How to Prepare for the iOS 8 Release Date Adam Mills07/24/2014 With the fall fast approaching and iPhone 6 and iOS 8 release date rumors starting to heat up, now is a great time for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners start making some early preparations for the iOS 8 release. Here, we offer some early tips to iPhone and iPad users that want the upgrade process to go as smoothly as possible. In June, Apple took the stage and announced several new products including an OS X Yosemite update for Mac and the highly anticipated iOS 8 update for iPhone and iPad. The company saved iOS 8 for last where it debuted a number of iOS 8’s top features including improvements to notifications, changes to the Photo app, the introduction of a brand new keyboard, and more. It also announced a slew of other smaller iOS 8 features that should be on board the software when it arrives.Advertisement In addition, the company also put the iOS 8 update into its beta program and announced that it would take it out of the beta sometime this fall. In typical fashion, the company did not attach a specific date to the release. Of course, with iPhone 6 release rumors virtually all pointing to September, it didn’t really have to. As we push through the month of July towards the fall, we’re starting to see iPhone 6 and iOS 8 release date rumors start to firm up ahead of its release. As we noted yesterday, it appears that Apple is trying to get the iOS 8 GM completed sometime in late August or early September ahead of the new iPhone release. The gap between the completion of the GM and the public release will allow its carrier partners to test the software ahead of time.Advertisement With the iOS 8 release on the horizon, it’s time for iPhone and iPad owners to start preparing for Apple’s next major upgrade. We’re still weeks away from a release but if you heed some of these tips, the iOS 8 process may not deliver as many headaches.Advertisement Get Familiar iOS 8 The first step that you’re probably going to want to take ahead of the iOS 8 release date is to get yourself acquainted with Apple’s brand new update. There are two ways of going about this. First, you can read up on the brand new software. We’ve been taking a look at some of the new features inside of the latest iOS 8 beta updates including Apple’s latest, iOS 8 Beta 4. Read up, watch as many videos as you can, and absorb as much as you can. This way, you’re not going to be caught off guard by some of the more significant changes that Apple has made to its iOS software. The other way to do this is to get hands on with it. While there are some good reasons to wait for the public release, you can now install iOS 8 without developer account or UDID registration. This allows you to install the iOS 8 beta right now, without waiting for the official iOS 8 release date.Advertisement To get started, take a look at our guide that will take you step-by-step through the iOS 8 beta installation process. It’s a bit time consuming but those that wish to get a look at iOS 8 before its release might want to think about it. If You Don’t Want iOS 8, Upgrade Now If, for whatever reason, you do not want the iOS 8 upgrade, now is the time to make your move. Maybe you’re intimidated by the changes to iMessage. Maybe you don’t like the changes Apple has made to the Photo application. Maybe you want to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad right this very second. (An iOS 8 jailbreak appears to be on the way but it could be sometime until we see it publicly released.) Whatever the case may be, once iOS 8 is out, getting back to another version of iOS is going to be extremely difficult. If you have not used iOS 7 at all, now is a great time to get it on board and become familiar with it. iOS 8 is going to look and feel like the iOS 7 update and so if you do decide that you want iOS 8 down the road, you’ll be better prepared than if you were still on iOS 6 or below. Learn How to Backup Your iPhone & iPad Every year, Apple releases a new iOS update. And every year, some poor soul loses some precious files, photos or video during the upgrade process due to some unforeseen error. It’s not common but there is always a chance that the iOS installation process can wreck some havoc on your phone. And that is why we always suggest making a backup.Advertisement Backing up your iPhone and iPad is extremely important, especially if you keep sensitive files on board. It will take some time, especially if you have a ton of files stored on your device, but it’s a feature that you should be familiar with in the lead up to the iOS 8 release. You’d be surprised how many people don’t know about the backup process. Advertisement The backup process begins after you plug your device into a computer. If it doesn’t happen automatically, you can also force a backup to occur on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Simply go into iTunes, right click on your device, and select Back Up. It’s pretty simple and it will ensure that you don’t lose anything when and if you decide to make that upgrade to iOS 8. Get familiar with it now, ahead of time, so there aren’t any issues when the iOS 8 release date arrives. Perform Early Maintenance Right now is a great time to perform some yearly maintenance on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. What we mean by that is, you might want to think about updating those applications that you haven’t updated all year. You also might want to think about deleting apps you don’t use to free up some space or getting rid of photos and videos that you don’t want to keep. Those who own 16GB model iPhones and iPads have extra incentive to take care of the deadweight because iOS 8 is going to require a ton of open space should you choose to install it Over-the-Air. Finally, start getting your contacts in order. Apple’s iOS 8 update delivers a new keyboard with predictive text that bases its intelligence off your conversations with friends. In other words, you might want to think about condensing your contacts to better take advantage of this. Don’t Count on iOS 8 to Solve Your Problems If you’re dealing with issues inside iOS 7.1.2 or below, don’t sit around waiting for iOS 8. Yes, it’s going to come with a number of bug fixes but there is no guarantee that the update is going to alleviate every single problem found in iOS 7.0, iOS 7.1 and below. Instead, use these next few weeks to be proactive and get your device healthy ahead of the iOS upgrade. To do this, we highly recommend taking a look at our iOS 7.1.2 fixes. While they’re not going to work for everyone, they will probably help solve iOS problems for a great many of you. Remember, iOS 8 will also bring some issues of its own which makes this maintenance extremely, extremely, extremely important. It will ensure that you don’t lose files, that your applications work and that your software isn’t painfully buggy after the upgrade. Do You Want Every iOS 8 Feature? While most iOS 8 features should show up on most devices, at least one of the major iOS 8 features will only be available to certain iOS and Mac users. Continuity, one of the key features of Mac OS X and iOS 8, will only be compatible with Macs that support Bluetooth LE, or, Bluetooth Low Energy. What this means is that the feature will only work with these devices: MacBook Air mid-2011 and higher MacBook Pro mid-2012 and higher Retina MacBook Pro mid-2012 and higher iMac late-2012 and higher Mac mini mid-2011 and higher Mac Pro 2013 and higher This is important because Continuity is comprised of a number of unique features including the ability to answer a call on your Mac, respond to SMS messages using your Mac, sharing files between iOS and Mac OS X, Handoff for a number applications including Mail and Safari, and personal hotspot without any sort of setup. We’re not saying run out a buy a new Mac right now but if you want access to these features, you’re going to need to think about making an upgrade at some point down the road. Right now is the best time to do some research into it. Do All Of This Before Mid-September At this point, you should be preparing for a mid-to-late September iOS 8 release date. While the specific release date isn’t known, iPhone 6 rumors have pointed to September 19th and September 25th with a launch event reportedly scheduled for the middle of the month. The iOS 8 release is linked to the iPhone 6 release. Apple tends to release its iOS updates a few days before its new iPhone which means that you iPhone and iPad users have a few weeks to start making the proper preparations for iOS 8’s arrival. Believe us when we tell you this. If you come prepared for the iOS 8 release, you minimize the chances of finding yourself in the midst of one of those iOS update horror stories.