iOS 9: Why you should update, and how

iOS 9 contains a raft of new features and functions


Apple’s iOS 9 update has now been released and is available to download for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. The latest mobile OS has already been downloaded on over 50 percent of all devices.

The update is seen more as a refinement of iOS 8 than a major new version of the platform, but it does contain several notable features and improvements that make it worth downloading.

V3 has put together a handy guide to updating your iPhone or iPad, so you should avoid any headaches on your path to iOS 9.

Check your device is compatible

The iOS 9 update should work on any device that can run iOS 8. This means it goes as far back as the iPhone 4S, covering that along with the iPhone 5, 5S and 5C, and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

For the iPad anything from the iPad 2 and up and all iPad Mini models can upgrade, while fifth- and sixth-generation iPod Touch devices can also upgrade.

Back-up your data

It’s always worth backing up your iPhone periodically just to make sure all your key apps, photos and so on are not lost forever should the worst happen.

However, before a major software update is always the most important time, as despite the extensive testing Apple will have no doubt done, it’s best not to risk updating without a backup first.

You can either do this by connecting your iPhone to a Mac or Windows machine, or via the iCloud storage system Apple offers. This only comes with 5GB of free space, though, so you may need to buy more if you have lots of photos, videos and so forth you couldn’t stand to lose.

Clear enough storage

Apple faced heavy criticism for the fact its iOS 8 update was a huge 4.58GB, meaning many device owners, especially those with 16GB of storage, had to remove lots of data just to get the upgrade.

With iOS 9, though, Apple has worked on this and reduced the download file size to a maximum of 1.3GB. This should be far more manageable and remove the pain, hassle and tough decision-making that’s required for larger installs.

However, if you're on an older version of iOS 8, i.e. not the most recent iOS 8.4 update, then the file size will be bigger as the lastest download will contain those updates as well as the iOS 9 install.

Siri has been given an overhaul for iOS 9


How to update

There are two ways to update to iOS 9. The first is an over-the-air update. This basically means letting the files download over WiFi, before installing them on the device. This is definitely the quickest and easiest way to manage the install.

The second way is to install the software via iTunes, which requires plugging in your iPhone before downloading the files.

This may not be as easy as the over-the-air update, but it has the double benefit that you can back up your files on your laptop or computer first before running the download. The iTunes install is usually a smaller file size too.

Why you should update

Alongside the fact iOS 9 will contain loads of new features, functions and has a new battery saver mode - which is probably worth the update alone - it’s always best to run the new versions of iOS as they also contain security and bug fixes.

Apple obviously won’t shout about these, as the firm does not like admitting there’s anything wrong with its products, but almost all its updates do contain security fixes.