Once of the things offered by Windows 8 according to Microsoft is the ability to run your applications both in a traditional PC and a tablet. Given that - at least at the beginning with Windows 8 (i.e. before 8.1) this meant that in one of the platforms it wasn't a particularly pleasant experience, I wasn't too impressed.
However that initial impression changed when I was looking at the choice of either replacing my iPad2 to an iPad Air or keeping the iPad2 and adding a MacBook Air (temporarily at a special price for the 128GB model close to the normal price of the 128 iPad Air). One of the main reasons for upgrading to the iPad Air was that my apps and data would be preserved and thus would be immediately usable on the new iPad whereas the MacBook Air would start off free of applications apart from the now included set of basic Apple (formerly iWorks) applications.
In other words for the first time I understood the attraction of the new Microsoft one size (or rather OS) fits all even though I still wasn't too keen on the implementation of it. [Note however that whereas it's known that if you buy an app for say an iPhone, it's available to you on another iOS device, I've never seen that for Windows 8 where instead it seems you need still to have a licence for several machines to put something both on a Windows 8 tablet and on a Windows 8 PC.]
In theory with Apple iOS devices it's easy. You have a single Apple Name (e-mail address) and password which you use for all your devices. Apple therefore knows what you have and therefore makes everything available on your new iOS device that you had on your old iOS device.
In theory, yes, but I did eventually buy the (128GB) iPad Air and I discovered that things are not quite as simple as Apple says they are.
I've been around for long enough to carry out due diligence even before buying the iPad Air and that told me that in order to get your existing "stuff" (apps + data) onto the new device you needed to first make a backup of the older device i.e. in my case of the iPad2. There were, I found out, two options. You could either back up to the Cloud (which in fact I'd already been doing as my backup of a full 16GB device was less than my free 5GB Apple Cloud allowance), or backup to iTunes running on a PC or Mac.
Not surprisingly given that previous 16GB into 5GB fact, the iTUnes backup contained more than the Cloud backup and so was recommended as the way to go if you wanted the following restore to re-install your apps and their data. So that is what I did.
The iPadAir arrived and as promised in those guidelines I'd read it offered me the option of either having a new iPad or of restoring from backup. So I opted to restore from (the iTunes on the computer) backup - the iPad Air was of course connected to the computer and so iTunes was aware of it.
It was a bit of an odd situation with at times both iTunes and the iPad demanding a reaction from me (and with a restore time for one app that included a mass of data taking a fraction of the time taken for the backup - and, no, I have no explanation for that) but finally the restore was done and the iPad Air populated with the stuff from my iPad2.
There was a point update of iOS7 available so I installed that too and then did a backup to iTunes of the iPadAir.
Things seemed to be working fine so about now I followed the steps for removing me as a user of the iPad2 thus freeing it up for my wife's use. It seemed a good idea at the time but why it wasn't follows.
Now even the fact that you need to use iTunes (which even most Apple fanboys don't think is that great a product) to transfer your stuff should have caused a red flashing light in my brain but I believed, it appears, the Apple propaganda that this was a simple, smooth operation at the end of which I would still have all my stuff but in a greatly improved environment. The same thing had after all worked when I upgraded a PC (admittedly the same PC) from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and Microsoft don't make such a noise about easy updates as Apple tend to do.
What went wrong was odd because my main problem came not with the third-party apps I had installed - most of which worked out of the box and the one that didn't (it opened and shut down immediately) simply needed to be deleted and then re-installed from the list of apps that had at some time been installed on the iPad2 (and now therefore available via that backup/restore on the iPadAir) - but with Apple products.
The first (and worst) problem was that iBooks had preserved only the books that had been bought (or "bought" for nothing) from the iBooks store. It had very carefully preserved my structure of different sections (added by me) to which I had regularly added various useful PDF files but all of those sections were empty. Google searches on how to get them back only gave me information about the number of years this problem had existed for.
[One theory I came up with following my reading of several years worth of "iBooks has lost my books" was that there was a possibility that the Cloud backup I had so carefully avoided did in fact contain even my "books" whereas the iTunes backup I had used didn't. It's too late now for me, but if you ever need to do the same thing it's worth considering - you can probably even in that case just re-install (listed) applications after the restore.]
Most of my PDF files haven't been looked at since putting them on the iPad (or have been looked at and were then deleted to clear the space) so I can just be sad about them being gone but not annoyed, but I had a large selection of PDF files of user manuals for just about everything electrical etc. I own (TV, HiFi, DVD/Blu-Ray players, digi recorder, router, cameras, computers etc.) and they all now will need to be recreated as of course I don't have a copy of them anywhere else in most cases as it was so convenient to *in the iPad2* go to the web site; access the user manual; open it and then right-click and select Save in iBooks.
So irritating, annoying but not disastrous but still not the simple process of Apple adverts.
The there were the iWork applications. Apple now have made these free for new machines both Macs and iOS devices, yet they were not installed on the iPad Air when it arrived and even after the restore from backup all I had was Pages which I had earlier bought for the iPad.
Odd that, but odder was to come.
At first I was offered a free upgrade of my own Pages - normal enough, that - and then a free install of several other iWork apps, one of which I selected and installed and once that was done I tried to find the other iWork apps so I could install them. But whereas I could find them in the Apple Store they still had a cost (in one case I remember of €8.95 which isn't peanuts).
So I shut down the iPadAir; started it again and eventually came to the same apple.com web page that had links to the free downloads of all the iWorks programs and this time I used that web page to download the lot.
Again not exactly the clean experience of Apple ad men.
[As was (not) the fact that only about now was I being told that I had updates available (to iOS7 versions) for several apps. This hours of use after I had done the initial creation of the new iPad.]
So there you have it - while other computer manufacturers are catching up and making their upgrade experience much more pleasant and straightforward than before, Apple still has problems most of which seem to be caused by them not being willing to give up some of the uses they have for a by now over-large and over-complicated iTunes application.