple stickers.



    Noo, don't apologise.
  • Reply 8 of 38
    bagmanbagman Posts: 349member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    I gotta get one of these. Having a conversation with your phone. Actually its an AI. I like that. I have no girl friend and this would be a good substitute.



    Do you love your iphone, or do you LOVE your iphone?



    Ask AI if it LOVES you - but be careful how you respond (there are state laws that prohibit this sort of thing, after all).
  • Reply 9 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bagman View Post


    (there are state laws that prohibit this sort of thing, after all).



    State laws, sure, but in South Korea some guy married a character in a DS game.



    ?



    Oh, no. I've just given Samsung their next idea for a phone feature: A digital assistant you can marry.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bagman View Post


    Do you love your iphone, or do you LOVE your iphone?



    Ask AI if it LOVES you - but be careful how you respond (there are state laws that prohibit this sort of thing, after all).



    There's an app for that......it's called Siri :-)
  • Reply 11 of 38
    Old Macbook Pro user but new to the iphone. The phones on my plan are ready to renew and I am going to renew them with the iphone 4S. My question is, can you activate different phones with the same Apple ID?
  • Reply 12 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    iCloud is great, but also a pain in the butt.



    I really wish there was a way to:



    Convert My Apple ID to an me.COM e-mail address




    A lot of people have their GMail address as their Apple ID, but would love a free, new, push and ad-free me.COM e-mail address for Mail and Apple's new services.



    The whole thing is way too fiddly and complex for existing Apple ID users. And, frankly, very un-Apple.



    - - -



    It's funny, new-to-Apple users have a much simpler set up. And can snap up a me.com Apple ID and e-mail address worry-free.



    I too found this confusing and annoying. The fact is, you can sign up for iCloud without your usual Gmail-(or whatever service) connected Apple ID. Just create a new Apple ID, with a new me.com address, when you sign up for iCloud. You'll continue to use your old ID for iTunes purchases, signing into Apple Support, shopping at the Apple Store, etc. Working fine for me, iCloud doesn't care that my music etc. "belongs" to a different ID.



    It took a long time for me to understand this, since Apple doesn't say explicitly (at least that I saw) that you can do this, that when you join iCloud you are in effect creating a new ID.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AEHaas View Post


    Yes.



    aehaas



    Thank you for responding and for the info. I appreciate it!
  • Reply 14 of 38
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dantronic View Post


    I too found this confusing and annoying. The fact is, you can sign up for iCloud without your usual Gmail-(or whatever service) connected Apple ID. Just create a new Apple ID, with a new me.com address, when you sign up for iCloud. You'll continue to use your old ID for iTunes purchases, signing into Apple Support, shopping at the Apple Store, etc. Working fine for me, iCloud doesn't care that my music etc. "belongs" to a different ID



    Yes, but when setting up iOS 5 and being asked if you have an Apple ID you do you'd be hard pressed not to type it in. And if you choose to create a new one because you are aware you can get an ad-free push me account during setup you end up with two Apple ID's and more complexity down the road.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    Two iphones, two apple ids, want to share reminders, but difficult to do this without messing up other sharing
  • Reply 16 of 38
    Hi,



    I'd like to hear your opinion on whether to restore the 4S from backup (iTunes backup, in my case) or create from new.



    Until now, every time a major version was released, I used to create from new, in order not to create incompatibility issues.

    In minor revisions, I did restore from backup, w/o any issues at all.



    But this is a pain, as I have to recreate all my email accounts and reenter all the usernames & passwords to all the sites & forums I subscribe to, reenter WIFI passwords, etc.



    All my notes, contacts and important emails are stored in Exchange or Gmail accounts, all the other stuff is not important (eg SMS messages).



    What is your opinion?



    Thank you.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    I restored from backup. Everything went very smoothly apart from Siri being turned off by default.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    I restored from backup. Everything went very smoothly apart from Siri being turned off by default.



    Thank you, RichL.



    Was your iPhone jailbroken?
  • Reply 19 of 38
    Nowhere I have found a clear explanation of how to set up things such that

    - purchases of iMac Apps, iOS Apps, even Music make use of the AppleID of the one who controls (i.e., who manages) all those devices

    - strictly personal stuff such as e-mail, calendars, addressBook, bookmarks make use of a personal ID for each family member.



    Sharing of (selected, if not most) photos, addressBook entries, movies and music should be possible (easy, really), so the entire family can benefit; and stuff doesn't get forgotten (= almost the same as "lost") because someone is hoarding e.g., pictures, or just happens to have stored his USB stick contents in iPhoto on his account.



    In my particular case, I am the one who controls many devices, but my wife and kids are on the mobileMe family account.

    What I should be moving to is a situation where at least app purchases continue to use the original AppleID, and every individual should have his personal ID for email and the like.



    For me, that would mean I need to create a personal ID and connect email, addressBook, bookmarks, etc to it.



    The other family members, I read, can move their family-mobileMe personal username to a new account, but maintenance of their devices should remain with my original appleID.



    Why is nobody discussing exactly this situation? To me it appears it would be the typical case for every family-mobileMe arrangement.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Yes, but when setting up iOS 5 and being asked if you have an Apple ID you do you'd be hard pressed not to type it in. And if you choose to create a new one because you are aware you can get an ad-free push me account during setup you end up with two Apple ID's and more complexity down the road.



    Doesn't everyone who signs up for iCloud get an @me.com email address?



    So, just sign up with your current Apple ID account, create your @me.com address, change the email address on your Apple ID account, which is not a big deal to do, to your @me.com address. (Your Apple ID is not your email address, that's just an easy to remember identifier, like uid/user) Maybe I misread the problem?
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