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5 Things To Do Before You Upgrade to iOS 5

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With the iOS 5 release date of October 12th bearing down on us, I wanted to share 5 things you should do before you upgrade your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to iOS 5.

Apple is adding over 200 new features to iOS 5, which fixes many of the major complaints from iPhone users.

One of the biggest changes is the new Notification center, which provides a much more elegant notification solution. There is also Twitter integration, a new messaging app that sends free messages to other iOS device, a better version of Safari, Reminders and improvements to Photos, which make it easy to touch up pictures.

You’ll also be able to sync and perform future upgrades without connecting to your PC. iOS 5 also brings support for iCloud, which will keep much of your iPad backed up to the cloud.

iOS 5 is Apple’s latest mobile operating system. This new software is free to download, and works on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, newer iPod Touches and the iPad and iPad 2.

Clean Up iPhone or iPad

Upgrading to iOS 5 is a great time to clean up your device. If you’re anything like me, you’ve accumulated a collection of TV shows and free apps over the past year. These apps do nothing but make me swipe more to get to the new apps I download.

To remove apps you no longer use, hold down on the app icon until it shakes. Now, you can tap the X to remove apps. To remove TV shows and movies from your iPad, you just need to open up the videos app and slide your finger from left to right. You cna see a short demo below.

Transfer Purchases

While you will be able to download your old apps from Apple in the new iOS App Store layout, this is time intensive. If you’ve already pared down your apps to the ones you really want and use, you can transfer apps and purchases to your computer for easy transfer to your iOS 5 device.

You can also use this as an opportunity to switch to a new computer, if you want to have your iPhone sync up to a different computer. I switched to a desktop, because my laptop is usually off at night when my iPad is plugged in. In iOS 5, when you plug in yoru device and it is connected to WiFi, it will attempt to back up to your computer.

Here’s a short guide on transferring apps to your computer, with video below.

Backup your iPhone or iPad

It is importnat to back up your iPhone or iPad before you upgrade. This will keep your information safe, and will allow you to restore your device to the way it was before upgrading to iOS 5.

The backup should happen when you plug in your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, but if you don’t see it happening, you can force a backup.

On the left side of iTunes, right click on your device, and choose Back Up.

This can take some time, but is worth it. If you do it now, you will be ready when iOS 5 is released and can get to the new features faster.

This is especially important in case you lose your apps when upgrading to iOS 5.

Download iTunes 10.5

itunes 10.5 coming soonYou’ll need the latest version of iTunes to make use of iOS 5, so be sure to download it as soon as Apple releases it. iTunes 10.5 should come out ahead of the iOS 5 release date, which means today, October 11th, is a good possibility.

Update: iTunes 10.5 is available

You can check the iTunes website periodically, or just click on iTunes – Check for Updates… on Mac or Help – Check for Updates on Windows.

You’ll want to have iTunes 10.5 on hand to make use of the new iCloud features like Photostream, which will sync pictures taken on your iPhone or iPad right to your Windows or mac computer.

Know Your Apple ID

If you have an iOS device, you should already have an Apple ID, but now you’ll be prompted to use this when you sign in to iOS 5.

If you don’t remember your password or username, now is a good time to track it down. You can reset your Apple ID password at Apple.com, or check if you have an Apple ID here.

The Apple ID is the key to linking your iTunes and iOS devices to each other as you can see in the iCloud video below.

Unfortunately, if you have multiple Apple IDs, you will have to choose just one to connect to your iPhone 4S or iPad 2. Apple is working on a way of merging IDs, but just a day before the iOS 5 release date we have yet to hear anything about the solution. You can only sync one account to a specific device in a 90 day period, so you can’t swap between accounts day to day.

iOS 5 Features and Demo

In the video below, you can see iOS 5 in action. Apple demonstrates many of the new features that will change how you use your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

For a full rundown, check out our iOS 5 Feature Guide. If you have an iPad, you’ll enjoy thee five iPad exclusive features that come with iOS 5.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

53 Comments

  1. Hippodame

    10/11/2011 at 7:58 am

    I do all these things on a regular asis. And I never download crapware. I use homesharing to watch all my movies.

