When Apple Products Go Bad…In German

Apple Watch saying something in GermanApple and I are NOT on good speaking terms right now.

I was looking at my iPhone the other day and it spontaneously rebooted. I’m not talking about one of those pesky little Springboard reboots where it comes right back, I mean a fun scale reboot. This explained something I’d seen on the phone recently. I’d pick up my phone and try to use my Touch ID and it would say that since I’d just rebooted I’d have to put in my password. That was puzzling because I hadn’t just rebooted the phone. Evidently it was doing it all by itself.

I let that transgression go, but then on Monday I pulled it off the charger where it had been for about 10 hours and it only showed 67% charge. That was concerning. It was slightly more concerning when 7 minutes later I got the low battery warning and saw the phone was at 4% power.

Then my iPad started doing something similar. After a full night’s charge, I used the iPad to watch a couple of video podcasts lasting no more than an hour and a half. I left the iPad on the counter for the rest of the day. At 10 at night I went to use it and the battery was completely dead. This didn’t just happen one time where you could ignore it, it happened several times.

It was obviously time to do a restore on both devices. I don’t really mind doing it but there are a few steps that make it just so darn annoying. Many people, and I’m one of the lucky ones, run into problems when they try to run a local backup. Partway through the process iTunes says it can’t continue because the iPhone disconnected. The fix for this is to reboot the phone. Ok, fine. Enter my complex password to open it, try again and it backs up. Takes close to an hour to run the backup. Great.

Now restore. Nope, you can’t restore because you have Find my iPhone turned on. Ok, fine. Open up settings, dig till I find it and turn it off, try again. Now it warns me that I have purchased apps that haven’t been backed up from the phone. What the heck were you DOING all that time if you weren’t backing up the phone??? Forget it, I can get the apps back, just do the darn restore.

My favorite part is that you can’t leave this unattended because after about a hundred years go by it will say things like it’s lost connection to the phone, but that’s because the phone is waiting with the Hello thing on screen. You’d think you’re done, but no, that’s the restored to factory settings version, you haven’t restored to your backup yet. You have to babysit this whole process instead of having a life while it’s doing this backup/restore/restore from backup dance.

Yay, my Phone looks just as I left it. Sure I have to do a few things like authorize Telegram for that device but I’m in business. Hey wait – why is my watch tapping me? It’s not time to stand up. Oh look, it’s telling me that I have to pair with my Phone. Why does it need to do that if I’m back to my restored phone? Oh well, it’s only a matter of scanning this weird screen on the watch with the phone to pair them, no big deal.

Except then the Watch had to be restored. I have NO idea why that is. Off it goes for another century getting set up again. Now this would be really fun under ANY circumstances, but my favorite part of this whole experience was when the watch came back, IT WAS IN GERMAN. I am not kidding you.

It showed something in German on screen that I didn’t understand and then had two choices, Nein or Ja. I guess that my options were no or yes, but since I didn’t know the question I crossed my fingers and tapped Ja. I have since asked my friend Claus Wolf to translate for me, and he said it was asking if I wanted to be able to unlock the Apple Watch with my iPhone. Unbelievable!

Only after I said Ja could I continue the process and then use the Apple Watch app on the iPhone to tell the watch to speak English to me. Claus says I should have bucked up and learned German instead, so he’s a big help. After that the Apple Watch was set up properly because it pulled from the backup. Except of course I had to set up Apple Pay again to my credit card on the phone AND the watch.

You’re going to love what happened next. By 7pm my Apple Watch had a dead battery! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Maybe it was a lot of stress translating everything into German for me, I don’t know what its problem was.

Lest you think the fun was over for me, I still had to backup and restore my iPad too, repeating the same dance I did all afternoon with my iPhone. That took me from around 5pm to 10:15 pm running up and down stairs to go click a button to keep it moving.

At least my MacBook is working great. But wait, isn’t that the device I just had to replace for the second time?

