Apple's clever new Presto machine solves a non-problem

  • Apple's Presto machine can update the software of a new iPhone while it's still in the box.
  • This process takes 15-20 minutes to complete.
  • Don't most users set up their phones at home?

Apple has launched a new machine in its stores that can charge iPhones and perform software updates while they're still in the box.

The device is called Presto, and it looks like a cross between a hotel breakfast room toaster and a pigeon message box. The idea is that Apple Store employees can update iPhone inventory at any time, so users don't have to install a bunch of software updates before using a new phone. But besides Apple, does anyone care?

"While the Presto machine does solve the minor frustration of waiting for an update, I don't think it solves a common pain point that consumers really care about. Most iPhone users want to handle updates themselves and won't change their behavior just because of an update." Phone Release 's version is slightly newer," cybersecurity expert Michael Robert told Lifewire via email.

The idea with Presto is that users can use it as soon as they buy an iPhone, saving the 20 minutes or so that would normally require updating the phone when it's first released. According to French iPhone news site iGen (which posted the photo you see here), it takes 20 seconds to properly place a boxed iPhone into the device, and then 15-30 minutes to connect to Apple's servers and download the latest updates. In the process, Presto can also power the iPhone through magnetic induction (also known as "wireless").

But why are these updates needed? When Apple makes an iPhone or any other computer, it "flashes" it with the latest operating system version before sealing it in a box and shipping it. But while it was in that box, subsequent software updates came and went, leaving the iPhone running an outdated version. And the situation is only going to get worse, as Apple has pledged to ship more iPhones overland to reduce the carbon footprint of air shipping.

It's easy to see why people appreciate this added convenience. Who likes to wait?

"This is very smart. In my last role, I often had to deal with users getting 'new' phones - which came out of the box, but that had been the case for a while - and we were going The first thing to do is update iOS which doesn't help me as it's only available in the Apple Store, but it's nice to see that any phone you buy in the store should always be running the latest iOS once it's taken out of the box," Technical support guru Clay Johanson said in a forum post that Lifewire participated in.

But the reality is that it's not the update that takes the most time, but the restore from the iCloud backup. Yes, you can do this in the Apple Store, which is handy if you lose or break your iPhone while traveling so you have to get it up and running immediately. But don’t most of us order an iPhone to be delivered to our door, or take it to our home or office to set it up?

Most iPhone users want to handle updates themselves and won't change their behavior just because their phone is released with a slightly newer version.

I've done updates and restores in the Apple store before, but it took a long time. I prefer to stay home, drink delicious coffee, enjoy fast internet, and do something else while the update and restore from backup process completes, and then the iPhone restarts and downloads all the apps.

"Waiting in-store for updates to be completed can be a frustrating experience for customers, especially those eager to start using a new phone," Juno Telecoms founder George Nicholson via email Tell Lifewire.

Apple's setup process always gets better, faster, and easier. Now you just show the animated code image on the screen of one phone to another phone and wait for the update. You can even connect devices via cable for direct transfer.

So while Apple's toaster Presto machine is indeed smart enough to fully update your iPhone without even taking it out of the box, it's not really a basic service and won't be available until a software update for the longest time Becoming a necessary service, the most annoying part of buying a new iPhone.