So you’re wondering what all the buzz is about with iOS 7? Here are the highlights and simple instructions on how to upgrade.

What is iOS 7?

Apple’s iOS is the software that controls all the basics of your iDevice, including the look, feel, settings and hardware. iOS 7 is Apple’s latest update to this system and its biggest change since iOS debuted six years ago.

What’s new in iOS 7?

Here are a few of the main changes:

• A new time-saving control center slides up from the bottom of the screen for easy access to basic settings such as brightness and Airplane Mode. It has shortcuts for the flashlight, timer, calculator and camera.

• An updated notification center now shows a summary of what you have in store for the day and details on the weather and your commute.

• The camera adds a square-photo option and new filters, while the photos app drops the map view and sorts your images into events by date and location.

• It adds AirDrop, a feature for people who use iCloud that makes it easier to move photos and files between computers and mobile devices.

• The Siri voice-search tool adds an option for male voice, defaults to Bing for Web searches and pulls in results from Twitter and Wikipedia.

• Multitasking looks different. The same double-click of the home button now zooms you out to show a carousel of mini versions of all your open apps.

Can I Upgrade?

• iPhone (original): No

• iPhone 3G: No

• iPhone 3GS: No

• iPhone 4: Yes. Does not include AirDrop, Siri or camera filters (you can add filters later in the photos app).

• iPhone 4S: Yes. No AirDrop.

• iPhone 5: Yes. Includes all new iOS 7 features.

• iPod Touch: Only the 5th-generation iPod Touch can upgrade but will include all new iOS 7 features.

• iPad (original): No

• iPad 2: Yes. No AirDrop, Siri, camera filters or square format, or Photos app filters.

• iPad 3rd generation: Yes. No AirDrop or camera filters.

• iPad 4th generation: Yes

• iPad Mini: Yes

How do I upgrade?

1. Back up: Before you make the leap, it is very important that you back up your iPhone or iPad. There is always a small chance your device could be wiped clean in the upgrade process, so make a full backup of everything. To back up, plug your device into your computer, open iTunes, and if it does not start backing up automatically, click the “Back Up Now” button.

If your photos are not set to back up automatically, use Image Capture or iPhone on a Mac and Windows Explorer on a Windows PC to make copies of all your pictures.

Another option is to skip the cord and back up to iCloud over Wi-Fi. On your device, go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup. Tap the “Back Up Now” button.

2: Download the new iOS: You can get the update by plugging into a computer and opening iTunes (this is the faster option) or over a Wi-Fi connection directly to your phone.

If iTunes doesn’t automatically ask whether you’d like to upgrade when you plug in, click “Check For Updates” in the Summary tab. It will do the rest automatically.

From your phone, go to Settings > Software Update and click the install button. Make sure your phone is fully charged and connected to a Wi-Fi network, not your cellular network.

So what do you think of the new iOS 7?

Brandon Matthews

Author Brandon Matthews

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