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Updating to iOS 6 – Things to do to make the transition smoother

Apple’s iOS 6 operating system was released Sept. 19.  Upgrading to iOS 6 shouldn’t pose any problems. Below are six suggestions should trouble arise from the update.

Before getting started, have your Apple ID available.  Some of the processes are going to require input of your Apple ID information, so having it on hand before starting will make your life easier.

If you have forgotten your Apple ID information, you can retrieve your Apple ID and reset the password from the iforgot.apple.com webpage. 

1.     Use this as an opportunity to clean up your iOS device.  Review your apps to see which ones are actually being used.  If you are like me, it’s easy to get in the trap of trying out free apps but not being vigilant in getting rid of them if they do not meet your needs.  They begin to pile up and take up significant amounts of space on your device.

To delete an app, simply press and hold the app icon until all the apps on the screen start to shake.  Notice that a black circle with a white X will appear in the top left corner of the app icon.  Pressing the X brings up a dialog box, giving the chance to delete or cancel.  When finished deleting unneeded apps, press the Home button and the icons will stop shaking.

This also is a good time to update outdated apps.  To check for app updates, go to the App Store icon.  A small red circle with a number in it in the top right corner of the icon indicates updates are available.  If updates are available, go into the App Store; the Updates section is listed on the bottom right of the screen.  When Updates is clicked, it will bring up a list of applications with updates.  Selecting from this list will go out to the app on your desktop, where a small progress bar shows the installation.  When it completes, go back into the App Store and then Updates, to start the process for the next application.  Repeat this process until all of your apps are updated.

2.    Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes on the computer (Mac or PC)  being used to moderate the iOS device.  iTunes is good about informing upon launch whether an update is available.  To check it manually, open iTunes and select “Check for Updates” under the help menu.

3.    Transfer apps to your iTunes computer.  Connect your iOS device to the computer.  After the iOS device shows up under the Devices section on the left side bar of iTunes, click the File menu in the top left corner.  Next, select “Transfer Purchases from {name of your iOS Device}”.

In the event you need to restore the apps on the iOS device:

  • Connect the iOS device to the iTunes computer.
  • Select the iOS device from under the Devices section on the iTunes left sidebar.
  • Go into the Apps tab, and checkmark “Sync Apps”.  At that point iTunes will sync the apps back to the iOS device, so any missing apps will be restored on the iOS device.

4.    Back up the iOS device to the iTunes computer.  Connect the iOS device to the computer.  Next, right-click on the iOS device under the Devices section on the left side bar in iTunes and click “Back Up”.  In the event you need to restore from the backup, go through the same procedure but click “Restore from Backup”.  You will get a dialog box with the options to restore or cancel.  Note the backup will only restore the contacts, calendars, notes, and settings, but not the iOS device firmware.  Also note this is not backing up your applications.  Applications can be redownloaded if necessary or by using the process outlined in step #3 above.

5.    Back up the iOS device using iCloud.  This is an alternative backup method using an iTunes computer.  In terms of materials backed up, both methods are the same.  The differences are in terms of space and location.

  • Space. The free iCloud only provides 5GB of space.  If your backup would be larger than that or when backing up multiple iOS devices to the account, space could be a concern.  Additional iCloud space can be purchased.
  • Location (where the backup is stored).  When using iCloud, the backup can be restored from anywhere, whereas the iTunes method requires backing up from the local machine where the backup was created.

If backing up to iCloud is enabled, the automatic backup will be disabled when a device is connected to the iTunes computer.  However, a manual backup to the iTunes computer should still be possible.

Your Apple account must be verified before enabling iCloud backups.  On your iOS device, go to Settings and click iCloud in the left sidebar.  On the top right it will say “Account Not Verified”.  When you clicked on iCloud, it will have sent a verification email to the account connected to your Apple ID.  Note that account will be shown in this information window.

Go to that email account and open the email received from Apple.  Click the verification link provided, and enter your Apple ID and password.  When that is completed, go to Settings on the iOS device and click iCloud.  A dialog box will ask if you want to merge the bookmarks on the iOS device with iCloud (it’s your choice).  Next, another dialog box will ask to allow iCloud to use your location data (again, your choice).

After you’ve verified iCloud, the backup feature can be turned on.  To enable the iCloud backup, go to Settings, click iCloud, and then click Storage & Backup.  A backup section is on the right side of the screen.  Immediately under Backup is a box that says iCloud Backup with an on-off slide button.  Slide the button to “on” and the iCloud backup is enabled.

6.     Updating to iOS 6.  Open Settings, then General and click Software Update.  Under Software Update is a button called Download and Install; click that button and then agree to the terms and conditions.  A dialog box will pop up asking to connect the iOS device to a power source to save battery.  Connect to power and say “ok”.