Upgrading from the 4 to the 4S
I recently purchased a iPhone 4S from eBay to upgrade from my iPhone 4. Once I received it in the mail and powered up the device, I was shocked that the previous owner did not factory reset the device before shipping it to me. I had access to the previous owner’s emails, photos, messages, and other private data.
I initiated the factory reset myself, and I swapped in my SIM from my iPhone 4. I went through the iCloud restore experience - it was mostly smooth. I signed in with my Apple ID, and I left my device plugged in and walked away for an hour while it restored everything from iCloud.
After an hour I came back - and nice! - all my apps, their data, my settings, were restored. Perfect! However, three issues I encountered:
1) Photo thumbnails weren’t being generated for 80 % of my photos that were restored from Camera Roll and Photo Stream.
2) Somehow, Facebook and FB Messenger were both still logged in on the previous owner’s account. I have no idea how this is possible after a factory reset, but it happened. I accidentally discovered this when I launched Spotify, and when logging in, I used Facebook Connect. It ended up connecting my Spotify account to the previous owner’s FB - so the music I was playing was appearing in his FB feed. Luckily, I discovered this quickly and figured out how to disconnect the incorrect FB account from my Spotify account.
This problem was simply remedied by logging out of the Facebook and Messenger apps. Anyway, if I ever give someone else my iPhone, I will make sure to sign out of all my accounts on the device before doing a factory reset, in hopes of preventing this.
3) Another thing I didn’t notice was that some of the apps had also persisted through the factory reset. I had 7 apps on the phone that I never purchased, though when I launched them, they didn’t have any of the previous owner’s data.
4) iTunes would not sync events from iPhoto to my iPhone. It would get hung up on trying to transfer the 7 apps to its backup - but it obviously couldn’t because because I never purchased those apps.
My solution was to do a restore with my iPhone physically connected to my Macbook via iTunes. After that 1-hour process, all the above problems were resolved.
It bothers me a bit that the overall process was quite sloppy. Perhaps iOS should ask for my Apple ID and password when a new SIM is inserted, and somehow determine whether to allow the data on the phone to persist, or be wiped.
In any case, 95% of the process worked as expected. Like human memory however - when it fails - you really notice it.