Apple has finally released the official version of iOS 7, its major upgrade to the software that runs iPhones and iPads. The temptation to snag the software update immediately may be tough to resist. But there are a few good reasons to hold off. See if any of these apply to you:
- Your existing device is jailbroken and you can't do without one (or all) of your Cydia apps. The much-anticipated untethered jailbreak for iOS 7 isn't out yet (though it's only a matter of time). So if you rely on jailbreak apps like Activator, Browser Chooser, Winterboard or others, you'll want to wait until the jailbreak artists, like the Evad3rs team, give the green light.
- You need a rock-solid, bug-free device. As of this moment, the official public release of iOS 7 is only hours old. Since it's Apple's biggest change to date for the mobile platform, it's not a stretch to say bugs are likely to surface before long. (Anything released on such a major scale is bound to have some glitches. Anyone remember Apple Maps or Siri?) If having a fully functional, reliable device is paramount, then it's not a bad idea to wait. That way the early adopters can ferret out the issues, whether big or small.
- Your crucial apps aren't optimized for iOS 7 yet. App makers are stepping up in droves to assure users that, yes, they are compatible with the new software. But not all of them. This may be due to delays on the developer's part or a backlog of approvals from the App Store. Either way, you'll want to be sure your crucial apps work well with iOS 7 before you install it.
See also: iOS 7 Is Now Available To The Public
- You struggle with change. When it comes to iOS 7, the alterations aren't just skin-deep. This version looks, feels and, in many ways, works differently from any other iOS version before it. It features a new lockscreen, new Control Center, new multitasking cards, new icon designs in eye-popping colors and more. If you've been comfortably attached to iOS 6, you may feel like a stranger in a foreign land with the new version.
That doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't grab the new software update. But if you find change hard to deal with, at least do yourself a favor: Don't update in a hurry. Do it when you have some time to get acquainted with the new OS and interface changes in your most used apps. (For a peek at the old look against the new, check out these side-by-side-comparisons.)
- You have an older iDevice. Older handsets like the iPhone 3GS won't get any love from iOS 7. The iPhone 4, 5th generation iPod touch, and iPad (2+) will. But even for most of those later model devices, the experience won't be all it's cracked up to be. Since the new software is optimized for the new hardware—i.e., iPhone 5S and 5C—you won't get all of iOS 7's new features on most of the older devices. Plus, other noticeable downsides may surface, like sluggish performance. (For more about legacy iOS devices and iOS 7 features, including a compatibility chart, click here.)
- You're not ready to commit. Not sure how you feel about making the leap to iOS 7? Well, before you upgrade, there's one more thing you need to know: Once you go 7, you may not be able to change your mind. Although iOS 7 betas were downgradeable, it remains to be seen whether you can also back out of the public release. It's not likely, though, considering Apple typically hasn't allowed downgrades in the past.
Sure, a new major software version can be exciting—like getting your hands on a brand new device without actually having to plunk down a fortune or extend your carrier contract. But when it comes to Apple's latest, you'll want to know what you're getting into before making the commitment.
And once you do, sit back and explore. Then let us know what you think of the changes. Share your thoughts on what you like and dislike the most in the comments below.
UPDATE: Of course, if you haven't updated yet, you may not have a choice but to wait. Apple's servers are reportedly getting stormed, with users far and wide getting "failed" or "unavailable" error messages. According to CNNMoney:
Combine the iOS update with the fact that every app developer is pushing out their iOS 7-ized updates (also delivered to you by Apple), and a perfect storm of server congestion starts brewing.
This could be responsible for at least some of the early bugs reported from users who actually managed to download iOS 7. Indeed, the Apple Support Forums reveal user issues relating to activation errors and, in some cases, glitches with specific apps, like iMessage and FaceTime. As for the latter, at least some of those problems seem to surround older iOS devices, or iPhones or iPads that had one of the iOS 7 betas loaded onto them.