TMO iOS 5 Upgrade Guide

| How-To

With the release of iOS 5 just hours away, there’s plenty to think about before upgrading to the newest version of Apple’s mobile device operating system. We’ve put together this guide to help you decide when to upgrade, and what you need to do to be prepared when the time comes.

Deciding whether or not to upgrade right away is a no-brainer for some, but for others it may not be a clear cut choice. Either way, planning ahead will help cut down on surprises and headaches when you make the jump to iOS 5.

iOS 5 appsiOS 5 is loaded with new features

Should You Upgrade?
Even if you don’t upgrade to iOS 5 right away, you’ll still want to consider making the move soon — assuming you have compatible device. Currently, iOS 5 is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, third and fourth generation and iPod touch, and the iPad and iPad 2.

This isn’t the first time Apple has dropped support for earlier iPhone models with an iOS upgrade. The first generation iPhone was left behind with the release of iOS 4, and now the iPhone 3 has been left out of the upgrade game, too.

Just as it did with iOS 4, Apple isn’t charging users for the upgrade to iOS 5.

Here’s some of what you can expect to see once you upgrade to iOS 5:

  • Notification Center
  • Newsstand
  • System-wide single sign-on for Twitter
  • Reader support for Mobile Safari
  • Reminders
  • Support for taking photos from the lock screen
  • Over-the-air software updates
  • iMessage

 

Despite all the new features iOS 5 offers, along with the extensive beta testing it has undergone, it’s probably not a bad idea to wait at least a day or two for all the edge-case problem reports to come in before upgrading. Of course, we’ll be watching close for issues that may have slipped through the beta testing process.

Update Your Apps First
Before upgrading to iOS 5, make sure you have already updated to iTunes 10.5 on your Mac or PC. Mac users can go to Apple menu > Software Update, and Windows users can choose Help > Software Update to make sure the most recent version of iTunes is installed.

Next, pay a visit the App Store in both iTunes and on your iPhone and make sure you have the latest versions of all your apps. Most iPhone and iPad apps should run just fine in iOS 5, but developers have been hard at work adding support for the new features Apple rolled into the OS update.

If you aren’t sure how to update apps on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, check out our Quick Tip to help you through the process.

Check for iOS Compatibility Issues
We suggest making a point of checking developers’ Web sites for any mission-critical apps you run to make sure they aren’t warning about any show stopping compatibility issues. If you find any issues with apps you simply can’t live without, we recommend delaying your iOS 5 upgrade until the developers release compatibility updates.

Backup, then Backup Again
Upgrading to iOS 5, or any iPhone OS for that matter, will wipe out your phone and then restore it. Just like the data on your computer, the information on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch could be forever lost if it isn’t backed up. iTunes backs up your handheld’s data every time you sync with your Mac or PC, so you should already have a copy of all your important information safely tucked away.

If you aren’t sure if your iOS device has been backed up recently, just launch iTunes on your computer and connect your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad via its dock cable. iTunes will automatically perform a backup for you.

You can make doubly sure your iPhone data is protected by backing up your backup. If you already have a strong backup process in place, odds are your iPhone and iPod touch backups are included. If not, or if you aren’t sure if your handheld data is included in your computer backup, check out our Quick Tip on backing up your iPhone’s data.

Save Your Settings
While the upgrade to iOS 5 shouldn’t wipe out any of your settings, it’s still a good idea to go into the Settings app and note anything you might not otherwise remember if things go south. An easy way to make sure you have an accurate record of all your settings is to use the screen capture feature to take snapshot pictures of your iPhone and iPod touch settings. We have a Quick Tip that details how to take iPhone screenshots and what to do once you have those pictures.

Once you have those screenshots, make sure they end up somewhere you can find them should you be one of the unfortunate few that loses all your data. You can email the pics, or sync with your Mac to automatically add them to iPhoto.

