Getting Ready for iOS 9

Last week, Apple announced its newest iteration of its mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. If you’re thinking about updating your device with the new OS, here’s what you need to know.


Why You Should Upgrade

The new operating system has a lot of new features to get excited about but there’s a few in particular to get excited about. For starters, search has been improved and integrated with Siri. This means it can search deep within apps, find contacts, and search nearby places quickly and accurately. Besides powering search, Siri is now a more proactive assistant giving you intelligent suggestions based on your routine and habits.


The new operating system also is also receiving some updated and new apps. A new News app learns what you’re interested in and aggregates relevant stories from a variety of sources. Maps has received an update with a public transit view and nearby feature helping you see what’s around you. Finally, Notes has some new features, including the ability to create checklists, make sketches in your notes, and attach things like links and photos.


iOS 9 also makes it easier to multitask on iPad with Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture. Slide Over lets you open a second app without leaving the one you’re using. This lets you quickly open and use a second app and then slide it away, letting you get back to what you were doing. With Split View you can actively use two apps at once. Lastly, Picture in Picture lets you scale down a video you’re watching or FaceTime down to the corner of your display and open a second app.


Preparing Your Device for Upgrade

Before you upgrade, there are a few things you should do to prepare your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. For starters, if you have an older device double check that iOS 9 is compatible with it—check out the chart at the top of this post. Next, go through the apps you have installed on your device and uninstall ones you haven’t used in a while—this is something you should do periodically to conserve space and keep your home screen clutter free.


Once you’ve cleared up the clutter, it’s time to back up your device. You can back up using iCloud or iTunes. To use iCloud launch your Settings app, tap on iCloud, scroll to the Backup option and open it, then tap “Back Up Now.” To use iTunes, launch the app on your computer, connect your mobile device via USB and select the device you’d like to back up and select “This Computer” from the summary tab.


Now that you’re all backed up, you can update your iOS by launching your Settings app, tapping “General,” and tapping “Software Update.” The update can take up to an hour so make sure you’ve left enough time to perform it. It should run smoothly but if you have any issues you’ll be able to restore your device using the backup you did in the previous step.


Even though the new operating system features some great improvements, it’s not necessary to update your device right away. If you’re nervous about bugs, give it a few days or even weeks before you take the leap. Regardless of whether you update right away or take your time, the new OS promises to be a nice step up. For more information on the new features, check out Apple’s iOS 9 page.

By Mike Agerbo

September 15, 2015