The new iPhone operating system (OS) is out. Version 7.0.2 as of today (mid October). I’ve had more than a few grocery store aisle conversations about this latest update from Apple for their device line. I thought I’d take a few minutes this month and talk about upgrading your device – or not. What to do if you decide to update. And what to do if you want to get a new phone.
First things first: there’s an old maxim in the computer realm that you never, ever upgrade to a “dot zero” update. So, when your favourite software or hardware maker comes out with a new version you wait. The “dot zero” refers to the ‘.0’ at the end of the version number. In this case, ‘7.0.’
Oh, it’s tempting. Everyone wants to have the shiny new thing. Resist the temptation. One notable result of upgrading is that if you don’t like it, it may be next to impossible to go back. Right now, unless you took some specific, non-published steps, to make DFU copies of your old iPhone OS image, you can’t go back. Another result, if you have an older phone, things may be slower. The newest OS is invariably designed to shine on the newest device. The new iPhone 5S is much faster than, and has twice the memory of, the iPhone 4S. So, v7 is Maserati fast on the 5S, on the 4S it’s more like a Subaru – functional, but not fast. If you’ve actually upgraded your iPhone 4, it may be more in the Masey Ferguson speed range.
On top of the speed issues, there are just plain not working right issues. I’ve heard of a myriad of problems with phone calls, text messages, email, etc. This is why we wait for the updates to the “.0” version. They fix the problems. Let other people live on the hemorrhaging edge. Your contact list will thank you for it.
If you decide to upgrade, please make a backup first. Plug your phone into iTunes and do a manual backup. Select your device and choose File > Devices > Transfer Purchases from Your iPhone. Then File > Devices > Back Up. Now under the Summary tab on in iTunes select Update. Note that this update won’t let you go back if you don’t like OS 7. That’s a more convoluted process that is best looked up on the internet.
The update process is fairly straight forward. You may or may not find that some of your app’s passwords are no longer remembered and you may have to retype them in.
What about if you’re buying a new phone? Well, follow the same process as above, backing up your old phone. Now plug in your new phone and when prompted choose to restore from your last backup. In this case your passwords will NOT be carried forward. You’ll need to type them all in again.
If your old phone is in rough shape then please recycle it. Apple claims to be able to recycle up to 90% of old phones if returned to them. See details at http://www.apple.com/ca/recycling/ Apple will take trade-ins in-store too.
Now, if your old phone is still in good shape you may be able to sell it. The first place to try is Facebook. Who knows which of your friends would like to buy a new phone for a bit cheaper than replacing their cracked screen. Ebay does a brisk trade in iPhones. Amazon will buy your old phone for Amazon gift credits. A good deal if you use Amazon a lot. http://www.gazelle.com will buy your old phone for cash.
One last thing. Before you sell or recycle your old iPhone be sure and erase it. On your phone go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Erase All Content and Settings. This will wipe your phone and return it to factory defaults. WARNING! This can’t be undone, so mean it, if you do it.