How to Move to an iPhone 12 Pro

last update: 29 November 2021

Every so often I have to bite the bullet and move to a new iPhone. Not because I need to, nor because the technology is so compelling that I must have the "quantum leap", not even because the offer from the phone company is so ridiculously cheap,…

The only reason to change is because I want too, or perhaps I have finally been brainwashed into thinking it's time for a change! How can I tell the difference?

Having decided to change, I then just went out and bought a new iPhone that looked more or less the same as my old iPhone, just a bit bigger and shinier. And Apple told me that the change is so painless that all I would need to do is pair my new iPhone with my old one, and use
Quick Start. If the new iPhone wasn't just a bit bigger and heavier, I might not even have noticed the change. That is until I saw my bank statement and the new subscription charges. Still I'm not alone, they say Apple has sold more than 100 million iPhone 12's. That's satisfying, we can't all be that stupid…

So this webpage is about
moving from an iPhone 8 to an iPhone 12 Pro.

So since 2018 I had been the proud owner of an iPhone 8, and had consistently under used it as a communication tool, storage media, camera, music player, calendar reminder, and replacement for my collection of payment and credit cards. In fact my iPhone 8 has a storage capacity of 256GB, of which about 100GB is used by more than 40 applications, some 20,000 photos, around 400 songs, and nearly 150 videos.

My wife's iPhone SE, from 2020, has a storage capacity of 128GB, of which about 30GB is used by more than 10 applications, some 6,000 photos, around 100 songs, and nearly 20 videos.

In addition we also kept a backup iPhone 6, from 2015, with a foreign SIM. This had a storage capacity of 64GB, of which about 20GB was used by more than 50 applications, some 20,000 photos (synced with my iPhone 8), around 20 songs, and nearly 130 videos.

So moving from an iPhone 8 to an iPhone 12 Pro is also about which iPhone is better for my wife? Should she keep the 2020 iPhone SE or should she take my old 2018 iPhone 8? Storage capacity is not really an issue, she is more interested about size/weight, the visibility of the screen, and the quality of the photographs.

Also should I then replace our old backup iPhone 6 with either the iPhone 8 or my wife's iPhone SE?

Let's compare…
Dimensions and weight
iPhone 12 Pro - 147 mm by 72 mm by 7.4 mm, for 189 grams
iPhone 8 - 138 mm by 67 mm by 7.3 mm, for 148 grams
iPhone SE (2020) - 138 mm by 67 mm by 7.3 mm, for 148 grams
iPhone 6 - 138 mm by 67 mm by 6.9 mm, for 129 grams

iPhone 12 Pro - OLED - 6.1-inch diagonal, resolution 2532-by-1170 pixels at 460 ppi, contrast ratio 2,000,000:1, brightness 800 nits
iPhone 8 - LCD - 4.7-inch diagonal, resolution 1334-by-750 pixels at 326 ppi, contrast ratio 1400:1, brightness 625 nits
iPhone SE (2020) - LCD - 4.7-inch diagonal, resolution 1334-by-750 pixels at 326 ppi, contrast ratio 1400:1, brightness 625 nits
iPhone 6 - backlit LED - 4.7-inch diagonal, resolution 1334-by-750 pixels at 326 ppi, contrast ratio 1400:1

iPhone 12 Pro - 12MP, ultra wide 120°
f/2.4, 4x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom
iPhone 8 - 12MP, 2x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom
iPhone SE (2020) - 12MP, 5x digital zoom
iPhone 6 - 8MP

I purchased my first iPhone in September 2009 (it was a 3GS), followed by a iPhone 5 (October 2013), iPhone 6 (August 2015), iPhone 8 (November 2018), and now an iPhone 12 Pro in November 2021. Before that I had phones from Ericsson, Sony, and Motorola. My wife has a iPhone SE from 2020.

What's new on the iPhone 12 Pro?

So I might have exaggerated a bit in thinking that the
iPhone 12 Pro is the same as an iPhone 8, just a bit bigger and shinier.

Apple told us that the iPhone 12 Pro actually had something called a A14 Bionic chip, a all-new glass-ceramic Ceramic Shield, a pro camera system, a LiDAR scanner, "the biggest Super Retina XDR display ever", and "the most 5G bands on any smartphone" (as of October 13, 2020).

This sounded fantastic, and I also remembered in the blurb that Apple mentioned "
high-powered wireless charging", but the first thing that hit me opening the box was that there was no charger, just a 1-metre long USB-C to Lightning cable. Fortunately the salesman for the iPhone threw in a Chinese-made cheap BICBEN AC adaptor.

