Leo's iOS6 Upgrade: A Bumpy Ride

If you haven't upgraded to iOS6, and you or your child are YouTube fans, then let me warn you: the native YouTube app is all gone in iOS6 for iDevices.

This is a huge deal for Leo. HUGE. He is pissed. His page of Favorite Videos? Also all gone. Irretrievable, because his pre-iOS6 iPad native YouTube app had let him favorite his apps without signing into an account. That data, that selection of videos, was only recorded in the app itself. So, *poof*

Yes, we can still access videos in Safari, or by using the (much crappier, iPhone-not-iPad-native official YouTube app). That's not the issue. Leo (and I) are mad because -- once again -- Leo's custom content has been erased from his iPad with no warning, due to an upgrade.

I suppose I should have been more patient, should have read the fine print, should have waited a few days to upgrade, to see just what kind of hiccups the autism and special needs community would start warning each other about. But I didn't, and while I read plenty of information about iOS6, somehow I missed the YouTube deletion news -- and now Leo's favorite videos have vaporized. And it sucks. Because in YouTube's own app, you can only access Favorites once you've signed into an account, which makes Leo doubly dependent on other people -- someone to set up the account, and someone to refile & retag all his favorite videos.

I hope can relocate and properly curate all those videos, because Leo sure as hell knows exactly which ones they are -- he spent months selecting them. And if they aren't all the right videos, in the right order, I'm going to hear about it. For a very long time.

Mostly I just hate anything that suddently takes away Leo's independence and makes him dependent again, even if it's temporary. It's disorienting, plus he's already dependent on other people for so much in his life -- a fact that is often very frustrating for him.

Probably this is why I'm leery of Guided Access, even though many folk (especially therapists and teachers) are excited about its ability to restrict users to a single app until a gatekeeper person restores full access. I understand that, because of that restriction, Guided Access is eroding arguments about iPads not being dedicated AAC devices, and may make it easier for those who can afford $499 iPads but not $7000 dedicated AAC devices to get insurance or school or other external funding. I just hope the gatekeepers will be mindful.

If you want to see how Guided Access works, here's a video by GeekSLP:

Have you upgraded to iOS6? Why or why not? What do you think?


  1. Oh Shannon I am so sorry. I haven't upgraded the tablets or the phones because I was waiting to hear stories like these.. I just wish it wasn't Leo's story.

  2. Rebecca6:57 AM

    I know its frustrating, but at the same time a very important lesson for our boys. Stuff happens. A lot. Even the predictable stuff can change, and as hard as that is for them, part of growing up in our world means they need to have some ability to handle or cope with changes like this. I know it sucks, we had this with the last update in a different program, it really threw my son for a while. But part of growing up is learning to deal with stuff like this.

  3. Ugh. Reminds me of when our DVR’s hard drive failed. *That* was not easy to explain.

    I hate the extra legwork, but if we want to build in some insurance against these kinds of “resets”, it can be useful to avail ourselves of accounts, and iCloud settings, and other things that can help our collections/achievements/preferences/queues survive an OS upgrade or a device change (either because it broke, or was stolen, or because it’s time for an upgrade!)

    Ben has his own YouTube account, which does let him access his favorites no matter which device/computer he’s logged in on.

  4. You'd think there would have been a clear warning - that sucks for lots of families. I was just consulting with a Mom and an ABA team this morning who were no longer using a 3-year old's iPad/Proloquo2go with him because of their inability to keep the program open for more than a few seconds...now that I showed them that their device has Guided Access, the iPad is going to come out again and get used for communication and not simply a motivator between tasks. I asked them to create a Proloquo2go folder of apps so that he can let them know what he wants to do and then they can go do it together, just slowing things down a bit and adding communication to the interaction. I was very relieved that the iPad is going to be back in use for that child who is severely apraxic and has no words.

  5. @jen, thanks. Sigh.

    @Rebecca, Leo has to deal with that every day -- and since it is difficult for him to communicate, I probably don't fully understand just how often it happnes. So he gets that. I just don't like seeing him in distress.

    @Jordan -- I'm not worried about thoughtful folk. I wrote this in a grump, so apologies if it sounded like I think Guided Access is a bad idea. I don't, and I'm glad to read the story you described -- I'm sure I'll be using Guided Access in a similar fashion for some of Leo's ed apps when it's officially learning time and he's rather place Toca Band or Where's My Water. I just worry about the loss of independence for some users who can't speak out effectively on their own behalf, or when not-so-thoughtful gatekeepers don't remember to restore access for whatever reason. There are a lot of classroom aides, for instance, who are not properly trained and don't get the whole behavior-is-communication idea, and may use withholding/gatekeeping as punishment. But I'm a fretter.

  6. My daughter got an iPhone 5 on Saturday. During the night, I upgraded my iPad to IOS 5. Imagine my surprise to wake up and find her friends texting her in Facetime, her complete phone contacts list on my iPad, and her phone number being the Facetime number even though my cell number is the main one on the account. Still haven't figured it out. I turned off Facetime. I can't find out how to change the phone number. I'm leaving it up to her since it's her privacy at stake, lol.

  7. Anonymous11:26 PM

    Hi Squid,
    I'm about to speak as a Free Software advocate, so don't take this as a anything to do with you or Apple specifically but I'll use Apple since that's what you reference. Your situation is about DRM in some fashion and closed-sourced software with gate keepers. If the software had a 'backup' feature for this playlist, that would have enabled you to at least know what is missing. If you 'owned' the app and had control over it being upgraded/deleted/backed-up, you could have kept the old version with the features you liked. If it was Free Software, which Apple doesn't really allow, you could have still paid for it but looked at the Source Code or Paid someone on your behalf or Paid the Author him/her-self to add/delete/change the features you liked or even found a way to make your own version or other options like saving the playlist and allowing them to be imported in the next version. As for the videos, youtube allows people to download personal, non-commercial, off-line copies as would be allowed by US copyright law. I use 'youtube-dl'. I keep copies of video because they can disappear from "the cloud" for various and sundry reason. That copy would have allowed you to just point some program at the local copy and put it onto your machine and never have to worry about it being gone. As for the "guided access", its nice to add feature and sometimes even ones people like :) I can also see some possible good uses and also the bad ones you mentioned, using it to disallow exploration, user autonomy and as punishment. Beings with less autonomy than most, its not good to take away even one option. If "guided access" allows the device to be accepted as an AAC device with reimbursement, that's great.
    When the user is not in control, its tough to help address these issue. This is why people should be allowed to 'jail break' their devices, because its not 'your' until you can control it, fully.

    Sorry to hear about Leos missing vidoes :(


Respectful disagreement encouraged.