Apple's Updates: What You Need to Know

Today Apple issued an upgrade called iOS6 for many existing iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, as well as updates for Macs.  Here are a few tips:
  • They're all free!
  • There are some great new features in iOS6, but Apple removed Google Maps and substituted their own; we'll see how they compare.
  • Not all older devices (like the original iPad) are eligible for the upgrade, and even those that do may not get every feature. Details and good instructions in this MacWorld article.
  • Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes first (on a Mac: iTunes/Check for updates; on a PC: Help/check for updates, or download here).
  • Leave time: the upgrade files are BIG, and the process can take a while; you don't want to interrupt it.
  • Be smart: upgrade by connecting your iDevice to your Mac or PC and backing up first. While it is possible to upgrade "over the air" directly on the device, it's a lot easier to recover if anything goes awry (rare, but it happens) when you upgrade through the computer.
  • Even if everything goes perfectly, you may need to re-enter some passwords and settings, so have your account information handy (Apple, email, network, magazine subscriptions, etc.).

Many Macs also get an update (not as big a deal as an upgrade), mostly security fixes.  For the updates, you'll need to:

  • Allow plenty of time (depending on the speed of your computer and internet connection)
  • Keep the computer plugged in
  • Have your system password available
  • Have enough space on your computer for the updates. If you don't, delete old stuff you don't need (like the first 22 seasons of Lost) or move it off the computer til you're done--but if you're that low on space, it may be time to upgrade anyway.
  • Don't forget to back up first, just in case.

Good luck!