At some point tomorrow, September 17th, Apple will be releasing this year’s major update to your iPhone software, iOS 8. I believe there is a good chance you aren’t ready to update and should probably wait. If you know for a fact that you have at least one really good backup of everything on your phone and could survive without your phone for a while, you can skip this article. The rest of you, read on.
Backup, Backup, Backup
I cannot stress this enough – I talk to so many people who lose data because they do not back-up their iPhones consistently. There are many causes of data loss, including, but not limited to, theft, breakage, defective hardware, contact with water, and update errors. Apple does a pretty good job with their software update system, but is it worth the risk of losing your photo where it looks like you are holding up the Tower of Pisa?
- Hopefully you are using iCloud Backup to automagically backup to the cloud, no not Photo Stream, that only backs up your 1,000 most-recent photos, nothing else (the way this is done gets better in iOS 8, which is a plus).
- I also highly recommend plugging your iPhone into a computer and backing up to iTunes on a regular basis.
- Plug it in, go to iTunes, and if your phone is not automatically syncing, click sync.
- When it finishes syncing, press the backup button at least one more time to make sure.
- While you have your iPhone connected, copy all of your photos and images to your computer as well. You can read Apple’s instructions on how to do this for Mac and PC here.
- Did I mention backing up your computer? It is really important.
Things Could Get Weird
Apple has experience with updates, but with nearly a billion iOS devices in the world and a good portion of their owners eager to update right away, there could be issues. Downloads can get extremely slow and timeout. If you aren’t confident in your tech skills, it is also a good idea to let a 100 million other people try it out first and see if there are any inital problems. I will most likely at least update my iPad tomorrow and will keep you informed on the general consensus.
You are eager to update. I understand, I am the same way. As I have mentioned before, last year with iOS 7 we had the biggest change in appearance since the iPhone was originally released. This year with iOS 8, the functionality and back-end will be the major focus.
Here are a few articles from Mac Rumors, iOS 8 Features and iOS 8. Since a lot of the features are more back-end, it will take some time for all of your favorite apps to really take advantage of them. You will be able to use the phone like you’re used to, and I will let you know how to take it to the next level over time.
After looking at your phone a thousand times, it is finally there – the red circle on the Settings app, letting you know the update is ready. Rob from TodayiniOS.com has his recommended steps just before updating (His in-depth PDF can be viewed in the free Tii App):
- Sync your photos (I told you to do this above)
- Update all your apps
- Force quit all your open apps
- Back-up/Sync/Back-up to Computer/iCloud (see above)
- Reset Network Settings/Reboot your iPhone
- Update to new version of iOS (I would add plugging it in to power, but I am pretty sure Apple reminds you as well.) See edit below.
- Hold your breath, cross your fingers and be patient (I added this one)
Edit: I forgot one tip that could save you a lot of headache. Are you having problems updating because you do not have enough free space? Update through iTunes. That way it downloads everything to your computer and just updates your iPhone. This can be a life saver and my preferred method, due to more stability.
Does this kind of stuff make your head hurt? Let me help you! I have started www.ConsistentTech.com to do just that. My goal is to help my clients utilize their technology better. Whatever level of help you need, let me know.