iOS 8, Apple’s update to its iPhone operating system, has been in the news ever since it launched last week with good news, bad news and false news. If you’re confused about what’s going on with iOS 8, you’re not alone. The update has lots of fantastic features you’ll quickly come to appreciate, but the update process may make be filled with frustration for you.
You may be able to save yourself some headaches by following these tips. Take a few extra steps to update your iDevices to iOS 8 with fewer problems so you can enjoy its new features without regretting your decision. While these suggestions don’t guarantee a successful update experience, they may reduce the chances of encountering problems.
Issues with Updating to iOS 8
Users have been experiencing two main problems with updating to iOS 8:
- Not enough space on their devices
- Extremely long download times
Two tips can help you solve these problems.
Tip #1: Use iTunes on Your Computer
Users who update using iCloud without connecting to their computers are reporting iOS 8 requires up to 5 or 6 GB of free space for the download. Those with nearly full devices are deleting pictures, music, videos and space-hungry apps before they update.
The good news is that you don’t have to free up a lot of space if you use iTunes on your computer to update to iOS 8. Technically speaking, the software is downloaded in a compressed file that uncompresses after it’s on your device. Meanwhile, iOS 7 still needs to be on your device to run the update if you don’t use iTunes on your computer. So if you update to iOS 8 over the air without connecting your iDevice to your computer you’ll need a lot more free space because both iOS 8 and iOS 7 will need to be on your iDevice at the same time.
Tip #2: How to Update to iTunes without Long Wait Times
Some people have reported wait times of up to 90 hours to download iOS 8. Even if you have the patience of a new mom with a colicky baby, you won’t be successful in downloading iOS 8 because you’ll inevitably receive an error message.
What to do? I tried for four days to download iOS 8 to iTunes with no success so I researched the issue and came across a helpful post in the Apple forums that explained what to do in a few steps.
- When iTunes is showing many hours to download iOS 8, go to Menu => Windows => Downloads in the upper menu of your screen.
- The Downloads window will appear showing the iOS 8 update. Right-click on the progress bar and see what your download speed is. If the speed is in kbps instead of mbps you have a problem.
- Click Pause, then click Resume. Check your speed. If that doesn’t speed up the download try it again.
Here is the link to the forum conversation at Apple’s Support website: iOS 8 Update Takes Forever to Update. Look for the comment by wgogo at 11:55AM on Sept. 20 for his instructions on this tip.
When I tried this trick it worked the first time, shortening my wait time for downloading iOS 8 for my iPhone from 90 hours to 7 minutes. I tried it again to download iOS 8 for my iPad and had the same results. Success!
Note that this solution didn’t work for everyone in the forums. Later on in the discussion a more advance option is offered that involves changing the DNS server settings. I didn’t try that because the first solution worked well for me.
☛ See, Do You Feel the Need for Speed? to find out how to check your Internet connection speed.
How to Update to iOS 8 Using iTunes
As stated above, updating to iOS 8 using iTunes on your computer can make the process go more smoothly and eliminate the need for you to delete anything from your phone.
Follow these steps:
1. Close All Apps on your iDevice
Be sure to close all apps you have open on your phone. Open apps mean problems. If you leave them open, your apps are going to sleep in one operating system and waking up in another. Avoid problems. Close all of your apps.
2. Turn Off Your Passcode
If you have a passcode on your device, you’ll have to enter it quite a few times during the update process, potentially delaying the process. By turning off your passcode, you can speed up the update and save steps. You can add the passcode back on (and you should) after the update is complete.
Go to Settings => Touch ID & Passcode => Turn Passcode Off
You’ll have to enter your passcode a few times to confirm you want to turn the passcode off.
3. Power Your Phone Off
Press the power button at the top of your phone and hold it until the message appears on your phone, “Slide to Power Off” then swipe it to turn off your phone. This clears the memory. Power your phone back on again after a minute by holding down the power button on top of your phone.
4. Open iTunes on Your Computer
Make sure iTunes is updated to the latest version. If you get a pop-up window asking you to update iTunes, follow the instructions.
