‘Tis a tale of technology and woe. Though I have been a lifelong user of Apple’s products, I still find myself confounded and frustrated by their shortcomings. For this rant, I isolate iTunes, in particular, for scorn.
A upgraded my iPad a couple months ago and have enjoyed using a faster and more powerful device. I often use it for note taking or other writing, so I have magnetic cover that doubles as a Bluetooth keyboard. I bought one for the previous iPad and it worked marvelously, so equipping the new tablet with a similar accessory was an easy decision.
Since I started using it, however, I’ve had chronic connectivity issues. The keyboard and iPad would unpair while I was typing—sometimes, in the middle of a word. Annoying, yes? So, I scoured the Internet looking for complaints by other users to see if anyone had tracked down a cause and/or possible solution. In a recent forum post, one user pointed out that he’d upgraded his iPad to iOS 9 (which is all of two weeks old) and it fixed the problem for him. (There are suspicions of a bug in iOS 8 code that controls the Bluetooth 4 connectivity.)
Happy to have found a potential solution, I opened my iPad last night and tapped on the “upgrade” button.
Here’s what followed:
- iOS 9 installed, the iPad rebooted, then roughly 25% of my apps (including the drawing app I use to design my games) were greyed out and unusable.
- Rebooting the iPad did not correct the problem. I ended up having to delete and re-install the apps.
- I discovered to my horror that reinstalling iDraw erased my fonts and shape libraries (I had assumed they were stored in iCloud like the art files themselves).
- I plugged the iPad in to my MacBook to see if I had a recent backup for it. I did not. I could restore the device from a backup from the previous iPad, but it would be missing everything I’ve added since then.
- (Explanation: I rarely sync my devices with iTunes because it often re-installs things I’ve deleted. I had to turn off wireless syncing because it would start doing it automatically even though I turned off auto-sync.)
- In the end, I decided to simply transfer some eBooks and PDFs to the iPad. Syncing, of course, resulted in deleted apps reappearing.
- I deleted the apps and, while I was trying to unmount the device, iTunes tried to sync again.
- I decided I’ll just re-install the missing fonts and rebuild my shape libraries because I don’t want iTunes to touch my devices anymore. It’s gone insane.
When it came out alongside the original iPod in 2001, iTunes was a swift, light little media player. It’s grown into a cancer-ridden monstrosity: a crufty piece of bloatware that’s trying to play your music, manage your playlists, sell you more music, play/sell/rent videos, sync your mobile devices, stream, make you omelets, babysit the kids … just kill it already, Apple! Cut iTunes into its constituent parts and start over, because the poor application just doesn’t know what it’s supposed to be doing anymore.
And I hate it.