No idea if this is the case for most people, but getting a new phone used to be pretty simple. I’m not even talking about 10 years ago when you got some funky cable that allowed you to transfer contacts from one flip phone to the other. I’m talking about 2 years ago. The process that I’m going through at this point is just crazy.
My new phone, a Google Pixel 2 XL, was delivered to my office around 3 in the afternoon today. After taking the cable and adapter that it shipped with, I was able to hook it up to my old phone and transfer my email accounts, photos, music, etc. within about 25 minutes. Very slick process and completely painless.
After that, the pains began. It only copied over a few of my most recent text messages (and I’m a text message pack-rat) so I had to back those up manually on my old phone, save the file out to Google Drive (because the cable that you get with the phone is USB-C to USB-C so you can’t hook the phone up to a PC) and then import that file back onto the phone. Not terrible, but a bit time consuming.
Next up was Google Authenticator. Being a (good) IT guy, I have multi-factor authentication set up for almost every single account that I have. At this point, it’s upwards of 20+ accounts that are stored in the app, all cycling the second factor password every 60 seconds. The issue that you run into with a new phone is that there is no way to export the authenticator for each account.
So, for your Gmail account, you need to go into your settings and tell it to generate a code for a new phone, scan it, and then enter the code to complete the process. Again, not too bad even with 4 gmail accounts on the phone. Next up, Origin. Origin’s process requires you to shut off your MFA, then turn it back on again. The problem with that was the fact that the code that you were supposed to scan with your phone didn’t render, so you had to type in a 20 character password to get it to add the account. Unfortunately (through bad planning over the last 10 years,) I have 3 Origin accounts (and they can’t be merged) so I had to repeat that process three times.
After Origin, was Uplay. Just about as bad as Origin. Log into your account, remove the MFA, then re-add it. Again, through poor planning throughout the years, I have 2 of those accounts.
It just kept going like this. Facebook made you remove the MFA and then re-add it. Nintendo made you remove it and then re-add it.
Snapchat was just about the only one that made it very easy as you do everything through the app and the process is pretty damn simple.
By the time that I was done with getting all of the authentication codes working for all of my accounts, almost 3 hours had gone by… and I hadn’t used a single account yet. And all of this was before I re-configured the Blizzard authenticator (because they won’t use Google,) and the Star Wars: The Old Republic app.
At this point I feel like I will keep this phone until I retire. Ugh, what a process.
Oh, and for the 5 minutes I have had a chance to use the phone… it seems nice.