iOS8 Preparation

iOS8 is just hours away from release. Here’s what I do to prepare for it.

Screenshot of my iPad home screeniOS 8 will be released tomorrow. There’s a lot of new features which means there will probably be a lot of bugs or incompatibilities. Now, “a lot” is subjective, but guaranteed that some will make a lot of internet noise. The smart think to do would be to wait for the dust to settle before upgrading my own devices (an iPhone 5s and iPad 3). But I rarely do the smart thing so I’ll be upgrading my phone & iPad as soon as I get the chance. While I’ve never had a serious problem I always prepare for the worst by doing the following:

  1. Delete all the apps I haven’t used in recent memory. This has the added benefit of cleaning up the accumulated cruft. When I go through the apps I always find ones I haven’t used in months but say “I really want to use this app”. I take a hard line and delete these. I can always re-install if I really do want to use it. The exception would be an app that hasn’t been used but has a lot of data. Deleting the app deletes the data so if it’s not stored someplace else (such as a cloud service) I’d leave the app. But honestly, I haven’t encountered this.
  2. Backup the device to my computer using iTunes. I backup both my iPhone and iPad to iCloud and I hate iTunes with a passion. But this is one time where I fire up iTunes and backup my devices. I use an encrypted backup so my passwords are backed up. Local restores are much faster than through iCloud. Plus, if Apple melts down completely iCloud could be affected.
  3. Check iCloud apps for compatibility. I’ve been burned by Apple’s cloud offerings so much that I’ve avoided storing files in iCloud. Apparently the phased rollout of iOS 8 and Yosemite can also cause problems. Day One is warning users not to upgrade to iCloud Drive (which is optional during the iOS8 upgrade) if they use iCloud with Day One. If you do upgrade to the new iCloud drive you won’t be able to see the documents on your Mac until it’s upgraded to Yosemite, or on other iOS devices until they are also on iOS 8. Apple does note this when they prompt whether or not you want the Cloud Drive upgrade – “You will not be able to access the documents currently stored in iCloud on your other devices until they are also upgraded to iOS 8 or OS X Yosemite.” Even though Yosemite is expected soon (and a public beta is available) I have not seen a firm Yosemite release date from Apple.
  4. Just prior to upgrading to iOS 8 I’ll do one last check to see if there are any app updates waiting. I’ll do a similar check just after the upgrade, but before running any apps.

Good luck with your upgrade!