    • swetstaks

      02/14/2012 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks for the truly compelling and vital information dude.

  2. Ben Clarke

    10/11/2011 at 8:46 am

    There is no update yet for iTunes 

    • Negra3060

      10/11/2011 at 12:44 pm

      Check again, I just updated mine. :)

  3. Gmyers99

    10/11/2011 at 8:59 am

    @Hippodame congratulations, I guess your smart and have no need for the writers advice.

  4. Sean Currin

    10/11/2011 at 9:20 am

    yip, still nothing

  5. Zain_mansoor

    10/11/2011 at 9:29 am

    i actually do this like once a week to keep my iphone from getting slow

  6. Beck7983

    10/11/2011 at 9:54 am

    Thanks for this page it helped me!!

  7. Goodmorningbill

    10/11/2011 at 10:21 am

    Itunes update is out

  8. Benjamin Roberts

    10/11/2011 at 10:23 am

    Great suggestions Josh! Now that we’re only one day away, take the opportunity to learn how your organization can leverage iCloud and iOS 5 to improve your end-users’ mobile experience and make it simpler to deploy, secure, and support iPhones and iPads: http://bit.ly/nkV7fm

  9. TIGERCT

    10/11/2011 at 10:48 am

    Thanks! This is just what I wanted to know b4 upgrading to iOS 5!

  10. Tasie786

    10/11/2011 at 11:48 am

    What should I do to get iOS 5 on my iPad

  11. Kim

    10/11/2011 at 12:33 pm

    Can’t wait for it! Tomorrow’s the day! (;

  12. Jo Meza

    10/11/2011 at 5:57 pm

    Just downloaded the latest update for iTunes 10.5 version!!

  13. Stevenslopez2011

    10/11/2011 at 6:10 pm

    Yeah yeah yeah!! Can’t wait can’t wait!!

  14. Sedrick

    10/11/2011 at 6:41 pm

    Can’t wait til in the morning

  15. Wscurr20

    10/11/2011 at 8:56 pm

    Any idea what time (eastern) IOS 5 will be released on ITunes?

    • HFK

      10/11/2011 at 10:18 pm

      3 AM EST as per the comments section on http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/2011/10/11/ios-5-download-time-countdown-what-to-do/#disqus_thread not sure how true it really is though

  16. Mircea

    10/12/2011 at 3:06 am

    Thanks for the info.

    Is there a way to recover the order of the apps (so they show in the same pages and folders as before the upgrade to IOS5)?

    Thanks 

  17. Jacob Weihrauch

    10/12/2011 at 7:03 am

    I appreciate this article.  It’s common sense ‘doings’ but I probably would not have had all this prepared.  I hate how long the updating process takes for a new iOS update, but this should make it easier!!  

  18. Joshnosh

    10/12/2011 at 7:17 am

    how come i cant download IOS 5??? it doesnt seem to be available yet

    • GB

      10/12/2011 at 7:46 am

      Josh,
      It is only 07:45 in California, Apple have normally released iOs upgrades between 09:00 and 10:00 their time, so that would equate to sometime around 5 to 6pm in the UK. We have probably another hour or two to wait.

  19. Jean-Robert Adam

    10/12/2011 at 7:54 am

    I agree with a lot of the folks here. I do these on a regular basis. I feel so much better to know that I am NOT the ONLY Mac and iPhone Anal Retentive, MacHead around here…I have downloaded my iTunes 10.5; I am getting  ready to sign in iCloud.com for Step 2. Next Step 3: IOS 5.
    Come ON IOS5! 
    1050 Hrs. EST; Not there yet!
    I cannot wait to start using MY iPhone TWITTER, REMINDER/TODO and of course iCLOUD…The iCloud Demo looks almost like a scene from the AVATAR movie: When the scientist was moving around the lab changing from one device screen to another.

  20. Moosey88

    10/12/2011 at 8:36 am

    I cannot wait. I have work at 6 so I can’t get it till later… so annoying!!!

  21. Firas Sameh

    10/12/2011 at 8:52 am

    daim still nothing :/ 

  22. Emily M11

    10/12/2011 at 9:28 am

    What time do you think for central? I’ve been waiting all night and no new updates available :(

  23. Shallazartp

    10/12/2011 at 10:04 am

    ^ same with me.