What to do first?

Absolutely nothing is what I did first.

In addition to putting it on charge, I immediately ordered online a combined pack with
a thin semi-rigid protective case and a tempered glass cover for the screen.

Why buy a
screen protection when Apple told us that that the Ceramic Shield front cover is "tougher than any smartphone glass, goes beyond glass and is infused with nano-ceramic crystals to dramatically improve toughness and increase drop performance by 4x"?

Firstly, Ceramic Shield is made by
Corning Inc., the company behind Gorilla Glass. The key technology are the small ceramic nanocrystals that are embedded in the glass matrix using a high-temperature crystallisation manufacturing process. The interlocking structure of crystals helps to deflect cracks and chips. Corning further strengthens the glass via ion exchange (essentially increasing the ion sizes to create a more rigid structure) to help hold the glass together in the event of damage and reduce the signs of scratches.
In using this approach they had to overcome the problem that ceramics are not usually highly transparent like regular glass. However, thanks to the use of tiny ceramic crystals that are smaller than the
wavelength of light, Ceramic Shield ends up with very high transparency, making it suitable to cover the displays.

In fact, as far as I know, Apple has invested $495 million in Corning's development of Ceramic Shield glass, and which appears to also have been linked with a requirement to produce the glass in a factory in the US. Apple has used Corning glass for every iPhone model since 2007.

However, the reality is that if you drop the iPhone 12 Pro on a pavement it will sustain real damage, even if it is more resistant than previous models. Tests have shown that it will be damaged, but will probably remain usable, thus repairable. And replacing a iPhone 12 Pro screen will cost between €300 and €400 depending upon the damage.

Whilst screen protection is the most important, a
cover (or skin) can also protect a phone from both scratches and impacts. And it's also worth remembering that the front screen is Ceramic Shield glass, but the back is just stainless steel and "precision-milled matte glass", so far more easily damaged.

I also bought an
Apple MagSafe Charger, which works with the iPhone 8 or later, and that includes the 2nd generation iPhone SE.

Warning: Don't place credit cards, security badges, passports or key fobs between a iPhone and a MagSafe Charger because this may damage magnetic strips or RFID chips in those items. Also avoid putting single use cards, like hotel room access cards, against the magnet in the ‌iPhone‌ or the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger.

Warning: Like all iPhones, the ‌iPhone 12‌ and 13 models with their ‌MagSafe‌ technology can cause interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators. Apple recommends keeping ‌iPhone 12‌ models and all ‌MagSafe‌ accessories a safe distance away from implanted medical devices, i.e. at least 15 cm apart, and 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging.

MagSafe actually refers to the magnetic power connector which first appeared in the 2006 MacBook Pro, then disappeared from the MacBook Pro between 2016 and 2021, before reappearing on the new 14" and 16" MacBook Pro's in late 2021. In 2016 Apple moved to the 24-pin
USB-C connector, which could transfer both power and data, and it even allowed a laptop to power accessories such as a smartphone or headphones. The new USB connections were smaller, and MacBook Pro had just four USB-C connectors (dropping USB-A, HDMI, Ethernet and SD card reader). One of the reasons to bring back MagSafe charging on the new 2021 MacBook Pro's is that it comes in two parts, a USB-C to MagSafe cable, and a separate power brick which can be upgraded (for a price) to Fast Charge (i.e. 89W instead of 67W, and 140W for the 16"). So the new MacBook Pro's now have a HDMI, a MagSafe 3, three Thunderbolt 4 connections, and a SDXC.

So MagSafe is not
inductive charging, but describes the way the inductive charger disc magnetically locks on to the back of the iPhone.

The MagSafe charger consists of two parts, the wireless charging coil and underneath it a ring of 18 rectangular magnets arranged in a circular shape. It’s hard to make a super thin wall neodymium magnet ring because magnet materials are often very brittle, so segment magnets are a good solution for this kind of application. All ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 13‌ models also include the same two parts, so the charger and iPhone snap together, perfectly aligning the charging coils.

Older iPhones, including my old iPhone 8 and my wife's 2nd generation iPhone SE, have the same wireless charging coil, but no magnets underneath to allow for a magnetic connection. So the charger will be drawing to any metal part of the iPhone casing, but the charging coils will not automatically align.

