5 Things To Do Before You Upgrade to iOS 5

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.