Today’s the day, O Faithful. The release of iOS 6 (the new ‘iDevice’ Operating System) is here, which is built to take full advantage of the new iPhone 5, but also adds significant functionality and coolness to existing iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. (See list at bottom for what models can work with it).
I’m going to rely on a new (to iSensei, at least) Apple site, AppleGazette.com for their excellent step-by-step suggestions of how to best prepare for the iOS 6 installation. We’d like to thank one of iSensei’s favorite Apple sites, MacDailyNews.com for alerting us to this site/post. We’re reposting it here verbatim, with additional comments, in italic, from iSensei. Here’s the direct link to the article on AppleGazette, which I recommend visiting anyway for all their other useful information. OK, let’s get on with it.
(Soon after 1 PM EST, Sept 19, Apple dropped the 6th version of iOS on iPhones, iPods, and iPads everywhere.) Before you download that upgrade, here are five important things you should seriously consider doing first.
1. Back up your device(s).
If you don’t sync your iPhone, iPod, or iPad to your Mac via iCloud, then you should consider this one a requirement — particularly if you have a lot of personal files on your device (like music, movies, pictures, etc.). Connect your device to your computer with your connector cord, fire up iTunes, and right-click on your device’s name in the left-hand column. A new box will appear, and near the bottom, you’ll see “Backup.” Click it, and let iTunes back up all of the contents of your iDevice. This ensures you won’t lose anything if there should be any problem with the iOS 6 upgrade process.
iSensei here. Personally, the All-Knowing One would recommend upgrading to iTunes 10.7 first, inverting Steps 1 and 2, but it’s likely no big deal. iSensei’s going through these steps as he writes to see what happens first hand. He is willing to risk all so that YOU don’t have to!
The other thing you might question is whether you should backup iCloud or your Mac. Either is fine unless you only have the 5 GB of storage space that comes free with iCloud, which may not be insufficient, depending on what else is being stored there. If space is tight you might as well just backup to your Mac.
2. Upgrade to iTunes 10.7.
Right after the big Apple event last week, an upgrade for the Mac version of iTunes was made available. This isn’t the major overhaul that was shown off at the event; that’s iTunes 11 and it won’t arrive until late October. The current version is an incremental step up from 10.6 to 10.7, and what it brings is compatibility with iOS 6. So once your iPad, iPod, or iPhone is updated to the new version of iOS, you’ll want your computer’s iTunes to be able to connect to it without any issues. Upgrade here.
3. Update your apps.
It’s always a good idea to install the latest updates for your device’s apps as soon as they become available, regardless. But it’s an especially good idea to make sure you’re up-to-date across the board right now, because most of the app updates going out at the moment provide compatibility with the new features of iOS 6. Kind of a no-brainer, ain’t it?
This touches on one of iSensei’s most deeply held beliefs - update frequently - which, in his book, is every time the little UPDATES app icon – as seen above – has a number in it. You never know what benefit or fix you’ll be gaining from doing so and it’s fast and free.
4. Get ready for Passbook.
Passbook is a new built-in app that comes with iOS 6. It collects all of your customer loyalty cards, coupons, and memberships (such as the frequent-flyer account with your airline of choice, or your Starbucks member account) in a single place. It’s really pretty nifty how it works, because it’s tied in with your device’s GPS. Say you’ve got a Target gift card saved in Passbook; your device will remind you about your gift card right on the lock screen when you walk inside the store. It’s even better for airline ticketing, because not only will it store your boarding pass, it will give you updates in real time should your boarding gate change, or if your flight is delayed, and so on.
To use Passbook, you’ll need to scan or type in your personal account numbers and whatnot, so rather than wait, why not gather those materials now? After downloading and installing iOS 6, everything you need will be in one place and ready to go.
iSensei: since we haven’t used Passbook yet, we don’t know exactly what’s going to be required. This suggestion is practical though not essential. You can input this info at any later time.
5. Grab Google’s YouTube app.
Due mainly to Apple’s ongoing cold war with Android, Apple is doing away with the YouTube app that has always come with iOS. The good news: Google knew this was coming, and they’re ready with a proprietary YouTube app of their own. You can download it for free right here. The bad news: it’s not made for iPad yet. An iPad-friendly update is coming, but for now, it’s only for iPhone and iPod Touch.
A few last tips…
- Podcasts have been removed from the iOS 6 iTunes app and now have their very own app (called Podcasts amazingly). If you subscribe to any podcasts and plan to listen to or watch them on your iDevice, you should grab the new Podcasts app.
- It wouldn’t hurt to delete old apps from your device that you no longer use. Remember, you can always download them again from iTunes, anytime you want. (iSensei concurs. If nothing else it makes it harder to find the one tree you’re looking for in an overcrowded forest.)
- Like the YouTube app, the built-in Google Maps app is going away with iOS 6, in favor of the new, Apple-made Maps app. Apple’s app looks great, but it doesn’t have satellite maps or Street View. Google is working on a Google Maps app of their own for iOS, which should be released in the near future, but it’s not ready yet. So if for any reason you depend on those soon-to-be-missing features, you may want to put off upgrading to iOS 6 until Google’s new app is released.
As promised, here’s what hardware will work with iOS 6:
- iPhone 3GS and later
- iPad 2nd Generation (2011) and later
- iPod touch 4th Gen and later
Best luck to all with the preparation and installation all across the nation. And thanks again to AppleGazette.com for this timely and helpful advice. Ciao!
Dan Moren, one of our faves over at Macworld.com, has an excellent and succinct explanation of how to work magic, i.e. control a Mac remotely. Well, it’s not really true magic, like touch-sensitive iPads are, but you still feel a wonderful and slightly creepy feeling as you watch the mouse traverse the screen of a computer 2 floors or 2,000 miles away. Requires no additional software as it comes native to all Macs.
It’s not too techy and though it’s not useful for everyone, anyone whose seen this trick who found it to have practical applications was very anxious to try it out. It sometimes doesn’t work (for reasons iSensei can’t explain) but it usually does. Also, you might have problems accessing your computer at work if the IT Dept there has erected security barriers to prevent this kind of “invasion” into the company network. Doesn’t hurt to try (though if it lands you in jail, do NOT call iSensei to bail you out).
Thanks again to Dan Moren and Macworld.com. Be sure to check some of the hundreds of FREE useful tips available on the site. Just head to the HELP & TIPS section.
Okay, iSensei knows what you’re going to say: “GREAT copy and paste tips?!?”
Trust me on this one. Copy and paste is something you use every day and it can do things you never thought it could. Frankly, neither did I until I read this article. iSensei must express his extreme thanks to the wonderful Sharon Zardetto of our fave site, Macworld.com. These tips are very useful and I highly recommend you try a couple out soon as you finish this article. It will better cement them in your head and be more helpful. Some, like the icon-changer, are more fun than useful perhaps, but once you realize you can copy files and folders in useful ways you never thought, well, who knows, you might even start experimenting yourself! Maybe. Either way, enjoy. (For reference, this article originally appeared in Nov 2011, using the Lion operating system)
One of iSensei’s regular followers (Hi, Bruce!) confessed he was having problems figuring out the recent ability to sync contents for the Notes App between iPhones and iPads via iCloud. Fair enough; and in case some of you out there may benefit from his ignorance, I’m sharing the step-by-step… uh… steps with you all. Hope it helps!
(In the near future, iSensei will share his well-travelled thoughts on Apple’s new-ish REMINDER app and other Note & To Do apps)