Updating to iOS 8 or Getting a New iPhone 6? Backup with iTunes First!

With iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launching this week, it is important that attorneys remember to backup their devices before updating to a new phone or the new operating system. Although it is possible to use iCloud for backups, I have discussed the security concerns of doing so in the past. Your best bet is to use iTunes to create a local copy of your iPhone or iPad before applying any update.

The video above walks you through the process of connecting your iPhone or iPad to your computer and doing an iTunes backup. This should be done on a fairly regular basis to make sure that you can always easily restore your phone or iPad if they are lost, stolen, or malfunction. The process is quite simple, and after the initial backup, runs quickly for subsequent backups.

In addition to using iTunes because it is more secure. it is also nice to use iTunes because it speeds up the process of restoring your device if you have to. If you use iCloud it could take over a day to restore your device if you need to and you have to have a working internet connection during the entire restore process. With an iTunes backup, you simply plug your device into your computer, hit the restore button and at most it takes an hour or two to restore.

I hope that the video is helpful for those that have not used iTunes to backup in the past.

iOS 8 Released for iPhone 4s, 5, 5c, 5s and iPad 2, iPad with Retina and iPad Air

iOS 8 Now Available

If you currently have an iPad 2 or newer, or an iPhone 4s or newer, you can update your device to iOS 8. The update went live at about 1:00 pm EST on Wednesday September 17, 2014. iOS 8 is available through an over-the-air update or by connecting your iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2, iPad with Retina (3rd or 4th generation), iPad Mini, iPad Mini with Retina, or iPad Air to iTunes on your computer. iOS was first previewed for developers at WWDC in June 2014, and has had a number of beta releases before its release on September 17, 2014.

Although this update adds many new features to iOS, it looks very similar to iOS 7 once installed on your iPad or iPhone. The biggest changes occur under the hood. Most notable, for the first time users can now download and install customized keyboards that can be used throughout the device. Additionally, Apple has introduced extensions, widgets, in-line notification responses and a cloud drive service that can be accessed across all applications (iCloud Drive). Extensions and widgets can both be used by developers to extend your app experience.

iOS 8 Widgets

Widgets are added to the notification center to provide you with updated information without having to launch an app (think sports scores, weather, shipping notifications, etc.). Extensions are added to the “Open In” dialog box within apps, and allows you to launch actions associated with another app installed on your device. For example, you could be viewing a preview of a document in Dropbox, and a PDF app could have an extension that lets you add annotations without having to fully open the app. The extension runs on top of the app that you currently have opened, and once you complete an action, it returns you back to the app you were using with any changes you made. (Universal password apps and Social Networking sites are also expected to take advantage of extensions).

With the ability to add customized keyboards, iPhone and iPad users will finally be able to choose apps with advanced features like swiping on your keyboard instead of typing. Swiftkey and Swype should both have keyboards released for the iPhone sometime on September 17, 2014. There are also picture keyboards in the works, and even keyboards that do nothing more than show you whether you are currently using upper or lower case letters when inputting text.

iCloud drive promises to be a central storage solution where all apps can have access to. This will allow you to start working on a document in Pages, save to iCloud Drive, and then access in a different word processor like Microsoft Word. With inline notification responses, you will be able to reply to text messages or tweets without actually opening a separate app. You can simply hit reply, respond inline and go back to what you were doing. (You can even enable the ability to respond from the lock screen).

iPad iOS 8 Update CompleteAlthough I safely updated an iPhone 5s and iPad Mini with Retina, it is always best to be cautious before completing a significant update on your device. I recommend that you have a backup of your device using iTunes before completing the update, and set aside at least 3 hours in case there are problems. Although iCloud backups allow you to do a restore if you run into problems, if you have more than 20 apps, and are using a good portion of your device storage, it is not recommended that you rely on this method. Before updating or backing up your device on iTunes, make sure that you check to that iTunes is updated to version 11.4. (In iTunes go to the Help menu, and select “Check for Updates”).

Depending on your device you need about 1 GB of space available to download the update. I would recommend that you have at least 3 GB of space available before attempting the update over-the-air. Normally small flaws are discovered after a major release of iOS. It is usually safest to wait at least 2 weeks before installing the update if you use your iPhone or iPad for any mission critical purposes.