My understanding is that USB-C to Lightning connection will charge an iPhone faster than a MagSafe charger, and in fact if both are connected, the iPhone will opt for USB-C charging. In addition, a MagSafe charger can be used will some older iPhones (e.g. iPhone 8 and iPhone SE 2nd-gen.), but it will be slower that with the usual charger.

An interesting technical question concerns the type of magnets used. Considering the heat generated during charging, the magnet needs to be able to withstand high temperatures. At the same time, due to the size of the MagSafe case, it is necessary to use a magnet as small and thin as possible, but the magnetic pull force must be large enough for the job. So the magnets must be high temperature resistance, small size, and generate a large magnetic force. The only known permanent magnet material that can meet this requirement is the
neodymium iron boron magnet (Nd2Fe14B), often called a rare earth magnet.
Apple uses a N45SH grade neodymium magnet with a coating NiCuNi (7 µm – 13 µm) on the MagSafe case, and N48H on MagSafe accessory. N45SH just means neodymium (N), the number (24 to 52) means the maximum energy in mega
Gauss Oersteds (MGOe), and SH means a maximum of 150°C (H means a maximum of 120°C). The MGOe number is the maximum energy product of a magnet material. In addition, the letters H and SH actually indicate the Intrinsic Coercivity (Hci) of the material. The higher the Hci, the higher the temperature the magnet material can be exposed to before it starts to show a permanent loss in output. It is this fact that is used to link the last letter(s) to a temperature rating. Both N45SH and N48H are industrial magnets commonly used in various motors and generators, but they are a relatively high-end magnet material, and are expensive. I've seen unit prices for Nd2Fe14B coated sheets, 5mm by 5mm by 2mm thick, of nearly €200.

Apple produces its own MagSafe accessories, but they also released an accessory design guide that detailed the types and magnetisation directions of neodymium magnets that accessory manufacturers can use. Therefore, third-party manufacturers can also design MagSafe accessories according to this accessory design guide.

Some people have criticised Apple for wasting resources by using high-end neodymium iron boron in charging devices. But Apple stated on its official website that the iPhone 12 uses 100% recycled rare earth elements in all its magnets, including those in their MagSafe accessories. However, the appearance of third-party wireless charger manufacturers had lead to a noticeable increase in demand for rare earth magnets.

Setting up the iPhone 12 Pro

When I took my new iPhone our of its box it immediately lit-up, and waited for set-up. If it does not start automatically, just press-and-hold the power button until the Apple logo appears. On the iPhone 12 Pro the power button is on the right-hand side of the iPhone.

To power off you need to hold both one of the volume buttons (left-hand side) and the power button on the right-hand side until the power off slider appears on the screen.

The first step in set-up is the selection of a
language and a country or region. It actually suggested the right country.

You can change the device language in Settings>General>Language & Region>iPhone Language. My understanding is that the language selected also determines which localisation is used by the apps.
On the Language & Region screen there is also the option to
change the region, calendar, and temperature unit. The region setting determines the format of data, i.e. dates, times, numbers formats, and any specific cultural conventions. Choosing a different calendar may change the era and affect other calendar calculations. Changing a region can change the way dates, times, and numbers are presented, but it is possible to change language, region and calendar setting independently.

Immediately you are faced with the possibility to set-up using "
Quick Start", or "Set Up Manually".

The webpage from Apple explains what to do before transferring data, and offers three different transfer methods, i.e. using Quick Start, or from iCloud, or using Finder or iTunes (Finder is used with macOS Catalina or later, and iTunes with macOS Mojave or earlier).

A few years back the reality was that there were really only two ways to actually transfer apps and data, either from iCloud or using Finder or iTunes, since Quick Start was just an alternative way to start a "restore" from an iCloud backup. And that was why it was important to have made a full and up-to-date backup of the old iPhone, before moving to a new iPhone. What Quick Start did was to skip a few screens in the set-up assistant, i.e. choosing a wi-fi network and entering the password, entering Apple ID for access to iCloud, iTunes and the App Store.

However, since
iOS 12.4 (July 2019), it's possible to directly transfer data from an old iPhone to a new one, either wirelessly or through a wired connection. That means a backup of the old iPhone is no longer needed, but it might be best to make a backup just as a precaution.

Apps, data, and settings can be "restored" from the most recent iCloud backup, from a backup on a Mac, or using device-to-device migration (
Quick Start) to transfer everything directly from the old ‌iPhone‌ to the new one.

There are two types of backup available to iOS users. iCloud backups are encrypted automatically and stored in the cloud, and they can be created and accessed anywhere with a wi-fi connection. By contrast, computer-based backups are created and stored on a Mac, so encryption is optional and the new iPhone has to be connected to the Mac.

