Apple recent problems show no sign of abating. The instability of iOS 13 continues despite not one, not two but three rushed updates. Millions of iPhones have been left vulnerable to an ‘unfixable hack’ while the company’s exciting 2020 iPhone redesign has already leaked. And now Apple has issued a new warning which millions of iPhone owners need to know about.
Picked up by Engadget, Apple has published a support document called ‘Get ready for the new Reminders app’ which warns every user who has upgraded their iPhone to iOS 13 that they risk data loss across their devices if they use the app right now.
The problem stems from the fact Apple has, bizarrely, made Reminders in iOS 13 incompatible with “earlier versions of iOS and macOS.” For iPhones and iPads, this means any device still on or limited to iOS 12 (iOS 13 cuts off support for two generations) will be unable to sync with the new Reminders app. Moreover, macOS 10.15 Catalina is required for syncing with the new Reminders app and it isn’t even available yet.
And it gets worse. Not only is syncing broken until every device is running iOS 13 or macOS Catalina, Reminders created on iOS 12 or macOS Mojave will be lost when the app is upgraded. Apple explains:
“iCloud reminders created on a device that’s running earlier software are visible only on other devices running earlier software. When you update that device to the latest software, those new reminders will be lost when you open the Reminders app.”
Furthermore: “If you create new iCloud reminders on a secondary device that’s running iOS 13 or macOS Catalina, but you haven’t yet opened the new Reminders app on that device – for example, if you used Siri to create reminders – those reminders will be lost when you open the app for the first time. To avoid this, open the Reminders app once before you create any new reminders on an updated device.”
Lastly, Apple warns that iCloud reminders in the iCloud for Windows app cannot be seen after you start using Reminders in iOS 13. Not great.
To its credit, Apple is putting an update warning inside the Reminders app but it isn’t particularly clear and reports show many users are losing their data and their patience:
“@AppleSupport URGENT! Upon upgrading to iOS 13.0 and subsequently the Reminders App all my reminders’ lists and reminders contained therein disappeared. They’re not merged with the only list left. How do I get my CRITICALLY IMPORTANT reminders back?” – source
“@AppleSupport I just upgraded my iPhone X to iOS 13. Almost all my reminders (and lists of reminders) disappeared.” – source
“What the #€|| is wrong with Reminders? Ios 13.1.1 and the sync between devices is completely messed up! I cannot edit after creation, the whole app is sometimes blank, no sync etc. Come on!” – source
“@AppleSupport – Reminders are not syncing with iOS 13 on my Mac 😢 and it looks like they won’t sync until Catalina is released…” – source
“@AppleSupport – Please help – I have turned off iCloud reminders on my old devices. My iOS 13.1 phone has lost reminders and doesn’t align with those on my IPadOS 13.1 iPad. What can I do? This is disastrous for me” – source
While companies break backwards compatibility with old software all the time, it is not usually with software that was current just a few weeks ago. Moreover, the fact that users face data loss just because they haven’t upgraded to a bug-filled iOS 13 or what still remains the current version of macOS, is absurd. If Reminders was going to cause this much trouble, Apple should not have launched its updated form until macOS Catalina was available at the very least.
So be warned. If you use Apple Reminders across your devices for important notes in your personal and business life, they are currently at risk. And while I’m glad Apple is posting warnings, this farcical situation should’ve never existed in the first place.
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