iOS 11 is now available for download, which means you can upgrade one of your many iOS devices to get features such as a smarter Siri, a new app dock on the iPad, and improved multitasking support. It also means you’ll be downloading the first version of a major software upgrade, which isn’t the best idea, especially on launch day. Issues ranging from slow download speeds to frozen devices often plague the first version of new operating systems, and the potential for something to go awry on day one should be enough to make you consider waiting until Apple irons out the kinks.
Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty
Hope You Have Some Free Time
When major software upgrades such as iOS 11 debut, there’s no doubt everyone will try to update their device. Be prepared to wait a while. With a large number of people trying to download the same huge software update from Apple, you might find your download speeds to be slower than you expected.
Holding off on updating for a few days is worth it, if only to spare yourself the potentially hours-long upgrade ordeal.
The iPhone X's full-screen display may be the first thing you notice about the new device, but Apple's upgraded front-facing camera deserves your attention, too. Maybe even more so.Read more
iOS is Usually Buggy At Launch
While no software is bug-free, new and major software upgrades are pretty prone to error, and can make your iOS device feel like a piece of untested hardware instead of the well-oiled machine it claims to be. When it comes to iOS, Apple has a history of making a few mistakes before working out the major bugs in its software.
Apple’s last major iOS release, iOS 10, was the subject of much criticism after it left users’ devices frozen, forcing some to perform a factory reset, losing data that wasn’t backed up. The launch of iOS 8 and its novel HealthKit feature left certain developers’ apps non-functional. The updated version, iOS 8.0.1, fixed the HealthKit error but prevented users from connecting to their mobile networks, in addition to reports of Touch ID errors (they fixed those bugs in iOS 8.0.2). In short, you might want to wait for brave early adopters to jump in first to see if the coast is clear.
Back Up Your Device, Please
Even with all the caveats and warnings, it’s safe to assume a brave few will take the plunge and download iOS 11. Before you even think about upgrading your iOS device from iOS 10 to the fresh-faced operating system, you’ll need to do some prep work. First, be sure to backup your iOS device before upgrading. The chances of a failed upgrade aren’t zero, so you should take proper precautions before throwing your iPhone upon the gears of progress.
You can have up to two iOS backups for a device, with one stored in iCloud, Apple’s cloud service, and the other stored locally inside your iTunes app.
Backing your device up is simple enough, and Apple’s instructions are pretty easy to follow whether you’re using iCloud or iTunes. iCloud backups are automatically encrypted, while you’ll need to enable encryption for local backups in iTunes. With both backups, you’ll be able to save all the data inside of your iOS device, but certain information, such as Touch ID settings, Apple Pay information, or data already securely stored in your iCloud account, won’t get backed up.
Please Upgrade While Wired
When you are ready to take the leap and upgrade your device to iOS 11, make sure you have the proper equipment to do so. Sure, you can download and install the update right from your iPhone or iPad, but you should employ the aid of a computer to reduce the risk of something going wrong.
Upgrades downloaded over your iOS device’s Wi-Fi connection have been the source of error messages in the past, so downloading the new operating system through your computer and upgrading while your device is plugged in can reduce the risk of a botched download, and save your iPhone the trouble of managing the multi-gigabyte download.
Be sure your device is charged as well. Apple won’t let you upgrade your iPhone or iPad unless it has at least 50 per cent battery capacity — another reason to use a wired connection to handle the entire upgrade process.