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Hands on with iOS 6: Installation

Dan Frakes and Serenity Caldwell | Sept. 20, 2012
iOS 6 arrives today, and eager users everywhere are getting ready to upgrade their devices. If you’re 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.

If your device is configured to back up to iCloud (in the iCloud screen of the Settings app), you can force a backup by going to the iCloud screen, tapping Storage & Backup (near the bottom of the screen), and then tapping Back Up Now (again, near the bottom of the screen).

Upgrade to iOS 6

There are two ways to update your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to iOS 6: over the air (meaning over a local Wi-Fi network) or from your computer. Over-the-air updates are easierassuming you have a reliable Wi-Fi networkbut tethered updates are faster.

Install an update over the air: If youve used an iOS device before, youre probably fairly familiar with the process of downloading app updates from the App Store app: When a little red badge appears in the upper right corner of the App Store icon, you open the App Store, navigate to the Updates tab, and download your app updates all at once or one by one. The update process for iOS 6 is similar, although instead of going to the App Store, you use the Settings app.

As with the App Store, iOS devices running iOS 5 or later periodically check for new iOS updates. When one is available, a red badge appears on the Settings app; to download the update, open Settings and navigate to General -> Software Update. There, you see some brief information about the update and a button to install it. (If you know an update is available, but your device isnt yet showing it, you can force iOS to check for an update by navigating to the Software Update screen.)

You dont want your device to shut down before installation is complete, so make sure that it has 50 percent or more of its battery charge remaining, or is connected to a power source, before you start to install an update over the air.

These OS updates are called delta updates, because they contain only the parts of the operating system that have changed between the new version and the one your device is currently running. This means delta updates are much smaller than full updates, so you can download them just about anywhere you have a decent Wi-Fi connectionyou dont have to worry about having to wait an hour while a 500MB file downloads.

Your device proceeds to download the update, then restarts and installs it before greeting you with a customary Welcome screen.

The setup screen asks you a few questions pertaining to Location Services, Siri, and more.

Install your update from your computer: If youre not that adventurous, you may prefer to install software updates the old-fashioned way. No problem: Just connect your device to your computer using the standard USBtodock-connector cable, and then check for an iOS update using iTunes.


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