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iOS 8 will be released to the public very soon with its myriad new ones features and improvements, making now a good time to prepare your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch for the major system update. We break it down into several easy steps so that you have your iOS device ready to install the latest version when it arrives in the near future.
1: Check iOS 8 Hardware Compatibility
Before doing anything else, you want to make sure that your iDevice can run iOS 8. Apple has provided a hardware compatibility list for iOS 8, which includes the following devices or newer:
- iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C
- iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina
- iPod Touch 5th generation
If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch isn’t on the list, you can’t use iOS 8 … yes, you’re missing some of the latest and greatest features, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing in some ways, as we’ll discuss in a moment. It can also be a good excuse to update to the latest hardware, the iPhone 6 looks pretty cool, doesn’t it?
2: Old hardware? Consider skipping the update altogether
Some devices cannot run iOS 8 because they are too old. But just because a device can technically run the latest version of iOS doesn’t mean that.
There are so many examples in iOS history of older hardware slowing down dramatically once updated to the latest version of iOS, and that should serve as a meaningful consideration that for some older devices, it’s best to just get the update. skip it altogether. We’ve given this advice for some hardware with iOS 7, and we’ll feature it again here.
This is all a matter of opinion, but my recommendation is that old hardware should think twice about updating to iOS 8 (and also iOS 7 if you happen to be running iOS 5 or iOS 6 with that old iPad 2 or iPad 3). This is especially true of iPad 2 and iPad 3, the latter of which really creeps with iOS 7 as is, and while it’s possible that the final version of iOS 8 offers some performance improvement over iOS 7, so far it has not surfaced. We’ll be sure to update if that changes, and if the GM version really flies on even the oldest devices, that’s going to be fantastic.
If you want the latest and greatest features, go ahead and update that dusty old hardware to iOS 8 anyway, but keep in mind that this can affect performance. And once you update to the latest version of iOS, you have a very small window before downgrading becomes impossible.
3: Delete unused apps
Before there are any major iOS updates, now is a great time to clean the house and get rid of the apps you don’t use regularly. HyperLapse opened once and never touched again? How often do you really play Flappy Birds anymore? Is Garageband not being used on your iPhone for months? If the answer to how often an app is used is “never” or “rarely”, delete it and make it free up this will save some space on your device.
4: Update apps
Now that you’ve removed the apps you don’t use anymore, fire up the App Store and update what you have left. It’s a good idea to use apps in general upto date, but it’s all the more important with new iOS releases as major updates are needed for compatibility as well as new features which are derived from the new iOS version. Yes, you will have to update some again once iOS 8 actually ships, as many apps updated for iOS 8 contain extensions and widgets that are incompatible with previous versions.
5: Back Up Your important things
It’s a good idea to go back up all your stuff – not just your standard iCloud or iTunes backupupalthough we’ll get to that in a moment – but your actual things that really matter. Usually that means photos and videos. Take the time to transfer photos from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to a computer, a process that usually includes copying your personal movies. You can always redownload an app, but can you take the same photo and capture the same moment again? Probably not. Support this stuff up, it is important.
6: Back Up Your iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch
Finally back up your iOS device and all its settings and customizations. This is easy and you can do it through iTunes or iCloud, or ideally back up on both. Backing up should really be part of your regular routine now, but even if not, always – always – back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch before installing any major new iOS update. This ensures that if something goes wrong, you can easily get everything back to normal. Backing up is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to prepare for an iOS upgrade, so don’t skip this.
All done? Congratulations, you are ready to update to iOS 8!
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