9to5Mac reports today that their sources tell them Apple is currently working on a new, faster improvement in their Genius Bar iOS device replacement system. Instead of the traditional method of asking the user to backup his data onto his computer or iCloud before showing up for his appointment, Apple may soon be using a new local server to temporarily store a user’s data and transfer it from the old, broken device to the new one swiftly and securely.
9to5Mac’s sources tell them that Apple is currently testing out these WiFi transfer methods and that they could show up in Apple retail stores by the middle of 2013. Mark Gurman of the “Apple intelligence” blog gives an example of how this new system would work.
This example is based on how Apple is currently testing these WiFi hubs: A user brings in their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to the Genius Bar to be swapped for a fully working unit. The person didn’t back up their device. Now, instead of having to conduct an iCloud wireless backup or go home for a tethered iTunes backup, the Genius Bar will have the ability to mirror an iCloud backup, but onto a local store server. After the device is swapped, the Genius can pull the content right back from the server onto the new device. The content is then automatically wiped from the store server.
Even though iCloud was built for this, there are still lots of users out there who back their devices up to a computer and neglect to use iCloud backup instead. There are various reasons for this, but one of the more likely is that users don’t want to use up any of their precious mobile data on an iPhone or iPad, which is fully understandable.
However, iCloud backups are much safer and occur more often than the average user plugs in his device. For instance, I only sync my iPhone with my computer whenever I have some new music and don’t want to download it again. Other than that, there’s really no reason to plug in the device since it’s not the most convenient thing to wait for when you need to get something done.