iOS 9 is here

Solid update

On Sept 16 (US time) Apple releases the latest upgrade for iPhone and iPad. It's called iOS 9 and it's a good one. There are a few new features (see below) but the fundamental changes are what make it worthwhile: faster performance and longer battery life. If your device is iPhone 4s or newer, iPad 2 or newer, iPad mini, or iPod touch 5th generation or newer, you can install the iOS 9 update.

What's new

  • Keyboard with upper and lower case letters — finally!
  • Great split screen mode for iPad
  • More keyboard improvements like better suggestions, copy and paste buttons
  • Battery life, battery life, battery life
  • See it all on Apple's website

How to update safely

Whenever you install a major update like this one, it's a good idea to back up your device first. Here's how to back up and then install iOS 9:

  1. Connect to iTunes on your computer with a cable.
  2. Save all your photos if prompted.
  3. Select your device in iTunes so you see a Back Up button in the main window. Click it.
  4. Save all your apps if prompted.
  5. When that backup is finished, click Check for Update and make it happen.
The entire process might take an hour or more depending on your internet connection and the size of the backup. You'll need your Apple ID password(s) once the device restarts after installation. You won't be able to use your iPhone or iPad while it's actually updating.

Even if you usually back up to iCloud (wirelessly) and you want to update your device without cables or computers (which is possible), the iTunes method gives you a more reliable backup in case things go wrong.