iOS 5 is Great. Don’t Rush to Get It!

By  |  Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 11:48 pm

One of the top two or three advantages that the iPhone has over Android handsets has nothing to do with new handsets. It’s the fact that when a new iPhone is imminent, owners of old iPhones can upgrade to the new version of iOS as soon as they like. Lack of fragmentation is a wonderful thing.

Apple released iOS 5 on Wednesday. It’s excellent–and Dan Moren’s Macworld review is an excellent summary of what’s new and worthwhile. If you have a recent iPhone and/or an iPad, get it–the new notification features alone are a huge deal, and they’re just the beginning. But taking your time about the upgrade is a perfectly rational strategy.

Here’s my advice:

1. Let others discover problems. There have been scattered reports of iOS 5 woes today–both difficulty downloading and installing it at all, and ones involving post-installation glitches. That’s neither surprising nor a sign that iOS 5 isn’t fully baked: Some percentage of people who upgrade to any new version of OS will have problems, and it’s entirely possible that iOS 5 is less troublesome overall than most. But if you don’t rush, you’re less likely to be one of the people who uncovers a bug Apple didn’t know about.

2. Check your apps. iOS 5 is different enough that some third-party programs will need an update to work perfectly. If you’ve got any software you can’t live without, monitor the App Store for reviews–if there are problems, users will mention them–and for updates that are advertised as being iOS 5-ready.

3. Wait until you can update at your leisure. If you do it on a lazy weekend, you can take your time. And if something goes awry, it’ll be less alarming than if you try to squeeze the upgrade into a busy workday.

4. Back up, back up, back up. Even if you think that your device has synced everything to your computer, do a fresh backup right before you update.

Like I say, I’m not predicting iOS 5 upgrade nightmares–I’ve put it on both my iPad 2 and iPhone 4 and didn’t encounter any gremlins. I just think that doing it at your own pace makes a lot more sense than rushing head-first into the process. And if you’ve already been through the experience, I’d love to hear your experiences.

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13 Comments For This Post

  1. Fred Says:

    "I’ve put iOS 5 on both my iPad 2 and iPhone 5" Yes. I'm sure you have an iPhone 5. Just like my iPad 3DS.

  2. I Can Read Says:

    Hope you like your iPad 3DS……the articles reads to me as "I've put it on both my iPad2 and iPhone 4" – no mention of iPhone5 (which of course will come with iOS 5 anyway)!

  3. Bill Says:

    Well it trashed my iPhone 4 the first time around, but after the factory reset it worked fine. The restore process put everything back as before, so no worries on that score (apart from all the music on the phone being removed)

  4. David Hamilton Says:

    Took over 16 hours in total to update my iPhone… multiple errors last night due to the Apple verification server being saturated… then accidentally disconnected iPhone too early (thinking it MUST be finished by now!) and needed computer reset… then power company pulled two power glitches which rebooted computer each time. And in spite of all that, it succeeded!

    What I've learnt:
    1) Don't update as soon as software is available and pick a time when at least part of the world isn't online (early morning European time is good as US mostly asleep!)
    2) Be really patient. Don't cancel any processes, no matter how slow they seem, and before disconnecting double-check the icon next to device in iTunes to ensure device isn't still syncing (under iOS5 syncing doesn't lock device, so CHECK!)
    3) I'm really, really impressed by how robust Apple have made the update process. That was a really major update, and pretty much everything failed that could fail, yet the update (eventually) succeeded.

  5. lunarflame17 Says:

    I had no problems updating my iPad 2, and I started the process shortly after the update was available. My iPod Touch took a little longer, but was more or less painless. I also updated my wife's iPod Touch as well, and had no problems with that. From the stories I've heard I guess I was pretty lucky.

  6. MJPollard Says:

    “Lack of fragmentation is a wonderful thing.”

    When one company has complete control over both the hardware and the software, I should hope so! Others, however, like flexibility and choice. Either way, isn’t it great that we live in a world where so many choices exist?

  7. lauralovesart Says:

    I’m still going to wait a couple of days! Thanks for all the info though Harry…I’m definitely looking forward to it!

  8. Brandon Backlin Says:

    Had a small glitch because the activation servers were slammed, but the second go-around went smooth, during the mid afternoon when most owners were working or at school.

  9. Harald Bildsøe Says:

    I started updating at 7.15 pm local time here in denmark (minutes after the release) and finished updating my iphoto at 11.10 but damm. it was worth it..

    if i had made a list of things that would truly complet my new 3gs when i got it almost 2 years ago then this update would have checked of the last few points on it.

  10. steve rounds Says:

    how do I upgrade my ipad2 to get ios5

  11. Fangirl Says:

    I had no problems installing , it took a mere .. 2 hours. But having major problems with the language settings in some of the native apple apps, can't get them back to the language my iPad uses unless I turn location services off ..

  12. John J Says:

    Don’t upgrade if you have multiple Mobile Me accounts. Phone upgraded to one but hosed as far as purchases and upgrades to App Store and iTunes. I guess Apple doesn’t want to make money off my AMEX card. Unacceptable upgrade.

  13. Alarm clocks Says:

    Great news !
    Hope you like your iPad 3DS……the articles reads to me as "I've put it on both my iPad2 and iPhone 4" – no mention of iPhone5 (which of course will come with iOS 5 anyway)!