How to update your iPhone and iPad to iOS 6

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Are you keen to get your hands on the over 200 new features in iOS 6? Here’s our guide to a smooth update for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

Which devices get iOS 6?

The new iPhone 5 ships with iOS 6, but you can also upgrade a few Apple devices to take advantage of the latest version of the iOS platform. Here’s the complete list:

  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPod Touch (4th generation)
  • iPod Touch (5th generation)
  • iPad 2
  • The New iPad (3rd generation)

You can get a closer look at some of the new features in our hands-on with iOS 6.

Limited features

Before you get too excited, there are some features that will only work certain devices. For example, Siri is only available on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad (3rd generation), and iPod touch (5th generation). Turn-by-turn navigation is only available on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPad 2 or later with cellular data capability. Panorama is only available on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPod touch (5th generation).

How to update to iOS 6

You have two basic options for updating your device to iOS 6, either wirelessly over-the-air (which will take a while) or hook it up through iTunes. Before you begin do a backup.

If you want to update to iOS 6 OTA then go to Settings > General > Software Update and pick iOS 6. Tap through the setup screens and wait until the device restarts (it would be wise to plug it in, especially if the battery is low). Click through another few setup screens and you’re done.

It will be much faster to use iTunes. Simply load it up and click iTunes > Check for Updates to get the latest version. Connect your device, select it in the left hand column and click Check for Update. Choose Download and Update, continue through the setup screens and wait. Leave your device connected until it restarts and then run through the setup screens and you’re done.

Make sure you don’t unplug the device or turn it off during the update and it should be plain sailing.

Problems updating to iOS 6

Every big rollout like this inevitably results in a few problems. If you encounter any hassles updating to iOS 6 then please post a comment, and if you find a fix then let us know. We’ll post a list and some possible fixes.

Cannot connect to iTunes store

If you encounter this message when you click on the App store link in Passbook then don’t worry. You can try the following fix:

Go to Settings > General > Date and Time > Set Automatically > Off.

Now set the date one year ahead to 2013. Go back and try to update the app again. If you get an error message, go back to Settings and turn Set Automatically back on again.

Wi-Fi issues

Some users found they had problems connecting to Wi-Fi networks after updating to iOS 6. The problem was caused by a Web page that went down on Apple’s website (it has now been restored). If anyone is still encountering issues with this, toggling Wi-Fi on and off should resolve it. If not, then try turning Wi-Fi off and restarting the phone before turning Wi-Fi back on again and you should be good to go.

Missing music

A number of users are reporting a problem with missing music after the iOS 6 update. Apparently Playlist, Album and Artists names are all present and correct, but attempts to play the tracks fail. It appears the Music app is having trouble finding them. Siri can’t find the tracks in question either.

You can find a discussion of this issue at the Apple Support website, but there is no solution yet other than restoring. That means deleting the content and then restoring it from a backup. The problem seems to be linked to iTunes Match.

We’ll keep you posted on this one.


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