Here is how to backup an iPhone to the iCloud, the connection is made using wi-fi.
Here is how to backup an iPhone to a Mac, the two devices need to be physically connected.

Most reports and reviews suggest the best way is the
wireless device-to-device migration. It transfers photos, app data, login credentials, device preferences and settings, and more. As with an ‌‌iCloud‌‌ backup, apps themselves are downloaded directly from the App Store rather than from the old ‌‌iPhone‌‌. It may take a little longer than restoring from a backup, but the time saved from not having to log into all your apps again makes it worth the wait, which is why this process is preferred over other transfer methods.

In the past my preferred method was to manually transfer my data, etc. to my new iPhone, simply so that I could edit out lots of unused and no longer needed apps, data, etc. However this time it looked like it would be easier to use Quick Start, and then just edit out anything I no longer need from my new iPhone 12 Pro.

So the start-up routine looked simple, and it was evident that set-up would require the password for the wi-fi internet connection, and it also mentioned that an Apple ID and password would be needed (and also credit card information if Apple Pay was to be set-up as well). And the old iPhone, or a backup of the device, would be needed to transfer data, etc. to the new iPhone.

I transferred my
SIM card to my new iPhone, and started on the Quick Start routine.

The only change to the
Quick Start routine was that my new iPhone first asked to update to iOS 15, whilst my old iPhone waited. This of course added to the 1 hour predicted for a full device-to-device migration.

However there were also
a few un-mentioned issues.

Firstly, it was not clear when I had to
move the SIM card from the old to the new iPhone. Some third-party descriptions say that it should be moved at the beginning when both iPhones are switched off. Others simply write to take the new iPhone our of its box, insert the SIM card, then switch on the iPhone. There are numerous descriptions on "how to" remove and insert a SIM card, but few mention "when to" do this. I found only one reference stating "first, swap your SIM card into your new device, then bring the new iPhone close to your old one".
Some mobile carriers suggest that iPhones should be switched off before removing or inserting SIM cards, however, all third-party review sites simply state that SIM cards can be removed and inserted with the iPhone still on. Apple, in it's description
on removing or switching SIM cards, does not mention switching the iPhone off.

Secondly, it was not immediately evident what
a "full device-to-device migration" meant in Quick Start. The instructions clearly state "make sure Bluetooth is turned on". For a set-up using an iCloud backup, wi-fi access is needed. For a set-up using Finder or iTunes, the instructions are to "connect the new device to the computer", but nothing on how to do that. In addition, in "selecting the new device" it maybe required to "trust the new device". Trusted computers can sync with a new device, create backups and access the device's photos, videos, contacts and other content. Access to content on a device is blocked if it has not been trusted.
Most of the third-party descriptions state that wi-fi is needed, but can be replaced by a cable connection, i.e. Quick Start defaults to wi-fi. In an
"Apple recommended" Q&A it is stated that "no external wi-fi is required as it works with a peer-to-peer connection (local wi-fi or Bluetooth). Internet is required to complete the applications download".
At least one third-party review site stated "
make sure Bluetooth on the old device is on". My understanding is that Bluetooth will default to "On" unless specifically instructed in Setting, so my guess is that Bluetooth on a new iPhone is defaulted to "On".
Some third-party reviews simply state that all data is transferred, when in fact Face ID/Touch ID, Siri, and Apple Pay need to be separately (re-)configured.

It's interesting to see mention of "external wi-fi" and "internal wi-fi", but what do they mean, and what is the difference? I guess it's all about the difference between external and local IP addresses (IP stands for Internet Protocol). An external IP address is also called a public IP address, and is assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP), and an internal IP address is also called a private IP address. A router has an external IP address (typically of the format and an internal IP address (typically something like, and it will assign other internal (private) IP addresses to all connected devices in a home network (typically 192.168.1.n with n 1, 2, …). The router implements something called a network address translation (NAT) so that it can direct data arriving at its external IP address to the right device in the home (internal) network. As an example, this means that different computers in the same home are connected to the same external IP address, and the router will send the right data back to the right computer. Just for completeness the Internet Protocol is one part of something called an Internet protocol suite, commonly called TCP/IP. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is the other part of the protocol suite and provides reliable, ordered, and error-checked delivery of a stream of octets (bytes) between applications running on hosts communicating via an IP network. In practice this means that a query for a webpage is properly understood by a host, and the webpage itself is properly understood by someone's home computer.

