Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Upgrade to iOS 5 - with Cautions

By now you should have learned that iOS 5 is officially released. Without further ado, let's go over the steps to upgrade your iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch to the latest operating system:

  1. Make sure you remember your Apple account
    The account you use to purchase items from iTunes and the App Store will be your iCloud account. You will need that for iOS 5. Have it ready and it will come in handy later.
  2. Back up your device
    Connect your device to iTunes via USB and allow iTunes to make backups automatically.
  3. Install iTunes 10.5
    If you haven't already, download and install iTunes 10.5.
  4. *Important* Make some space on your device
    You should have copies of your music, movies and apps in your computer already. Make sure that's the case, and proceed to remove some content and make space available on your device, for reasons I'll explain later.
  5. Upgrade to iOS 5
    Click the "Check for Update" button in iTunes, which can be found on the device page when the device is connected. Follow the prompts, and let iTunes handle the rest.
  6. Set up iOS 5
    Once your device comes back to life, you will see some unfamiliar screens. No worries, they are simple steps for iOS 5 to set you up with iCloud services. All you need is your Apple account ID and password, and deciding on what services on iCloud you'd be using. These services are FREE!
  7. Refill your device
    If you followed my advice on the 4th step, now is the time for you to refill your device with content.
I encountered the problem of not having enough disk space during the upgrade process twice in the past: upgrading to iOS4, and to iOS5 Beta. Without going into details, let's just say that the experience wasn't pretty. Apparently, after a new version of OS is installed and running on your i-devices, the system will still need some time and (lots of!) space to reconfigure the apps and data. When space is low, the sight is ugly. While I think problems like this should not occur, I strongly suggest that you follow this advice.