Apple is at it again, alongside the release of both their seventh and eighth iterations of the iPhone, Apple is releasing iOS7. Marketed as the latest and greatest of iDevice operating systems, iOS7 is perhaps the most significant change to iOS since its introduction. iOS7 hosts a plethora of new design elements and features, so many in fact, that older iDevices won’t be able to take part in the upgrade.
That’s right folks, iOS7 is not for all. If you’re one of the many who are still toting a 3GS or later, you’re going to have to stay content with iOS6.1.13 for the time being. Same goes for those of us who never upgraded from the original iPad. According to Apple, they’re obsolete and we need to spend some money to keep up with the times.
OK, enough with the rhetoric, time to get on with the instructional, right? Right. Well, if you’ve got the hardware and are ready to experiment with Apple’s latest and greatest, follow the steps below and in no time flat, you’ll be providing free testing
Step 1 - Check Device Capability
I know, you already read it above, but I’m making it a step for the readers who only skim through the bold text. iOS7 isn’t applicable to every iDevice out there right now.
Here’s a list of what can install iOS7
iPhones: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5S
iPads: Second, third and fourth generations. Of course, whatever they call the next iteration will take utilize iOS7 as well.
iPod Touch: Only the fifth generation iPod touched are applicable here, this applies to 16, 32 and 64GB models.
Step 2 – Update iTunes
This isn’t really a requirement as much as it’s a suggestion. Keeping up with the latest version of iTunes gives you an improved MiniPlayer, tighter iCloud integration, more advanced Twitter and Facebook integration instead of the failure that was Ping and a new iTunes Store design. Cover Flow was also eliminated in favor of a redesigned grid layout. The current version of iTunes in 11.1 and can be downloaded here.
Step 3 – Update Apps
Also not a requirement, but a suggestion that should be observed. Since iOS7 is such a drastic change from 6.1.3, many apps will have to change their code dramatically. To ensure that as many apps as possible continue to function properly when the update is complete, its best practice to bring all your apps up to date.
Step 4 – Backup your device (2 options)
While the iOS upgrade process is quite simple, there is still the possibility that things may go wrong. In case some disaster (fire, spillage, unplugging while data is transferring, etc) ensues, you’ll want to make certain that your data is still safe. Apple has given us few options to choose from when dealing with backing up our iPhones.
That’s right, you can make a backup of your device wirelessly without touching your lap/desktop via iCloud. Of course, you’ll need an iCloud account to do this, but we’re going to assume you’ve already handled that, if not, go set one up.
Alright, now that you’ve handled the account issue, log on into iCloud on your iPhone. Once that’s done, make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network as you’re unable to perform backups over cellular data networks. (Blame them)
Alright, now open the Settings App and navoigate to iCloud>Storage & Backup and flip the iCloud Backup slider to on.
Hit ‘Back Up Now’ and wait for the process to complete.
While Apple has introduced the ability to perform backup services ‘over the air’ via iCloud, I don’t truly trust cloud services all that much and thus prefer to backup locally. To do so, open iTunes and plug your iPhone into your computer (or use the Wi-Fi Sync option – slower, but still works).
When you plug your iPhone into your computer, iTunes may ask you to upgrade your device, select cancel for now, we want to ensure that all your data is secure before we start messing with stuff.
On the top right of the window, you will see the name of your device, click it and iTunes will display your iPhone’s info. Under the ‘Backups’ form, select ‘This Computer’ and then ‘Backup Now’.
Depending on how much info you have stored on your iPhone, this may take a while. While your iPhone is being backed up, head over to YouTube and watch a video or two.
Once you’re done with the backup process, it’s now time to install the update.
Step 5 – Download and Install iOS7 (2 options)
Once again, Apple has given us options in our upgrade process. Wired or over WiFi. Both have their value, doing so over WiFi lets you be away from your desk and utilizes delta updates, while upgrading over cable allows for a faster transfer rate. I prefer the speedy process, but it’s up to you.
First off, make sure your phone’s battery is at least at 50%. If not, your iPhone may shutdown before you complete the instillation process, rendering that backup you made earlier pretty necessary. Alternativly, you can plug your iPhone into a power source, but if you’re not going wirelessly, why not just plug into your lap/desktop?
Open up the Settings app again and head to General>Software Update. Some info about the update will be displayed, in addition to a button to install it. Press that button.
Your iDevice will now download the update directly to itself, restart and then begin installing the new OS.
Once the instillation is complete, you’ll be greeted with the customary welcome screen and you’re ready to get going with iOS7.
With your iPhone plugged into your computer, look up to the top right of the iTunes window and click that little button labeled ‘Update’. iTunes will begin the process of downloading the latest version of iOS.
Once iOS has completed downloading, iTunes will begin the process of transferring it over to your iPhone. When the transfer is complete, your iPhone will restart and begin the instillation of the new software.
After that is complete, you will be prompted with a message stating that the device has been updated and is restarting. All of your apps, contacts, music and other data should have been preserved, enabling you to unplug your iPhone and begin playing around with Apple’s new toy-like interface.