iOS 5.1 brings a number of great new features to the iPhone and iPad.
We are recommending that most users upgrade to iOS 5.1 as soon as possible, but for a few users, this doesn’t make sense.
If you fall into one of these categories, you should wait to upgrade, no matter how much you want better iPhone 4s battery life and the new camera shortcut on the lockscreen.
(Read: Ultimate iOS 5.1 Guide)
Don’t Upgrade to iOS 5.1 Yet If…
If you are on the road I highly suggest avoiding the temptation to upgrade to iOS 5.1. Not forever, just until you get home.
While Apple has tested this release, there are always a few bugs and a few users with trouble after an update. At least one of our writers has noticed that he needed to re-enter credentials in several places.
Not a major issue, but do you want to try to remember the complex work email password 5 minutes before you board a flight from Nebraska to Ontario? I didn’t think so.
You Have a Work Provided iPhone
If your iPhone is provided to you by your employer, especially a large employer, you may not want to upgrade to iOS 5.1 yet.
In some cases, the new versions of iOS need to be tested by the IT department, before phones using the new software can be used for work. In some cases this will apply to the iPhone you bought with your own money.
If you upgrade and it isn’t OK with IT, you may not be able to access the company network or resources.
Avoid a headache and check with IT if you use your iPhone for work.
You Haven’t Backed Up
If you ran out of space on iCloud and can’t remember the last time you backed up your iPhone, you should wait until you can do a full backup.
Yes, even if you plan to upgrade Over the Air. For most users the upgrade is without an issue, but it never hurts to have a backup.
If you have a jailbroken iPhone, don’t update your iPhone or iPad in iTunes before you research the right way to upgrade.
If you have a jailbroken iPhone 4s or iPad 2, you cannot jailbreak on iOS 5.1 yet. There is a jailbreak for iOS 5.1 on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, original iPad and recent model iPod Touch devices, but it is a tethered update.
That means if you jailbreak on iOS 5.1 you will need to plug your iPhone or iPad into iTunes every time you restart it, or live with reduced functionality until you can.
Most users can go ahead and follow our guide to upgrading to iOS 5.1, but if you fall into one of these categories you should hold off for a while. If you are waiting for an iPhone 4S jailbreak on iOS 5.1, you may be waiting a while.