  24. Shallazartp

    10/12/2011 at 10:04 am

    YYYYYEEEESSSS IIITTSSS HHHEEERRREE!!!!!

  25. Frankie Boy

    10/12/2011 at 10:15 am

    WWOOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!JUST CAME OUT!!!!!

  26. Metalheadneji

    10/12/2011 at 10:29 am

    Its oooouuuuutttttt!!!

  27. Sjepsekl

    10/12/2011 at 11:09 am

    its taking hell of a time… have istalled for an hour now…

  28. T36sty

    10/12/2011 at 12:30 pm

    Will iOS 5 still work on a jailbroken iphone 

  29. Csimpso14

    10/12/2011 at 7:49 pm

    I just downloaded iOS 5. it was difficult but so far worth it.

  30. John Peter

    10/13/2011 at 1:42 am

    detailed and valid info Josh… i did a few things in a different way and ran into some issues… but finally all went well… everything is back, up and running… and yes i love the ios5 features… :)

    http://techryon.blogspot.com/

  31. Mimidenise

    10/13/2011 at 2:12 am

    i followed these intrusctions too but why is the back up taking forever!?!?

  32. Stephen B Wiley

    10/13/2011 at 11:04 pm

    You forgot the MOST IMPORTANT STEP:  Make sure RESTRICTIONS are disabled on the device!!  If you have restrictions (like no app install or no app delete) turned on, then you cannot sync, backup or transfer purchases.  It will SEEM like those functions work, but in fact they do not.  If you still go ahead and try the iOS 5 upgrade, you will get a “402636788  error occured while backing up” and it will ask you if you want to proceed with your sack out in the breeze – ie with no backup.

    TURN OFF RESTRICTIONS, STEP 1.

  33. cnicole

    10/14/2011 at 7:06 am

    I’ve updates the new iTunes but I can’t get iOS 5 on my phone?! How do I do it once u are on iTunes?

  34. jukebox

    11/06/2011 at 10:42 am

    Thanks so much for posting this; this information was just what I needed.

  35. Evarna_petterson

    11/09/2011 at 6:18 pm

    I need to update my iphone (itunes) how long will that take?

  36. Evarna_petterson

    11/09/2011 at 6:19 pm

    how long does it take to update the iOS? for an Iphone 4

  37. Louise-dawes-weazy

    12/01/2011 at 9:26 am

    im having trouble updating my phone itunes say 4.2.1 is the newist update ? ive uninstalled every thing reinstalled it and restored my phone and it still dose not work ??? any help

    • Anadora78

      12/01/2011 at 6:11 pm

      that is exactly what mine says.. =(

  38. ConEdLtd

    12/09/2011 at 3:58 am

    WARNING!!! The reason to back up your phone is not because of Apps. You can download those again. You may lose ALL contacts (Yes, google the unhappy many!) and the super helpful iTunes deletes your backups, as it thinks it has no further use for them once the update has finished.

    Backup and “very important”… copy backup to another location! (Yes… or you will lose your backup) You can always use 3rd party tools to recover contacts later. Even if 3rd party tools report no contacts, keep going. Use sqlite to export tables into Excel and reimport contacts into iPhone via email system. (Outlook or Google).

    If you are too late and contacts and backup have gone, use an undelete program to recover the deleted backups and then proceed with 3rd party tools/sqlite. But the sooner you try the recover the deleted backup the better, so that backup files do not get overwritten by other files.

    Good Luck!

    • swetstaks

      02/14/2012 at 9:41 pm

      Why not just sync your contacts back to Address Book like usual? Maybe export a new vCard backup for good measure, if you’re especially nervous. Seems simpler than messing about with 3rd party undelete tools like you suggested.

  39. Risi0416

    12/09/2011 at 1:17 pm

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    Hello all

     

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    I just upgraded
    to IOS 5 on my Iphone 4 and it is working like a charm J, let me tell you what I did, also I have
    a Mac i5 is that a different.