5. Connect Your iDevice to Your Computer
Use a cable to connect your iDevice to your Computer. iTunes should recognize the device. Check in the left menu for the name of your device. Click on the name of the phone if the Summary window doesn’t appear.
6. Backup Your iDevice
Back your device up to your computer or iCloud (I prefer my computer). Don’t skip this step.
7. Click on the Download Button
Download iOS 8 to your computer. Don’t Download and Update to iOS 8 at the same time. Click on the Download Only button. If the wait time stretches out to hours instead of minutes, follow Tip #2 above.
8. Update Your Device
After completing the steps above, you can update your device. Eject your device by clicking the up arrow next to the name of your device in the left menu. Now you can unplug your phone from the cable. Plug it back in again and update.
9. Follow the Set Up Instructions on Your iDevice
Your iDevice will walk you through the steps of updating your device. You should be asked to add a passcode during the setup if you turned it off or didn’t have one before you updated. Disconnect your phone from your computer by clicking the up arrow next to the name of your device in the left menu., then unplugging the cable from your phone.
Why Bother to Update to iOS 8
What’s so great about iOS 8? Why bother going through all of these steps? iOS 8 is filled with great features I’ll explain in a future article. But two of the most useful updates are improved reading and writing features.
Fonts can be made bigger and bolder on iOS 8, giving you greater control over how readable text is in Apple and other compatible apps.
Apple’s built-in keyboard in iOS 8 offers helpful word suggestions as you type, plus you can get 3rd party keyboards to make typing even easier.
Stay tuned to The Wonder of Tech for an upcoming article about the best features of iOS 8!
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Who Shouldn’t Update to iOS 8 Yet
You and/or your device might not be a good candidate to update to iOS 8. Put simply, it’s not for everyone. You shouldn’t update to iOS 8 yet if:
• You hate issues. If you’re not willing to tolerate bugs, stick with what you have until the kinks are worked out by Apple. Some apps on my iPad and iPhone are crashing consistently on iOS 8. YouTube videos don’t appear in mobile Safari. You get the idea…
• You have an older device. iOS 8 may not work or work well. While iOS 8 is compatible with iPhone 4S and iPad 2, users have reported the phone having problems with the update with slower response times and much worse battery life. See, Ars Technica, iOS 8 on the iPhone 4S: Performance isn’t the (only) problem and A slide into obsolescence: iOS 8 on the iPad 2.
• You have an app you can’t live without. Some apps, including apps that have been updated to be compatible with iOS 8, are unstable in iOS 8. Apps may crash or some functions may be unavailable. If there’s an app you depend on for your job or in your daily life, either wait until iOS 8 is updated to a more stable version or read reviews of the app to see if others are encountering problems with the app post-iOS 8.
iOS 8 is available free or:
- iPhone 4S and later models
- iPad 2 and later models
- iPad Mini and iPad Mini with Retina display
- iPod Touch 5th generation
Not sure which iPhone you have? Check the Apple Support page to find out.
Apple briefly issued an update on Wednesday, iOS 8.0.1, which was intended to solve some of the problems with iOS 8. Unfortunately for Apple and those who updated to iOS 8.0.1, that update caused more problems than it solved.
Some folks who updated their iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to iOS 8.0.1 reported a loss of both cell phone service and Touch ID fingerprint identification feature. Apple withdrew 8.0.1 in about an hour and promised to offer a solution within a few days.
If you were one of the unfortunate people who updated to iOS 8.0.1, you can restore your iPhone to 8.0 by following these steps on Apple’s support page: How to Restore to iOS 8.0 from 8.0.1
Update: iOS 8.0.2 has been released and fixes many of the bugs of iOS 8 and 8.0.1.
If All Else Fails and You Want to Restore to iOS 7
If you update to iOS 8 and regret the decision later, not all is lost. You can restore your device to iOS 7 by follow the steps set forth in this MacWorld article: How to downgrade your iPhone or iPad from iOS 8 to iOS 7.
Note that these instructions are for advanced users and I haven’t tried this myself. I’m sticking with iOS 8 as I’ve quickly come to enjoy its new features.
Have you tried to update to iOS 8? What was your experience? Have you been holding off from updating? Let us know in the Comments section below!