You know, I heard that Microsoft just announced the new Surface Book laptop, Surface Pro 4, Lumia 950 phone and the new Microsoft band…

8 thoughts on “When Apple Products Go Bad…In German

  1. Uncle Bob - October 6, 2015

    You would think Apple would learn to let its new products “bleed out” before being presented to the public, but they let you do it for them before they come up with a new “fix” to the “bug” that shouldn’t have been there to begin with. My guess is the IOS that just came out. I downloaded 9.0.1 for my 5S and haven’t had any probs so far, but time will tell. Your thought?

  2. podfeet - October 6, 2015

    I agree – but it might be iOS 9.0.2 which came out a few days back. Might hold off for a bit to see if that’s the root cause.

  3. Claus - October 7, 2015

    The funny thing is that neither my phone nor my watch nor my company laptop are setup to use German as the OS language 😉 Maybe i should try using my i-devices in German for a change, might be fun 😉 The only thing I insist on being German on all my devices is the keyboard… even if it is hiding useful characters like \ ~ @ behind some really bizarre shortcut combinations 😉

  4. Jim - October 10, 2015

    Sorry to hear about your dilemma. Upgraded to 9.01 on my iPad 2 and then to 9.02. No issues. Read the arstechnica article on IOS9 and iPad2. Have to agree about the same as IOS 8. Previous to IOS 8 there was more speed. And to quote from the article “iOS 9 on the iPad 2 is so different from iOS 9 on the iPad Air 2 that they might as well be two different versions of the operating system.”

    There is enough variation in machines, installed programs, etc that one is never sure what will cause an issue. A while back I had a major issue with the 10.10.4 update and mail on my iMac. Figured it would have been the 10.10.0 upgrade, not a much later update. Had to change to a iMap account and start from scratch. All along Apple was saying there was no issue or the response on the Podfeet Google group+ was that it was my ISP. The ISP mail did continue to work on my iPad and the trial version of Thunderbird. Apple later said they added improvements to mail in the 10.10.5. Mail has been working so far. Who knows, maybe 9.03 (9.1) will address “for some users who experienced….”


  5. Steve Davidson - October 14, 2015

    Allison, looking at the symptoms:

    Not charging
    Rapid depletion of charge
    iPad developing the same symptom
    Apple Watch ditto

    I come to a different conclusion. My conclusion would have been that some bit of software, recently updated (and common to all three), had “gone rogue” and was running amok in the background — sucking up system resources and draining the battery.

    The way to find out would be by going to Settings —> Battery and look at the Battery Usage. A rogue program would bubble right up to the top of the usage list (handy tip: tap on any listed item and it will tell you screen and background time too). Finding the bad actor and deleting it would be a lot less painful then a restore [“Now you tell me,” Allison mutters under her breath].

    The non-backed up apps is due a “feature” introduced in the most recent release of iTunes. You’ll notice that it stopped asking if you want to back up apps. I reported it as a bug, and Apple closed the bug report with the note: “This issue behaves as intended based on the following: Apps are no longer transferred from iOS 9 devices. We are now closing this bug report.” I think it’s pitchfork-and-torches time. I re-opened the ticket.

    The fact that your A-Watch needed to be paired with your phone is a property of Bluetooth. The pairing process results in each device storing an encryption key that defines the pairing relationship. When you wiped the device, the key was deleted, and the two devices needed to “get acquainted” again. That’s the result of the restore; no surprise there (it’s a Bluetooth fact of life). That said (written), I have no idea why it went to German.

    In retrospect, perhaps the lack un-backed up apps was a saving grace. It is likely that the malactor was new, not backed up, and the copy you got over-the-air (not stored) was fixed (whereas a backed-up copy would still have been buggy).

    So, my working hypothesis (and I am looking for data to test it) is that some third-party software that you were using was the cause of these problems.

  6. Steve Davidson - October 14, 2015

    An update on the subject of iTunes backup:


    It’s on purpose! There’s logic in the explanation, but it’s annoying to me.

  7. podfeet - October 14, 2015

    I wonder Steve. I did check at one point to see what had been hogging my battery but it showed the biggest offenders being the obvious ones – navigation programs like Maps and Google Maps. Not too much I could do about that since I needed to get somewhere!

    As far as the watch repairing to the phone, what you said makes sense. But why did it have to also restore?

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