E-mediate



What's wrong with Air 2?

That's what you all want to know, right?

It's blazing fast, beautiful, with great resolution and a full-HD camera plus 8Mb photos, reasonably priced and thin.

Thin is the most impressive feature to wow your friends, but what actual use is that?

However, you can't say thinity is wrong.

Thumbprint

Fingerprint detection is scary (what if Apple doesn't recognize me?), until you use it. Then you won't want to be without it. Forget entering your password every time you go to the Apple Store.

My tip: use your right thumb instead. Then, if like me you hold your iPad landscape mode with the Home button at the right, it's a no-brainer to put your thumb in the right position over the Home button and be recognized.

So handing over control to a device that has to do something very complicated every time and perfectly for the gizmo to operate at all is not a defect, since it works.

Control panel

Getting the Control Panel to come up from the bottom is just as difficult as with earlier models. But that's not specific to the Air 2.

Nor is the problem I have with the onscreen keyboard's bottom line, printing m when I want to type space (my big thumbs!).

iOS 8.4

No, my big complaint is with IOS 8.4, which introduced fingerprint iD. My first Air 2 had to go back to Apple. It just blacked out one day in August after three months and wouldn't respond.

A couple of days ago I got a new one in the post. Yes, the usual one-month wait. Already I could hardly live without it.

But it came with iOS 8.3 installed. That would not allow me to restore my previous settings, apps and info from iCloud.

Luckily my iPad3, which seems to have given up charging, had been backed up before turning into a continually flashing Apple logo.

I had to restore from that backup, as if this was the old device. My previous Air 2 backup was useless. When I reinstalled 8.4 I xould not find my Air 2 original backups any more. Grrr.

Worse, I then had to erase my old Air 2 through Find My iPhone (it was offline any way, wherever it might be in Appleland).

Nevertheless, I still had to manually restore three months of iPadding without help. Do backups ever give you what you want in computerworld?

I reckon that earns Apple a 3 out of 10 for service, i.e. a dismal failing grade, with credit for actually replacing my machine as per the warranty (whch I got from the supplier who offers a four-year guarantee -- come on, Apple!)

iPad 3 irritants

As for iPad 3, 64Gb proved early on to be much too small, and I was just waiting until Apple produced something worth the upgrade. At which time, two years later, the unextendable Apple Care warranty had just run out, and it cost me CHF115 to try to get it fixed.

The connector plug was changed. It worked for a day but still wouldn't charge properly.

Faced with the prospect of CHF130 chez Apple and the cost of replacing whatever was really wrong with it, I took it home from the shop to wait for the next opportunity - if ever - for a trade-in.