When I set up the new iPad, I opted to not restore from a backup. The data I store on the original iPad is synchronized with Internet services like Evernote and Google, so I didn’t have any photos or contacts on the original iPad that I wanted to transfer to the new iPad.
What I did want to transfer were the apps on the original iPad, which you can do from iCloud or a Mac. I had read that while restoring from iCloud works, it is also awfully slow, and since I have two Macs at home, there was no problem using one to install my apps on the new iPad. My original iPad syncs with a Mac Mini, but I wanted to use my Macbook Air to set up the new iPad.
The Macbook Air syncs with iCloud and I noticed that all of the apps I had on the original iPad were in fact on the Air, so I figured I ought to be able to install the apps from the Air. Fortunately, I was right, all of the apps did install on the new iPad, however none of the folder structure I have on the original iPad copied over, leaving me to manually recreate a bunch of folders.
Creating and organizing apps in to folders should be easy on the iPad, but it was actually very frustrating. It seems that often times iOS doesn’t understand whether you are trying to put one icon on top of another, to create a folder or put an app in a folder, or putting an icon next to another icon. I would drag an icon towards the app or folder icon only to have it slide away on me. Back and forth I would be sliding icons around as if the new iPad was playing a game of keep away with me. Several times I gave up and screamed in total frustration. (Note: It looks like I could have done the organizing from the Macbook Air, but that didn’t even occur to me at the time.)
Eventually, after expending much patience and much more time than I would prefer, I had all of my apps on the new iPad organized in folders. Now of course, I could have just left the icons spread across the home screens as Apple originally intended, but I personally find that to be very cluttered. Frankly, I much prefer the approach that Google took with Android that puts all app icons in a drawer that hides away, and organizes apps alphabetically.
For all the emphasis that Apple places on apps, it is surprising that it doesn’t provide more tools in iOS for organizing and managing apps. It’s as if Apple really doesn’t expect one to install more than a handful of apps. Dragging and dropping works nice when all you have are a few screens of apps, but I find it a tedious approach to managing dozens of apps. Fortunately, I have everything nicely organized now, until I get the next, new iPad or something dreadful happens to this iPad.