As an iPhone owner, like everyone else, I upgraded to the new operating system a few weeks ago.
It took an absolute age to load the upgrade and then to reload everything back onto my phone, but Apple otherwise made the process as painless as possible. In the main, they do that kind of thing pretty well, I think. There was a slightly hairy moment when my phone rebooted with the new software on, and the upgrade process was halted when an error message popped up telling me that I needed disconnect and enter my SIM PIN. I duly held my breath, disconnected, entered the PIN and plugged back in… and the process continued seamlessly. It was good.
When the process was complete, I picked my phone back up again to find myself confronted by some prompts wanting to walk me through the process of setting up the new iCloud service that is built into the iOS5 Operating System. Ah, what the hell. Let’s set this thing up so that it backs my stuff up into the cloud. What harm can it do?
Once that little lot was complete, I upgraded my iPad and then offered to help C upgrade her iPhone. She only syncs her phone once in a blue moon, but had expressed an interest in loading on some more music, so I thought it was a good opportunity to make sure her phone was up to date. The upgrade went fine, but without really thinking it through, I also set C. up with some backing up on iCloud.
As we share an iTunes account, I suppose I should really have known better.
Sure enough, I was surprised a couple of days later to start receiving phone calls with either/or contact details. This call was either “dad moby” or it was “Dr John Swisslet”. It turned out to be my dad. Hmm strange. When C. rang, it appeared as both “C moby” and “Mrs C Swisslet”. It was C., of course, but this one freaked me out a bit because the contact had a photo of my wife attached that I hadn’t assigned to the contact. In fact, I didn’t even think it was a picture I had on my phone at all.
Weird. Maybe this was some new iCloud magic and it now just knows stuff like that?
That Friday, I went down to Oxford to spend the weekend drinking with my friends. Whilst I was in the pub on Saturday afternoon, C rang me (well, “C moby” or “Mrs C Swisslet” rang me, to be exact)…. She was confused to find that the contacts in the address book on her phone had doubled and now contained piles of duplicates and loads of my phone numbers. (I believe her actual words were, “Who is Lucy?”) . I had a look at my phone, and sure enough, I seemed to have an awful lot of new contacts, including the personal mobile numbers of several very senior managers in the company; directors in the international business, no less.
Our contacts were obviously being loaded up to the same account on iCloud and then downloaded onto both our phones seamlessly. It’s all very clever, but did I really want the private phone number of our billionaire owner’s Italian partner, a multi-millionaire in her own right and the kingpin of a huge swathe of our international business, on my phone? Is that a drunk dial that I really wanted to risk?
I know my career isn’t going anywhere fast already, but having all those executive phone numbers on my phone was simply too much of a risk for everyone concerned, especially as they would all know my surname and connect it back to my wife's thriving-thanks-very-much career... so as soon as I got home, I set about working out how to undo this amazing iCloud backing up process. The answer was simple: you can share an iTunes account but have separate iCloud accounts. Once that was set up, it was simply a matter of deleting each other’s contacts from our phones.
Easy. No one drunk dialled anyone.
To answer one outstanding question from this whole incident, Lucy is my swimming coach… and she's also named in C’s address book, but listed by her full name with her email details and job description neatly attached too.
One last question, however, remains:
Why does my wife have a contact for herself, featuring her full name, address and email details, together with a natty photo, on her own mobile phone?
Who does that?
I thought maybe it was just me who doesn’t, so for a while I kept her contact for me on my own phone, including a photo of me in my good suit from our wedding. It lasted about 2 minutes before I felt appalled at the thought that I was apparently now the kind of person who kept my own contact details – complete with photo – in my own phone. I deleted it and immediately felt better.
Oh, and for the record, she’s back to being “C moby” in my phone and isn’t listed by her full name. I hope that’s okay. It felt weird receiving phonecalls from “Mrs C. Swisslet”. I know who she is, dammit!
So tell me, is it just me? Do you all have contacts for yourselves in your phones? What photo did you use?