iOS 6 arrives today, and eager users everywhere are getting ready to upgrade their devices. If youre concerned about the upgrade process, or simply want to know all your setup options before making the big switch, let us help you upgrade your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to iOS 6 with this step-by-step guide.
What devices will run iOS 6?
Before we get into the upgrade process itself, youll want to make sure you actually have a compatible device. Since iOS 6 packs a few major new features that require heavy processing power, Apple has limited the operating system to the following models:
iPhone Models: iPhone 3GS and later
iPad Models: second generation and later
iPod touch Models: fourth generation and later
If you have an earlier model of any of these products, youll have to stick with your current version of iOS.
Missing iOS 6 Features
Certain older devices that can run iOS 6 may not be able to use all of the features available in the new OS on a new iPhone or iPad.
Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation features of the new Maps app are available on only the iPhone 4S or later, fifth-generation iPod touch, and the iPad 2 or later
FaceTime over cellular networks and Siri are available on only the iPhone 4S or later and the third-generation or later iPad
Siri is available for the iPhone 4S or later, fifth-generation iPod touch, and the third-generation iPad
Panoramic mode only works on the iPhone 4S or later and the fifth-generation iPod touch
Safaris offline Reading List feature is available on only the iPhone 4 or later and the iPad 2 or later
Prepare to install
Once youve double-checked that your device is capable of running iOS 6, heres what you need to have available for the upgrade:
Your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad;
If youre installing wirelessly, a valid Wi-Fi connection;
If youre installing via iTunes, your computer and the latest version of iTunes (which you can download from Apples website).
We also suggest that you make a backup of your device before proceeding: If youre doing a straight update, a backup prevents you from losing any data in case something goes wonky down the line; if youre doing a full restore of your device before you install iOS 6, youll need a recent backup to recover your information.
To make a backup using your computer, connect your device to your computer using a USBtodock-connector cable, open iTunes, select your device on the left, and then press the Sync button to the right. This should automatically update your iTunes backup. If your device is already plugged into your computer, you can just Control-click (or right-click) the device in the iTunes source list on the left and choose Back Up from the subsequent pop-up menu.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.