How to: Get iOS 7 on the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad

Jordan O'Brien
September 18, 2013

iOS 7 is coming, and it’s coming today. Whilst it’s not known exactly what time it’ll arrive, it’s likely to arrive at the exact same time as all other iOS releases, those times are roughly:

Hawaii: 7:00am

Anchorage: 9:00am

Vancouver/San Francisco/Seattle/Los Angeles: 10:00am

Calgary/Salt Lake City/Denver: 11:00am

Mexico City/Dallas/Lima/Bogota/Chicago: 12:00pm

Atlanta/Detroit/Boston/Miami/Toronto/Washington DC/New York: 1:00pm

Rio de Janeiro/Buenos Aires/Santiago: 2:00pm

Reykjavik/Lisbon: 5:00pm

London/Dublin: 6:00pm

Madrid/Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam/Berlin/Copenhagen/Stockholm/Cape Town/Cairo: 7:00pm

Helsinki/Athens/Ankara: 8:00pm

Moscow/Dubai: 9:00pm

Islamabad/Lahore: 10:00pm

Bangkok/Jakarta: 00:00am Thursday

Singapore/Hong Kong/Perth/Beijing/Shanghai: 1:00am Thursday

Seoul/Tokyo: 2:00am Thursday

Sydney/Brisbane/Melbourne: 3:00am Thursday

Auckland: 5:00am Thursday

Once this time comes, expect the Apple servers to be pounded by people trying to update their iOS devices — remember you can now do this directly from your iPhone or iPad, so no need to plug it into the PC.

You may receive several errors whilst attempting to update to iOS 7, so you might want to sleep on it and wait until it’s quieter — I’m speaking to those of you in Australia especially, wait until the morning.

[alert type=alert-blue ]iOS 7 devices[/alert]

Okay so now you’re set to receive the update, you’re first going to want to ensure you have the right device as it won’t work on all iOS devices.

If you have a iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod Touch (2012), iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, or an iPad Mini, then you’re all set to go.

You might want to bear in mind that just because you own one of these devices, iOS 7 might not bring you all the features that you will get on others.

For instance, only the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod Touch will be able to shoot Panoramas, and only the iPhone 5 and the fifth-generation iPod Touch will be able to add those lovely live filters which are now built into the camera app.

iTunes Radio will also not be making its way outside the US at launch, so don’t go expecting that at launch.

iPhone 5, iPad 4 and fifth-generation iPod Touch users will also get exclusive access to AirDrop, so those of you using earlier versions of the OS will miss out.

If you own an iPhone 4, then you won’t be able to get Siri, which should not come as a surprise. iPad 2 users will also not get Apple’s personal assistant.

[alert type=alert-blue ]Backing up[/alert]

So you have a device that’s compatible with iOS 7 and you realise that unless you have an iPhone 5 or fifth-generation iPod Touch, you might not get all the features. Now what you’ll need to do is backup.

There’s two ways to go about this, you can backup via iCloud by going to the Settings app, tapping iCloud and then navigating to the Backup & Storage option. There you will find an option to Back Up now — just tap it.

If you’ve used all your iCloud Storage or you’re not a massive fan of Apple’s cloud backing up service, you can always do it the traditional way by plugging your iPhone, iPod or iPad into a PC and booting up iTunes.

When your iDevice shows up in iTunes, click on it and click Back Up Now — and iTunes will do the rest.

[alert type=alert-blue ]Updating Over the Air (wirelessly)[/alert]

So now you’ve got your compatible iOS device all backed up and you’re ready to go, at this point you have two options, to update iOS 7 directly from your phone, or get iTunes to help you along in the process.

If you want to update wirelessly, then read on at this point, or scroll down the page to the necessary section if you want to update using iTunes.

Firstly, before updating wirelessly you’re going to want to connect to a nearby WiFi network, there’s nothing stopping you from updating using a 3G or 4G connection, but bear in mind that charges may occur — as this is a large file.

Once you’re satisfied with the connection you’re downloading on, go to the Setting App, tap General, then Software Update. iOS will check to see if there is an update available — which if you check after the times specified, there should be.

If iOS tells you there isn’t an update available, then don’t worry, you can always check again later.

Once an update is found, tap download. Now you may be in for a wait, Apple servers are typically bombarded on launch day and this will affect the speed of the download.

That’s not too much of a concern though, as you can continue to use your iOS device as it downloads in the background, so you don’t have to worry about not having a connection.

When it’s downloaded a notification will display to tell you that the update process will take place in around 10 seconds, if you don’t want to wait, tap Install and it will start straight away.

Now you have to play the waiting game, whilst the software update is taking place it’s best to leave your phone alone until its complete. When it’s done you’ll be greeted with the new iOS 7 welcome screen, and you’ll be able to experience all the goodies iOS 7 has to offer.

[alert type=alert-blue ]Updating using iTunes (wired)[/alert]

When opting to update using iTunes, you’re going to make sure you have the latest version of iTunes, as this is a requirement of updating to iOS 7. This will vary between whether you use Windows or Mac, and if you’re unsure, you can always just download it from Apple’s website.

Now that’s out of the way, plug your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into the computer using the USB cable that came in the box (or any other that you typically use to charge your iDevice).

If you haven’t opened iTunes already, you’re going to want to open it now.

Now navigate to the device you want to upgrade in the left hand pane and click “Check for Updates”.

If it tells you that an update is unavailable, check back later. If one is available it will ask you whether you want to Download and Update, click that option.

As previously mentioned, there may be some issues with download speeds as there will be millions of people trying to download it all at once.

[alert type=alert-blue ]Play[/alert]

Well there you have it, all you have to do now is explore your brand spanking new shiny iOS 7 update.

There’s many features to explore and there’s a whole new interface to enjoy, so do let us know how you get on!

About the Author

Jordan O'Brien

Technology Journalist with an unhealthy obsession with trains and American TV. Attempts satire far too often. (+44) 020 7324 3502

Share this article