Here comes iOS 7: How to prepare yourself for Apple’s big mobile overhaul

iPhone5-34Flat-iOS7_PRINTA little more than a week after it announced new iPhones, Apple is launching the latest version of iOS tomorrow, and that means it’s time to get ready for the most radical design update Apple’s mobile operating system has seen. While Apple hasn’t announced a specific time for iOS 7′s launch, it seems likely that iOS 7 will go live by 9 a.m. tomorrow, given past updates. To make sure you’re ready to hit the ground running with iOS 7, here are my three keys to making sure your update runs smoothly.

Sweep out the cobwebs

iPhone5s_Gld_iOS7_PRINT 2It’s been a year since Apple’s last update, which means it’s a good time to clean out all of the cruft that has accumulated since you updated to iOS 6. I know I had a few gigabytes worth of audiobooks I had finished and apps that I wasn’t using taking up unnecessary space on my iPhone. While you’re at it, make sure you’ve updated all of your apps to their latest versions in order to take advantage of all the changes developers are pushing out to be ready for iOS 7.

With one report showing 95 percent of developers working on new features for iOS 7, you’re going to want to make sure you have apps that are ready for Apple’s new design aesthetic.

If you’re planning to update over the air, it’s especially critical that you make sure you have enough space to download the update onto your device. While Apple hasn’t released the total size of the iOS 7 update yet, I usually aim for having about a gigabyte of space free.

Back it all up

iPhone5s-PF-5UPHero_FEATURES_PRINTBefore you run the update, make sure you have a current backup of your phone either saved to iCloud or your computer. In theory, iOS 7 shouldn’t require you to restore from a backup, but in the event something goes wrong, you don’t want to be left with an old backup as your only restore point.

To check your iCloud backup status, go to the Settings apps, and then navigate to iCloud > Storage & Backup, and your phone will tell you when your last iCloud backup took place. There’s also a big Back Up Now button, if you want to make sure you have the latest data synced to the cloud.

Pack your patience

While Apple continues to improve when it comes to update server performance, it’s entirely possible that downloading iOS 7 will take a long time tomorrow morning. The good news is, Apple’s update systems are fairly good at being unobtrusive while you wait, but I wouldn’t bet on being able to get everything done in a half hour before running out the door to work.

Also, remember that a new OS means that there’s a potential for new bugs to rear their ugly heads in your favorite apps. While I’m sure Apple has done its best to try not to disturb anything, you might run into a few bumps as everyone tries to stabilize their apps.

So, there you have it: my three tips for upgrading to iOS 7. Now that you’re all ready to go, here’s how to grab the iOS 7 update.

Stay tuned to GeekWire this week for more coverage of iOS 7 and the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C.

Previously on GeekWire: WWDC: iOS 7 design overhaul flattens iPhone aestheticApple confirms iPhone 5C and 5S, says iWork apps will be free on iOS devices

  • Bill

    Isn’t the best advice to wait a while, ideally until Apple releases the first bug fix for iOS7? New iOS releases are notoriously buggy and this is a revolutionary change compared to other releases. Every app developer I talk to anticiaptes their apps having problems or not being available for iOS7 initially, at least for business released apps.

    • Darren

      I agree. There’s an article supporting everything you say, right here: TheSoggyOpinion.com

  • http://eyejot.com/users/davidg davidgeller

    I’ve been running iOS7 on an iPhone 5 and two iPads since their beta program for developers launch a few months ago. A final release was made available about a week ago and it has been, for me, rock solid. Same thing happened with iOS6. It steadily improved to the point at which the public release version was extremely stable. I haven’t had a single crash or failure with iOS7′s release candidate. Not one. I wouldn’t hesitate at all considering the new version has some fantastic new utility. And, not a single app has failed to run. There are some subtle layout tweaks some will have to make (Facebook, for example, has a problem displaying comment edit fields in iOS7, but it’s very minor). But, overall, I think anyone would be safe to upgrade as soon as it’s available.

    • Bill

      It depends on your use case. iOS6 had huge bugs for most corporate users initially. Including a bug that randomly made invitees using exchange to a meeting cancel the meeting for all participants which is supposed to be impossible. Caused big problems at every company I know. Niche corporate apps on iOS6 didn’t work right either, particularly enterprise apps that connected to other systems. And iOS6 is a simple upgrade compared to iOS7 from a network, connection, security, etc. perspective in the enterprise. I’m looking forward to iOS7 and think it will be great but anticipate it being bumpy.

      • http://eyejot.com/users/davidg davidgeller

        All I can say is I haven’t experienced any of those problems. And two of my email accounts are on Exchange. And, despite some of the problems you pointed out for iOS6, I believe, for most people, it was resoundingly successful. I don’t recall a single friend or colleague that had problems with it. Fanboy memory fog? Perhaps. :)

      • Guest

        Probably no better/worse than a point update for windows from an enterprise perspective.

        But we’ll find out tomorrow.

  • fuck

    babies are cute I cuddle them

  • Guest

    I guess I don’t have to worry about it since Apple was nice enough to exclude my device from eligibility. Gee thanks Apple, you’re magical. Sent from my Android phone.