Letter to Family about iOS 8

Whenever a significant new Apple update appears for the computers or devices that my family members own, I send out a quick note giving advice on whether they should upgrade or not, and when. With the release of iOS 8 today, I thought I’d share my letter; feel free to copy it and send it to your friends and family.

    Hello family!

    Apple released iOS 8 today for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. I’m sure you’ll receive an email or a notice on your device within the next day or so about it.

    My advice about upgrading is twofold:

    1. I’ve been running iOS 8 for a few weeks on my main devices (and a couple months on test devices), and it’s in pretty good shape. If you prefer to be cautious, I’d say wait a short while until Apple releases an expected 8.0.1 fix to tackle things that couldn’t be fixed before release. (There are always things like that; Apple needed to finalize the software a couple of weeks ago to put it onto the iPhone 6 units that are currently being shipped.)

    If you do upgrade, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP FIRST. If you sync to iTunes on your computer, connect the device and look for the Back Up Now button on the Summary screen. If you back up to iCloud, go to Settings, tap iCloud, tap Storage & Backup, and then tap Back Up Now.

    Also make sure you have enough free space on your device; at least 6 GB. You may need to offload photos to iPhoto or your computer’s hard disk.

    And keep in mind that upgrading could take some time, possibly a couple of hours depending on how many apps you have and how much storage is already occupied.

    2. My second piece of advice is important right now. If you’re asked to turn on iCLOUD DRIVE, do NOT. Apple is still working out bugs and, more important, you need to be running OS X Yosemite on a Mac to take advantage of many of its features. Yosemite hasn’t been released yet. So, for example, if you use Pages to write documents on an iPad and on the Mac, enabling iCloud Drive breaks the connection on the Mac, preventing documents from syncing. This will all get sorted out eventually, but that’s the situation as of today. Here’s an article at TidBITS that goes into more detail: http://tidbits.com/article/15076.

    One more piece of advice, especially if you own an iPhone 5s with a Touch ID sensor (or if you’re planning on buying an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus): go get 1Password 5.0, which is now free. It’s essential for storing and generating secure passwords, and thanks to the Extensions feature of iOS 8, makes it possible to sign into Web sites and do other things by resting your finger on the Touch ID sensor (so you don’t have to look up or remember the password!).


    I hope this helps. I love you all,


  1. Great post, Jeff. Is it fairly intuitive how to get 1Password! working in such a manner? That sounds awfully Utopia-esque.


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