    I did my
    research for a few days first to see the complaints and fixes/errors just in
    case I run to any problems.  I
    found a suggestion made by one of the tech that make sense to me and follow his
    advice.

    1.    
    I
    make sure that I had the latest up date on my Mac (10.6.8) and iTunes (10.5.1
    (42)) then I unplug all my devices from my Mac. At the same time I took my
    iphone and went to setting and then general and then location services and turn
    that off, then notifications turn that off and WiFi turn that off.

     

    2.    
    Then
    I shut off my iphone (Boot) and turn it back on, I did the same thing with my
    Mac (restarted) and then click on iTunes opened and plug my cable connection to
    the Mac and then the phone and iTune automatically told me I have an update for
    my phone, I click cancel on the pop window and went straight to the Iphone
    device on iTune and my phone show up in another window in iTune where is says
    to update to a new version 5.0.1 I click there and a window pop up to tell me
    to backup my phone I did then another window telling me about my app but I
    don’t have much app and I could get them back later, so I decline and select to
    update.

     

    3.    
    It
    took about 30 minutes to do everything and everything is working perfectly so
    far.  I have everything the way it
    was and better, no battery issues no lowliness, I mean all is perfect.  I also want to mention that I have
    internet cable, don’t know if that has something to do though but I got a good
    signal.

     

    4.    
    I
    hope my experience is able to help someone and to get the same result as
    me.  Thank you for reading and good
    luck.    

    I just upgraded
    to IOS 5 on my Iphone 4 and it is working like a charm J, let me tell you what I did, also I have
    a Mac i5 is that a different.

    I did my
    research for a few days first to see the complaints and fixes/errors just in
    case I run to any problems.  I
    found a suggestion made by one of the tech that make sense to me and follow his
    advice.

    1.    
    I
    make sure that I had the latest up date on my Mac (10.6.8) and iTunes (10.5.1
    (42)) then I unplug all my devices from my Mac. At the same time I took my
    iphone and went to setting and then general and then location services and turn
    that off, then notifications turn that off and WiFi turn that off.

     

    2.    
    Then
    I shut off my iphone (Boot) and turn it back on, I did the same thing with my
    Mac (restarted) and then click on iTunes opened and plug my cable connection to
    the Mac and then the phone and iTune automatically told me I have an update for
    my phone, I click cancel on the pop window and went straight to the Iphone
    device on iTune and my phone show up in another window in iTune where is says
    to update to a new version 5.0.1 I click there and a window pop up to tell me
    to backup my phone I did then another window telling me about my app but I
    don’t have much app and I could get them back later, so I decline and select to
    update.

     

    3.    
    It
    took about 30 minutes to do everything and everything is working perfectly so
    far.  I have everything the way it
    was and better, no battery issues no lowliness, I mean all is perfect.  I also want to mention that I have
    internet cable, don’t know if that has something to do though but I got a good
    signal.

     

    4.    
    I
    hope my experience is able to help someone and to get the same result as
    me.  Thank you for reading and good
    luck.    

     

  40. Sidhudasmeshian

    01/02/2012 at 1:04 pm

    Update stop just before it complete…and start again??? Help me

  41. Kathycool199

    01/21/2012 at 2:16 pm

    Is It really worth it? Please tell me! I’m a 12 year old apple fanactic who spent a couple of hours chatting to people in the apple store about IOS 5.. I understand yet is the worth the risk of ruining my iPod touch 4th?

  42. Rachel

    01/25/2012 at 3:16 pm

    Ohkaay,so will i lose my photos?

  43. Anonymous

    01/26/2012 at 10:54 pm

    Here is step by step Video on Ipad 2 jailbreak 5.0.1  

  44. Melita****

    04/05/2012 at 3:35 pm

    I have a iphone 3gs. But how do we know if it doesn’t do damage to the phone

  45. Rita

    10/27/2012 at 9:30 pm

    How do I upload the movies on my iPad to my computer before I upgrade?! I upgraded my phone and lost everything I created!! GRRRRRR!!!!

  46. Leon Williamson

    01/20/2014 at 10:47 pm

    Does anyone know how to backup iPhone apps to computer?
    http://www.leawo.org/tutorial/how-to-backup-iphone-apps-to-computer.html

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