Should you upgrade your Apple device to iOS 8?

Apple released iOS 8 Wednesday, it’s latest mobile operating system, and unless you’re using an older iPhone or iPad for work purposes (or a jailbroken device), I can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t upgrade right away.

But here’s a few things to know before you start.

1. Can you upgrade to iOS 8?

iOS 8If you have an iPhone 4 or older, iPod 4th generation or older or a 1st generation iPad, you’re out of luck… and you’re probably not that avid an Apple user. The following devices are compatible with iOS 8:

  • iPhone 4S, 5, 5C and 5S (6 and 6 Plus comes pre-installed);
  • iPod touch 5th generation;
  • iPad 2, 3, 4, Air and Mini.

However, when I say “compatible”, I really mean your device will allow you to install iOS 8. But I wouldn’t recommend it for some older devices that may not be equipped to run the new software without noticeable sluggishness. If your iPhone 4S is already having trouble with iOS 7… iOS 8 will not help.

I have an iPhone 5 with only 16G storage, an iPad 3 with 64G and iPad Mini with 16G. I’ve already ordered an iPhone 6 with iOS 8 pre-installed with and 64G (won’t make the small storage mistake again), but it won’t be in my hands until October. So I’m upgrading all my current devices.

2. Have you backed up your device?

There are two different methods for backing up your iOS device: Backing up to iCloud or Backing up to iTunes. Assuming you have enough space available on your iCloud account, this is fairly easy to do. In fact, iCloud will automatically back up your data whenever your device is charging, locked and connected to Wi-Fi.

To check to see if iCloud is set up to Backup mode, first make sure you are connected to a Wi-fi network by opening up Settings. Then tap on Wi-fi and connect. Then in the Settings menu scroll down until you see iCloud and tap on iCloud, then go to Storage & Backup to see if iCloud Backup is on.
Backing up to iTunes requires you to plug your device into your computer. Just like iCloud, you want to be connected to Wi-Fi and be sure your computer is authorized for your account. You also need to be logged into your account.

iTunes iOS 8Now you’ll need to deal with any pictures on your iOS device. On a Mac, iPhoto will open when it detects your device as a camera. Simply import all your images by pressing the Import Photos button in the upper right hand corner. On a PC, AutoPlay will appear in most cases, depending on your settings. Once it appears, you will press Import Pictures and Videos.

Now that you’ve dealt with your pictures you can go back to iTunes.

Before backing up your device you should transfer any purchases made from iTunes, the App Store, or iBooks store. If you jump right to the Back Up Now button, iTunes will ask you if you want to do this, and you should. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to backup.

iTunes has three different methods to initiate a backup, but the easiest is found directly in the middle of the screen under the Backups heading, and above the Options section. You can monitor the backup in the center bar at the top of iTunes and once you see the black apple icon in that space, you’ll know your backup is complete. You can also confirm that the backup occurred by checking the Latest Backups listed under the Back Up Now button.

Now you’re ready to download iOS 8… maybe.

iOS 8 upgrade3. Do you have enough storage space

The biggest complaint so far about this upgrade is the enormous size of the download – about 5G on most devices. So the next challenge you may face is having enough storage space available to download the new software, especially if you have an 8G or 16G device. To get the 4.6G necessary to upgrade my iPhone 5, I needed to remove all the pictures and music. Not a big deal, just a big inconvenience.

First check the space available on your device by going to Settings and then General and then Software Update. Your device will tell you if you have enough space, or need to make room for the download. If it allows you to Download and Install, you’re good to go. But if you need more space, then go back to iTunes and de-select the Sync settings for Music, or whatever settings allow you to remove enough data to make room.

Then before applying the new Sync settings, verify that it gives you enough space using the color bar at the bottom of the iTunes window. When you confirm that, press the Apply button to the right of the color bar. After you’ve upgraded to iOS 8 you can simply Sync all the data back to your device.

iOS lock screen4. Download the iOS 8 software

Now that you’ve determined you can and want to upgrade your device to iOS 8, and you’ve completed the backups and cleared enough storage space… you’re really ready to download the software. And there’s two ways to do that: Over the Air (OTA) or using iTunes.

To do an OTA update, simply go to Settings on your device and then General and then Software Update. Press Download and Install to begin the process.

To update through iTunes, plug your device into your computer and press the Check for Update button in the section above the Backups section where you previously backed up your device. Then begin the Download and Install process.

ios notif5. Is it worth it?

Too early to tell right now. While Apple calls iOS 8 the “biggest iOS release ever”, you won’t visually notice as much change as you did with iOS 7. Most of the improvements are under the hood.

There are many new improvements for managing notifications and iOS 8 gives Photos more smart editing, sharing and search options. Messages has great new improvements to add sounds and other cool enhancements to what is inarguably the most popular app for most users.

There are improvements to the keyboard experience, Family Sharing, iCloud Drive, Health apps and much more.

Are you going to upgrade your device to iOS 8?

Let us know and keep building your brand.



Jerry is the president and owner of Brand Builder Websites. With an intense desire to help others succeed, Jerry guides business owners and professionals toward good decisions about how to effectively deliver their online message to the right audience. With over 25 years of experience in marketing, customer service and sales, Jerry excels in helping people and businesses connect, collaborate and grow.
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