Last week, Apple announced that it would be releasing the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 8, on September 17th. Of course, developers have been testing the new software since June, but this is the first time it will be available to the public.
As such, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from readers who want to know what they need to do to prepare for tomorrow’s release. Rather than answer each person individually, we created this quick guide on how to ensure your devices are ready for iOS 8.
If one or more of your iOS devices is jailbroken, and you want to keep them that way, you won’t be updating to iOS 8 tomorrow. There is currently not a jailbreak available for the firmware, and there is no word on when (or if) one will be available to the public.
But that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear, as there are still a few housekeeping steps we recommend you take as soon as possible:
- Make sure you are on iOS 7.1.2, the latest version of iOS that’s jailbreakable by the Pangu tool. Shortly after Apple releases iOS 8 tomorrow, it will be closing the signing window for iOS 7.1.2, meaning you’ll be stuck on whatever firmware version you’re on or will be forced to update to iOS 8. There’s no reason not to be on the latest version of iOS.
- Get your last-minute fresh installs in. For the same reason as above, we recommend folks wanting to restore their devices do so before tomorrow’s iOS 8 release to ensure they stay jailbreakable. People do this for a number of reasons, including trying to fix an otherwise unexplainable glitch and reducing clutter.
- Stay away from iTunes syncing. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. Once iOS 8 becomes available tomorrow, syncing a compatible iOS device with iTunes will prompt an invite to download and install it. It asks your permission to do so, but you’d be surprised at how often people click ‘Yes’ or ‘Ok’ without reading the text.
For those that don’t have a jailbroken device, tomorrow is much more exciting. iOS 8 brings about a number of shiny new features to play with, as well as a slew of new tools that developers are using to build custom keyboards and create Touch ID-enabled apps.
But before you go installing iOS 8, we recommend taking a few steps to ensure you don’t lose any important data in the process:
- Backup your device. You can do this either via iCloud, by going to your Settings app > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Back Up Now, or by plugging your device into your computer and launching iTunes. Even if you plan on doing a clean install tomorrow on your iPhone or iPad, we recommend having a recent backup on file.
- Keep the juice flowing. The update should be available as both an over-the-air update and a standalone download via iTunes. Most people typically choose the former option, and it’s recommended that your device have at least 50% battery life before attempting an OTA update. So make sure that you either keep your battery full, or stick close to a power outlet.
- Get rid of the extra fluff. Major iOS updates like these can run 100MB or more, and the OTA file won’t download if you don’t have the space. So to avoid any issues or disappointments tomorrow, make sure you leave yourself a large cushion by deleting all of the apps and media content you don’t use.
- Download iTunes 11.4. If you sync your device with iTunes for all of your apps, movies and music, you’ll want to make sure you’re on the latest version before tomorrow. Apple released iTunes 11.4 last week with support for iOS 8 syncing, and you’ll need it after updating. If you don’t have 11.4, you can find it on our Downloads page.
If Apple follows past behavior, the iOS 8 update will go live around 10 am PST tomorrow morning. Since it’s a global release, we expect sluggish downloads and various other issues, as servers get slammed with an influx of traffic. Just be patient and keep trying.
We’ll let you know as soon as iOS 8 becomes available, and plan on covering subsequent news throughout the day, so stay tuned.