Apple Watch and iCloud

So much has been written over the past few years that Apple’s Web Services were their weakest link most notably iCloud. I am fully invested in iCloud and the improvements particularly over the past year are worth highlighting. As an example I received my 38mm Apple Sports Watch last Friday and as I wrote after 10 hours with it I made the wrong choice for my size wrist by going with the smaller size model. An hour ago I received the 42mm version and followed Apple’s instructions on how to restore from a backup and as I am writing this everything is in sync. All my apps, glances, notifications, watch faces and most importantly for me all my activity data. The investments Apple is making in renewable data centres around the world is definitely paying off. If you ever need to get a new Apple Watch or a replacement here’s how to restore it.

1. Unpair your previous Apple Watch (this also provides an instant backup (stored locally on your iPhone)*

2. When you set up the new device it gives you the option to pick from one of the latest backups.

3. Select the backup you want to restore from and you’re good to go. This process took less than 30 minutes for me.

Here is the more detailed documentation from Apple.

* I wrongly assumed that the backup was stored in iCloud but John Gruber kindly corrected me that they are in fact stored on your iPhone.


I have had some feedback as to how I was able to get hold of 2 Apple Watches so quickly and what the exchange/returns process is. Here is a brief summary: I originally ordered the 38mm Space Grey Sports Watch at 08.02 on April 10th UK time via the Apple App which arrived on the 24th much to my surprise with it seemingly being a popular model as well as the well documented supply constraints. I knew when I put it on my wrist that while it looked great and fitted me well that the touch screen was just a bit too fiddly for my liking and immediately placed an order for the 42mm White Sports version with a June dispatch date. I deliberately chose this option due to my feeling that the Space Grey could take longer to get to me and the Blue model could also be in short supply with it being offered to some developers. I then spoke to someone I have dealt with for a couple of years at Apple’s Customer Relations Department in Cork to discuss my options and a possible return process. (I have received a lot of assistance from him over the years for certain orders but am not a business customer or even a particularly high spending Apple customer). He advised me that it may be possible to process an exchange when I received the 42mm but couldn’t promise. I was willing to take a risk and if need be sell my original watch on eBay etc. Over the past week I had actually got used to the smaller 38mm model and was surprised last night to get an email from Apple that my order for the 42mm Watch had shipped and was being delivered to me today. I do feel guilty for all those people that are still waiting for their orders to be shipped and are constantly checking the Apple Order Page to see if their order has moved from Processing to Preparing for Shipment etc. I guess I was just lucky and as kind as the Apple Representative has been to me I don’t feel like I got any special treatment or that he was in a position to move my order along and push it ahead of other orders. That wouldn’t be fair to the thousands of other people who are patiently waiting and it is not how Apple operates. In summary I will be speaking to him tomorrow to arrange a return for my 38mm Watch and hope that it is in good enough condition for me to get my money back for it. I will update this post again in the next few days to let you know how the return process went.

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