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Apple’s iOS 5.1: How to back up and update your iDevice

Sections: Features, How-To, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, SDK and hacks, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch

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Apple’s release of an iOS 5.1 update got pretty much eclipsed in the hoopla over the third-generation iPad announcement on Wednesday, but if it eluded your attention you didn’t miss a whole lot.

iOS 5.1 is mostly a housekeeping and bugfix release that includes support for Siri in Japanese, the ability to delete photos from your Photo Stream, and an array of bug fixes and minor tweaks. Plus, the iPad gets a new camera app. No big whoop.

I had been hoping for some significant productivity improvements with this  update, but alas, it was not to be.

In point form, iOS 5.1 Software Update’s improvements and bug fixes, include:

  • Japanese language support for Siri (Apple says availability may be limited during initial rollout)
  • Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
  • Camera shortcut is now always visible on Lock Screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
  • Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces
  • Redesigned Camera app for iPad
  • Genius Mixes and Genius playlists for iTunes Match subscribers
  • Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer
  • Podcast controls for playback speed and a 30 second rewind for iPad
  • Updated AT&T network indicator
  • Addresses bugs affecting battery life
  • Fixes an issue that occasionally caused audio to drop for outgoing calls

I don’t find any of this especially compelling, but will probably get around to updating my iPad after doing a full backup and crossing my fingers that this latest update won’t delete all my third-party apps like the iOS 5 update did last fall.

System Requirements:

Products compatible with this software update:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPad 2
  • iPad
  • iPod touch (4th generation)
  • iPod touch (3rd generation)

You may want to check out information on the security content of this update, information on how to update, and more information on iOS 5.1 in general.

Update To iOS 5.1 in Five Easy Steps:

A handy Apple Knowledge Base article explains how to Update your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch device using iTunes.

  1. Ensure that you’re using the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your device to your computer using the included USB cable.
  3. After iTunes opens, select your device when it appears in iTunes under Devices.
  4. Click “Check for Update” in the Summary pane to check for available updates.

  1. If an update is available, iTunes prompts you to download and install the update. Don’t disconnect your device until the update has finished.

You are also cautioned to ensure that your device is backed up to iCloud or with iTunes before updating, and that some updates may require restoring the device. If this is necessary, iTunes will display an alert, so it’s crucial to back up your data before updating the device.

If you update using the Mac or PC with which you normally sync, all iTunes content will be synced automatically after updating and restoring from backup.

If you update using a Mac or PC you don’t normally sync with, only the content that is stored in the backup will be restored back to the device. Review what is stored in a backup before updating. To preserve iTunes media (such as music, videos, and photos) apply the update using the computer with which you normally sync. Otherwise, you will eventually need to sync with the machine you normally use to recover this media.

How To Back Up Using iCloud:

iCloud automatically backs up the most important data on your iOS 5 device. After you have enabled Backup on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in Settings > iCloud > Backup & Storage, it will run on a daily basis as long as your device is:

  • Connected to the Internet over Wi-Fi
  • Connected to a power source
  • Screen locked

You can also back up manually whenever your device is connected to the Internet over Wi-Fi by choosing Back Up Now from Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.

How To Restore From a Backup Using iCloud

When you go through Setup Assistant on a new iOS 5 device, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup” and enter your iCloud account and password. You will see the three most recent backups for each of the devices on which you enabled Backup. Choose from which backup to restore.

After your device restarts, your settings and accounts are restored and Backup starts downloading your purchased music, TV shows, apps, books, Camera Roll, and other content. You may be prompted to enter the passwords for all accounts enabled on your device.

A progress bar will appear underneath the apps that are being downloaded. To prioritize the restore of a specific app, tap its icon. Restore will attempt to download the same version of the app that you had installed previously. If that version is no longer available, the latest version of the app will be restored.

To check if the restore is complete, go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup. Complete the setup assistant after erasing your device (by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings) or after starting your new device. When prompted to set up as new or to restore from previous backup, choose to restore from iCloud backup. Then enter your AppleID and password.

How To Back Up Using iTunes:

iTunes can create backups of your iOS device when you:

  • Sync with iTunes (disabled if you have iCloud backup turned on)
  • Right-click (or Control-click) the iOS device in iTunes under Devices and choose Back Up

Use these steps to manually back up your iOS device using iTunes:

  1. Connect your iOS device to a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed.
  2. Select your iOS device in iTunes under Devices.
  3. Right-click (or Control-click) the device and select Back Up

iOS device backups preserve your settings, the Camera Roll (or Saved Pictures), and other important data.

How To Restore From An iTunes Backup:

To restore information from a backup, use one of the following methods after connecting your iOS device to the computer with which you normally sync:

  • Right-click (or Control-click) the device and choose Restore from Backup
  • If you have a new phone, you can connect to iTunes and it will prompt to restore from your backup

For more information, visit Apple support.

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  • Jayabal

    Hai,

    My photo album and videos deleted while updating the new software in iphone4.Backup can’t retriev .pls help me how to retriev my photos and videos.
    Tks
    Jayabal