Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

How to get ready for iOS 7

Screenshot of Software Update, showing that iOS 7 isn't quite there yetLater today, iOS 7 will be unleashed upon the world. Developers and those willing to risk using potentially dodgy torrent files may be already be using the final version, but for everyone else, there’s just a few hours left to wait.

iOS 7 will be the biggest change to iOS in its six year history, with a complete visual refresh led by Apple’s chief designer Sir Jony Ive. Many things have changed, and for some it’ll be the first time that they have installed a major iOS update. So here’s what I’ll be doing before and during the update, in no particular order.

Tip 1: Back-up

I cannot stress enough how important it is to back up your device regularly. When iOS 6 came out, a colleague of mine lost many of the photos on her iPhone when she upgraded because there wasn’t a recent backup.

Apple explains the two methods for backing up here, but I would suggest that you plug your iOS device into a computer and then do a manual back up using iTunes, rather than relying on iCloud. This will preserve all of your data.

Tip 2: Update apps

Make sure that you update all of the apps on your device before you install iOS 7. Some apps like Amazon’s Kindle app have included warnings that the latest version must be installed prior to the update to iOS 7, as otherwise the app may not work correctly. I would also suggest ensuring that you update the app library in iTunes on your desktop computer as well.

Tip 3: Install the iOS 7 update through iTunes

iOS 5, released two years ago, brought ‘over the air’ updates, which mean that you don’t need to plug your device into a desktop computer in order to update it. Whilst this is fine for smaller updates (for example from 6.1.3 to 6.1.4), for big updates like iOS 7 I would suggest that you use iTunes on your desktop computer to install the update.

Tip 4: Make sure your device is fully-charged before updating

Your device will need to plugged in to a power source – either your desktop computer or a power socket – to be able to update, but I would also make sure that it is fully-charged as well. If you have a power-cut part-way through the update and your battery goes flat, then it could ‘brick’ your device, meaning that it won’t boot up. It’s unlikely to happen but if you rely on your phone like I do, it’s best to be on the safe side.

Tip 5: Find out what’s changed

There are some useful guides from TUAW, Lifehacker and Wired detailing some of the changes and need-to-know features of iOS 7, so take a few minutes to read both. Some settings have moved, and some features now work differently than they have before. Others are new, and if you’re like me you’ll want to try them, although older devices like the iPhone 4 won’t have all of the new features of iOS 7.

Tip 6: Maybe give it a few days

Of course, you could decide to play it really safe and not upgrade straightaway. I’m sure there will be a version 7.0.1 release within a few weeks to fix any bugs that slipped through in final release. Apple is normally pretty good at ensuring their firmware updates work well but bugs do surface from time to time, as anyone who has used their iPhone as an alarm clock and got caught out by a daylight savings time bug will testify.

I’ll be looking forward to playing around with iOS 7, as and when it becomes available. may be your friend until then.

One Comment

  1. Just done it without any catastrophes. Thanks for your tips. 🙂