It’s that time of year again: The weather’s cooling down, the leaves are changing color, and Apple’s latest iPhones are on the way.
Not ready to drop $1,000 on an iPhone X? That’s cool. You can make your old iPhone (and iPad) feel new again by updating to iOS 11. The new software packs some nifty new features like a smarter, more humanlike Siri and a customizable Control Center. iPad users should be especially pumped for the new Drag and Drop function, which makes it easier to get work done on the go.
The free software update becomes available today. Here’s what to do to get it on all your devices.
Back It Up
Before giving your iPhone or iPad a nice little makeover, be sure your data’s all backed up. Uploading data to iCloud secures the basics like contacts, settings, and messages, but storage can be costly and it won’t save things like app preferences. For a more complete (and free) back-up, iTunes will save all the basics plus your apps, log-in credentials, and even your home screen arrangement. Plug your device into your computer, open iTunes, select your device, and choose “Back Up Now” under the “Manually Back Up and Restore.”
You won’t be able to get all of iOS 11’s sweet new features if your device isn’t charged. You’ll also need to plug into an outlet and connect to Wi-Fi before you can start your download.
You’ll need about 2GB of free space to download the new OS. Make some room by deleting photos and apps you no longer need. Google Photos has a cool feature that automatically uploads your photos to its servers, and you can tell it to clear all the photos on your camera roll once they’re backed up. Do it ahead of time to save yourself the headache of frantically deleting stuff.
Once you’re plugged in, backed up, and have space to spare, you’re ready to go. Your phone should notify you when the iOS 11 update is available, but if you’re feeling antsy, jump into the General tab in the Settings app and hit Software Update to start the download.