Upgrading to iOS5 (1 of 4): Getting Ready to Upgrade

On Wednesday, October 12, Apple is going to officially release iOS5. This is a very significant upgrade, with several fundamental changes to how your iPhone or iPad synchronizes and backs up data.  Over the next few days I am going to show you the simple steps involved in upgrading to iOS5 and also provide some details on some of the new features and how to take advantage of them.  Check out the new features on Apple.com  iOS5 is only supported the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2 and iPod Touch (3rd generation).

Here is a link to the other steps:
Upgrading to iOS 5 (2 of 4): iTunes 1.5

Step 1: Getting Up To Date
One big issue that is going to be addressed in iOS5 is iOS device owners not keeping their software up to date or synchronized/backed up with their computer.  So let's go through the steps you should take prior to Wednesday, to prepare your iOS device for the upgrade.  This requires your iOS device and the computer you used to set it up.
  • On the computer make sure you have the latest version of iTunes and upgrade if necessary. 
    • Open up iTunes
      • Check for updates (the current version is 10.4)
        • If you have a Mac select the "Check For Updates" item under the iTunes menu
        • If you have a PC select the "Check for Updates" item under the Help menu 
      • If any updates show up proceed with the upgrade to the new version.
    • Once you have confirmed that you are at iTunes 10.4 it is time to make sure your iOS device is up to date.
      • Open up iTunes 10.4
      • Connect your iOS device to your computer using the USB cable
      • Select the Device in the left panel of iTunes to load the information screen for the device
      • Sync the device to create an up to date back up prior to the upgrade
      • Click the "Check for Updates" button. The current version for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4(GSM), iPad and iPad 2 is 4.3.5. The iPhone 4 (Verizon) is at 4.2.10
      • If you are prompted to upgrade your device then you should proceed with the upgrade.
        • The upgrade will do the following:
          • Download the actual iOS5 upgrade
          • Upgrade the firmware on your iOS device
          • Synchronize your device
That is all for this step. In the future this is going to be much easier, but that is for another day. Stay tuned for the next post where I go over the steps for upgrading your computer to iTunes 10.5, your device to iOS5 and finally setting up wi-fi syncing.