Whenever an iOS upgrade hits the market, the Internet is buzzing with talk of the new features. Everyone thinks it just might be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Often, they are right and Apple knocks it out of the park. With iOS 5, Apple nailed it. They added the notification center, which is somewhat plucked from Android, but still incredibly awesome. For 4S owners, they brought Siri along, which changed the way people interacted with their phones in many ways.
However, as good as an iOS upgrade can be, some hiccups can come along with it. There are certain things that you should always keep in mind when you are doing an iOS upgrade. It is important that you do not just run the upgrade over the air or plug into iTunes without taking the time to make sure you are actually ready to upgrade your device. The chances are high that your iPhone will not break, or have any major issues, but you could lose some precious data, and that just would not be a good thing.
Make Sure It Is Compatible On Your Device
This is not a huge issue, as most devices support the latest upgrade, but if you are still holding on to that original iPhone or iPhone 3G, you will not be able to obtain the latest iOS upgrades. If you want the latest software, you will need to run out and pick up a new iPhone, or you will be stuck missing the latest features.
Make Sure The Upgrade Is Glitch Free
For the most part, Apple tends to have their upgrades come out smoothly, but you should always double check what others are saying about it before you take the plunge. Check around on the tech message boards and see what other users have to say about the software.
Many times, you will hear about the features before the upgrade launches, and everything will seem smooth with the people using the beta. Still, you should wait until it faces the test of being downloaded by millions of users and wait to see what they have to say.
Make Sure You Have The Latest Version Of iTunes Installed
This is a quick fix. You should always make sure to update iTunes on your computer to the latest version to make sure everything updates as smoothly as possible. Often, it will not even detect that the update is available if iTunes is not on the current version. With upgrading over the air, this is not an issue as much as it used to be, but if you are still upgrading using your computer, than you will need to make sure to update.
This is so important! There is always the possibility that something could go wrong while upgrading iOS, so it is pivotal that you remember to back up your device. With iOS 5, Apple introduced iCloud, which allows you to back up the important information on your device without plugging it in to your computer. All you need to do is enable it in the settings of your device under iCloud and Storage and Backup. This is the easiest possible way to keep a current backup of your device.
Personally, I like to plug my device into iTunes and perform a backup there before I perform an iOS upgrade. I just like to know I have a backup in multiple places, just in case anything terrible happens. I have lost all my contacts before, and it can be one of the most annoying things in the world to try to get them back. I cannot stress this enough, back up your device before you start an iOS upgrade.
This next section applies to jailbreakers only.
Save Your SHSH Blobs
If for some reason you want to revert to the previous version of iOS, you will need your SHSH blobs for that version. I recommend using Tiny Umbrella to save your SHSH blobs. Simply plug in your device and open Tiny Umbrella. With a couple of clicks, you can save your SHSH blobs, so if you need to revert back to the older version of iOS, you can do so easily.
Make Sure The New Software Is Compatible With The Jailbreak
When a new iOS upgrade launches, there are often some growing pains in the jailbreak community. With iOS 5, it took months for a fully functional untethered jailbreak that worked on A5 devices. Keep this in mind before you get too excited and jump right into an upgrade. If you did not save your SHSH blobs, there is no way to revert to the older software. This means you will be stuck on the latest version with no way to jailbreak your device.
In addition, many jailbreak applications that you rely on in your day-to-day life may not be compatible with the latest software. You should do some research and see if your favorite app has been updated to support the new iOS upgrade. You might find that it is not, and you may want to stick with the old version of iOS until it is.
As you can see, there are many things to keep in mind before you perform an iOS upgrade. If you just jump in without making sure to address all the important things, it could end poorly. You want to enjoy your iPhone as much as possible, and making sure you are well prepared for your software upgrade can make all the difference in the world.