iOS 6, the most recent iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system, will be made available for free today at 1 pm. For iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users, this means a number of significant — and hopefully positive — changes, including:
- Maps, Apple’s native Google Maps replacement
- Siri improvements, including greater language diversity and recommendations
- Facebook integration
- Shared photos streams, allowing users to send, like, and comment on friends’ photos across iCloud and Mountain Lion
- Passbook, an app for collecting credit cards, movie tickets, loyalty cards, and coupons in one place.
- FaceTime on cellular networks
- Updated phone, mail, and Safari capabilities
Of course, with each new release, a select number of unlucky — or unprepared, really — users experience glitches and crashes. As such, you should take a few necessary steps to avoid them, taking a small amount of your time now to prevent extensive loss of your time later.
Update iOS 5
Make sure you’ve updated iOS 5 to iOS 5.1.1. This can be done simply, over-the-air, in your iPhone’s settings.
Backup Your Data
The last thing most users want is to excitedly launch iOS 6 and find all of their data — phone numbers, messages, photos, videos — lost entirely. The simple solution? Backup your files on your computer and within iCloud.
Charge Your Phone
With iOS 5, we gained the capability to update iOS directly from our phones, disconnected from our computers. The downside? Significant battery drain. The obvious solution? Charge yours.
Upgrading iTunes to iTunes 10.7 beforehand will allow you to win at least the first leg of the race-to-update, which is sure to be a slow and arduous process as millions scramble to the servers.
Backup Your SHSH Blobs
If you’re extremely cautious (and technically-savvy), backup your SHSH blobs, which will, in short, allow you to revert back to iOS 5.1.1. First, download TinyUmbrella, connect your phone to your computer, and launch your new program. After selecting your device from the list TinyUmbrella automatically generates, simply click “Save SHSH”, and you’re extra-secure.