Recently I purchased a new Mac laptop. I moved my iTunes data from the old laptop to the new one. The first time I tried to sync my iPhone 6 it said I had to have encrypted backups. I have no idea why. I didn’t have that setting checked. However, that isn’t the main problem. When I first synced it asked me to authenticate with iTunes. When I declined it popped up a few more times and I declined repeatedly. Finally it started to sync. I was watching my phone and I noticed that my app icons started to disappear. At first I thought maybe this was normal, but after a few moments I realized this was a disaster. I pulled the cable out of my phone, but by this time the damage was done. I was left with 23 apps out of a previous 99.
I thought about the options, and decided rather then to sync with my old computer. This would not have brought back the data anyway. I decide to sync again with the new laptop. This time I authenticated. I noticed right away that it put all of my apps back onto my phone, even creating the correct folder structure. Problem was, all the the data in the apps that were deleted was GONE. I spend over 3 hours re-configuring my apps. I lost a lot of data. Including two games I had been playing for over 6 months. Along with all of my progress. I had backed up my phone not too long before with dropbox and other online services. So, extremely critical data was recovered, but not all.
I’m really pissed this happened. My wife kept asking why this would happen. I speculated that because I didn’t authenticate iTunes Apple thought me a pirate and therefore assumed I didn’t have ownership to my own apps. This is my best guess. My wife said she feels she is no longer in control of what happens with her iPhone when syncing.
iTunes didn’t even provide a warning before wiping out my apps. I don’t remember seeing a message that said, if you don’t authenticate, all of the apps from your phone will be deleted. That would have given me a chance and I would have clicked an enthusiastic NO.
I really like my Apple products, but I don’t know how this could happen.
As an aside, I’ve noticed when setting up iPhones and Apple computers more and more is dictating how your data is stored without giving the user a choice. It’s forces iCloud on the user, and it’s not easy to find the settings to turn all of it off. I know Apple wants to integrate services, but it’s doing it with a heavy hand. Unless the user is savvy they will not even know what’s going on. I’m an expert and I still wonder sometimes. I turned off a lot of iCloud services after they were defaulted to on, on my new Macbook.
As far as insisting to encrypt my backups, I’m lost. I have no idea why now it’s doing this. iTunes provides no reason, and no other option to move forward. I like encryption, but on my terms, not Apples.
I would like to see Apple explain what it’s doing and why, and give users the chance to decide for themselves.