iOS 8 is scheduled to be released in a couple of days (September 17th). The Gold Master is out already and while some blogs have written about how you can install the GM, I’d recommend that you wait it out. Two more days is not going to hurt.

Whether you are upgrading via OTA or through iTunes, by default, all your data should be safe and the transition to iOS 8 from iOS 7.x should be no big deal. Nevertheless, here are some tips to upgrade to iOS 8 without any hassle.

Tips to Get Ready for iOS 8

Some Tips to Get Ready for iOS 8

In a nut-shell:

  • Check for device compatibility. The new iOS 8 might take some toll on older devices like iPhone 4s and iPad 2 so embrace for some slow performances there.
  • Keep a backup on iTunes/PC ready: iCloud backups are fine but make sure you have a backup of your iDevice on the computer too. When things go wrong with the network, OTA or post-upgrade-recovery, an iTunes backup can come in handy.
  • Avoid OTA If Possible: iOS 8 is a major upgrade. Try to avoid OTA and use iTunes instead.
  • Don’t trash-talk battery from day one: battery usage on day one will possibly be poor unless you exercise restraint from using your iPhone/iPad a lot. Take some time to test the battery (over a few days). Then, if iOS 8 still ends up eating your battery a lot, you can start posting about it.

iOS 8 Compatibility

iOS 8 works on these devices. If you have an older device, you won’t get an update notification and nor can you force it to install (unless you are a geek) iOS 8. Here’s the compatibility list:

  • iPhone: 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus
  • iPad: iPad 2, 3, 4, iPad Air (and all upcoming versions)
  • iPad mini: 1, 2 and newer.
  • iPod Touch: 5th gen

By now, your iPhone / iPad is already backed up to iCloud but like I always insist, having an iTunes backup goes a long way. If you run into some sort of a problem (say, with networks), you will be far better off with an iTunes backup than an iCloud backup.

iTunes usually backs up your iPhone/iPad whenever you connect and sync the device. Unless you’ve manually disabled the auto back-up option, you will have a recent backup of your iPhone.

  • Just before you update your iPhone/iPad, connect to iTunes and hit sync. Make sure the data is backed up too.

iPhone and iPad Back up to iTunes and iCloud

If Possible, Avoid OTA

This is a common happenstance. People try to upgrade through OTA (over-the-air; update through Wi-fi without using a PC/Mac) and run into some problem or the other. Most frequently, the upgrade freezes after a while.

If you can avoid OTA, do so. Connect your iPhone/iPad to the computer, fire up iTunes and click Update from the Summary tab in iTunes.

OTA, needless to say, is to save you from the hassles of connecting to a computer, fiddling with iTunes and all that. But seeing as it is that this is a major upgrade (you will have to do download more than a gig), it’s safer to use iTunes. If you run into any trouble, you can always restart the upgrade.

Battery Issues with Devices

With every new upgrade, there’s always a ton of posts about poor battery. You know what, this is just normal. To begin with, after the upgrade, people are using the iPhone more; to explore the new iOS, it takes a lot of time. The features in iOS 8 are incremental but more in number.

Basic battery-conserving tips can help. What we’ve covered for iOS 7 fits for iOS 8 too.