I've not seen an explicit description, but my understanding is that Quick Start might default to the wi-fi network, simply because it's range and data transmission speed, etc. are superior to Bluetooth. In addition it is my understanding that apps are not moved between old and new iPhones, only the configuration data, etc. is moved. The target or new iPhone must connect to the Internet (external wi-fi) to download the latest version of each app. In fact all the third-part apps needed to downloaded, as did iTunes U and Airport Utility.

My next problem was more complicated, and I can't be 100% sure on its origin or the solution I found. At one point in set-up my new iPhone asked me to provide the password to my
Apple ID account (it showed my specific email address). I input my valid password and it was rejected. I tried several times, and each time it was rejected. I checked the password in Keychain on my MacBook Pro, and I checked to see that I could access my Apple ID account using that password. I even changed the password to my Apple ID account, but to no avail. I also removed the SIM card from my new iPhone, but access was still refused.

Finally I connected my new iPhone 12 Pro by cable to my MacBook Pro, and included it as a trusted device. Problem solved, I could now input the (new) password and my new iPhone continued to complete the set-up.

Was this problem linked to two-factor authentication? Should new iPhones be "trusted" before using Quick Start? Does a transfer using iCloud have the same problems?

Another related problem was that after not being able to input a "correct" Apple ID account password, I could not do anything -
I was stuck. To unfreeze a stuck, you need a forced restart.

Concerning my Apple ID account the next problem concerned
naming my new iPhone 12 Pro. After Quick Start it was named iPhone 8, which was confusing since I now had two trusted iPhone 8's.

On my new iPhone 12 Pro under Settings>General>About>Name I was able to change the name to iPhone 12 Pro.
Under Setting>Apple ID the new name appeared, with the tag line "This iPhone 12 Pro".
Under Devices in iCloud Settings on my MacBook Pro my new iPhone appeared as iPhone Pro 12, and the same name appear in Find iPhone (along with my other Apple devices).

However, accessing my Apple ID account I could still see my iPhone 12 Pro named as (another) iPhone 8.

I restarted my MacBook Pro, and then found that the name under devices in my Apple ID account had (finally) been updated to iPhone 12 Pro.

Did Quick Start work?

After thinking I had completed the Quick Stat routine, I restarted my new iPhone 12 Pro.

I was met by request to again enter the password to my Apple ID account, followed by a request to input the passcode to my new iPhone 12 Pro, followed by a request to input the passcode to my old iPhone 8.

A quick check showed that stuff such as emails, photos, music, etc. came over to my new iPhone without any problem. But all the third-part apps needed to downloaded, as did iTunes U and Airport Utility.

Checking through Settings

Settings>Wi-Fi "Ask to Join" was set under "Auto-Join Hotspot". A public hotspot is typically a wireless access point configured to provide Internet access. There are numerous comments and reviews that strongly suggest that hotspots are one risk too many. Everyone advised to never "Automatically" join hotspots, and many advise "Never" to join hotspots.

How iOS decides which wireless network to auto-join

What is
Mobile Data (under Settings>Mobile Data)? Mobile Data is the transmission of data via a cellular carrier, and is the default when not attached to a secure local wi-fi network (e.g. at home). If cellular data is turned off, users cannot receive email, Web pages, videos, app downloads or software updates. Mobile data is usually measured and billed separately from phone calls. Text messaging (SMS) is also a separate service, although it is typically included with the phone plan.

Use cellular data on your iPhone or iPad
About mobile data roaming options for your iPhone and iPad (this is all about data roaming when travelling internationally)

One option is Settings>Mobile Data>
Personal Hotspot, which is often called tethering. What this means is that an iPhone connected to the Internet can act as a portable wireless access point and router for other devices with permitted access.

Share your internet connection from iPhone

Although the default is "On", I set it to "Off".

Settings>Mobile Data>
Wi-Fi Calling is simply about making phone calls through an internet connection instead of using a cellular network. There are plenty of wi-fi calling apps that are popular such as Skype, Messenger and WhatsApp.


However, using a carrier-branded for wifi calling is different. It is present on your phone, and you do not have to download an app for it.

Moreover, these inexpensive alternative networks such as Republic Wireless and Google Fi allows customers to have a good wi-fi calling experience.

Every person is not familiar with the benefits of wi-fi calling. Several people, due to lack of knowledge, end up asking questions such as “is wi-fi calling a good and a safe option?” or “why should we switch to wi-fi calling?”