Copy Your Data Back
After you upgrade to iOS 5 there’s a chance that some of the applications, music, or videos that you expect to see won’t be there if, at some point, you told iTunes to stop syncing and disabled its warnings. Re-enabling warnings in iTunes gives you the opportunity to transfer apps and media back from your iPhone that otherwise might get missed.

Resetting Warnings in iTunes
To re-enable warnings for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, connect your handheld to your computer, Control-click or Right-click on your device in the Library list, and then choose Reset Warnings from the pop-up menu. We have a Quick Tip that details the process, too. Once you’ve reset the warnings, perform another sync and iTunes will obediently display any warning dialogs that were previously hidden.

Upgrading to iOS 5, Finally
Now that you’ve covered as many of your bases as is reasonable (and perhaps unreasonable but, hey, we’re playing it safe!), go ahead and tell iTunes to install the iOS 5 on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

The OS download and update process will take some time. The updater files clock in at about 800MB, so make sure you’ve got plenty of bandwidth (and battery power, if on a laptop) to get the job done.

Once the update is complete, go through your iPhone and make sure your settings are correct. We suggest checking your Mail and MobileMe/iCloud settings right away just in case any settings look out of place. If you have more than one Apple ID, you’ll need to also check the iTunes and App Store apps, along with Messages and Game Center to make sure the right account is linked to each app.

To check your Mail and Calendar, iCloud and Messages settings, launch Settings then scroll down to each app. For iTunes and App Store, launch each app, then scroll down to access your account information. Game Center should display your account info when you first launch the app.

Post-Upgrade Advice
Reports from developers installing the final version of iOS 5 seem to indicate the upgrade is fairly bug-free and upgrades are going smoothly. We do recommend you wait to do anything in iTunes until after your iPhone’s display shows that it has completed an upgrade and the initial Sync just to be safe.

Once you’ve upgraded your iOS device will, in theory, be fully functional, and all of the data that was there before the upgrade will still be in place. In fact, you’ll likely even find that all the web pages you had open in Mobile Safari are still there.

That said, we’ve seen a few isolated situations where data goes missing. The Ikea app, for example, required us to re-download the catalog file during our upgrade tests.

Because the upgrade completely replaces the firmware on your iPhone, the first post-upgrade Sync will trigger a backup that will take a long time. Depending on how much data is stored on your device, the backup process could take 15 minutes or longer.

Since you’re already in down time-mode because of the upgrade process, this is a good time to go ahead and let that first backup happen incase something goes wrong later. Simply plug your iPhone back into your computer, let iTunes do its thing, and then you’re off and running.

The Quick Upgrade
After detailing how to make sure nearly every base is covered before you upgrade, we have to add that plenty of users will upgrade without checking their backups or app compatibility without any problems. If you plan on jumping in and hitting the ground running, iTunes will do its best to make sure you have something to fall back on should the upgrade process go wrong since it forces a data backup before running the iOS 5 installer.

Dive In and Let US Know What You Think
After you finish the upgrade process it’s time to start playing with the new features in iOS 5, then come back and tell us and the rest of your fellow TMO Observers about it all in the article comments.

Comments

Johnny H.

Make sure you get the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer today so you can update your iOS device with the iOS 5 operating system to be released tomorrow: http://bit.ly/p1hei1

geoduck

And try it first on a non-critical device. First goes my iPodTouch that I use for games and e-mail. If and only if that goes well will I do the iPad belonging to my wife.

Question: Does anyone know if it downloads a separate copy for each device or each device category? Will it download iOS5 iPod Edition, then iOS5 iPad edition, then iOS5 iPhone 4 Edition ...

furbies

Question: Does anyone know if it downloads a separate copy for each device or each device category? Will it download iOS5 iPod Edition, then iOS5 iPad edition, then iOS5 iPhone 4 Edition ...

Don’t know geoduck, but I’ll hazard a guess and say yes…

One thing I always do is make sure I backup each iOS updater.
It’s handy for my neighbours who have 2 kids/2iPod touch(s) and a crappy internet connection. I just give them a copy of the updater and then they manually apply it….

geoduck

From the article

The updater files clock in at about 800MB,

If you have a lot of different iOS devices this could get to be time consuming.

nsfw

Question: Does anyone know if it downloads a separate copy for each device or each device category? Will it download iOS5 iPod Edition, then iOS5 iPad edition, then iOS5 iPhone 4 Edition ...

Yes it does.  Each device and every generation has its own image.  Own 3 generations of iphones? Yer getting 3 images.

mhikl

And try it first on a non-critical device. First goes my iPodTouch that I use for games and e-mail. If and only if that goes well will I do the iPad belonging to my wife.

And if all goes well, then your iPhone4?

Yup. sounds soundly prioritized to me. Maybe a little unexpected prezy for someone special given a day earlier, just in case.

Jai

Hi. I would like to know if after the upgrade on iPhone4, as it does not support Siri, does the old voice recognition software fall away?

Anosh

Since Ipad edition of IOS 5 is having multi touch technology, I tink more than one edition of IOS 5 will be available.

Canishka

Thats cool !!!!

Ajaay

Anosh n Canishka Thuuuu!!!!!

barryotoole

One thing I always do is make sure I backup each iOS updater.

Could you tell me how to make a backup copy of an iOS updated?

Thanks.

barryotoole

...after the upgrade on iPhone4, as it does not support Siri, does the old voice recognition software fall away?

My understaning is that Siri would be only supported for the iPhone 4S; the Siri app available in the app store would not work starting this Friday, 14 October. The Voice Command would still work in iPhone 4.

bobstewart

Installed iTunes 10.5 this morning.  Then attached my iPhone 4, did a backup but iTunes is reporting that iOS 4.3.5 is the latest version.

furbies

Could you tell me how to make a backup copy of an iOS updated?

You can find the iOS updates at:

~/Users/yourHomeDirectory/Library/iTunes

akshaylal

Installed iTunes 10.5 this morning.  Then attached my iPhone 4, did a backup but iTunes is reporting that iOS 4.3.5 is the latest version

iOS 5 is not out yet. Try again in a few hours, then you will be able to upgrade.

Bishop

Expect iOS 5 to be released later in the day. Apple has historically released their major iOS updates around 1pm eastern time.

Stephen Swift

I’m currently on 4.3.  Should I upgrade to 4.3.5 before upgrading to 5 or is it not necissary?

Normally I’m behind the curve by at least a few months. This will be the first time I’m actually upgrading right away.  So, thanks for the upgrade guide!  You folks always have the most comprehensive one.

Dan

Jumped straight in, the whole process of backing up and reinstalling took around 1hr. No problems so far, iOS 5 seems faster and smoother than previously, impressed.

furbies

I like the new Safari.

iCloud has me a little confused.
Do I activate it, or stay on MobileMe, I can’t decide yet.

I used my MobileMe account for Find My iPhone, but now it seems I can use my iTunes account (different email address) for the same feature.

Will have to ponder for a while…

electricscott

upgraded last night, now non of my apps work and no information can be found e.g. no music, books, videos etc.
itunes shows that iphone4 has all the info in memory but it seems the operating system cannot access it.
mike

Stephen Swift

Same thing happened to me electricscott.  I had to right click my iphone in iTunes and select restore from backup (the backup I made just before upgrading).  That did seem to put back all my music, apps, and data.

Dave Whicker

Just upgraded. I made full backup and transferred all my purchases before doing so. I got all my apps back but every second of game data I had has been completely lost. Tried restoring from the backup I did before I upgraded and it isn’t there, I can’t find it. I’m absolutely furious!!!

Robert

It is stupid to not let us select where to create the backup files, I am tired of Apple telling me where I can store things.  I had to remove most of the apps and data on the iPad to get the update to work, all because Apple has to have everythign in oner spot or it does not work. I should be able to say use drive letetr whatever and it shoudl just work. Almost as dumb as not being able to upgrade the drive or battery without sending Steve memory another 800 bucks

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