While you might be tempted to install Apple’s iOS 11.4 update right now, there are a few things you should do before you initiate the download on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
If you’re running iOS 11.3.1 on your device, your iOS 11.4 update comes with a solid list of changes. The iOS 11.4 update is much bigger than iOS 11.3.1.
If you failed to download any of Apple’s previous iOS 11 updates, your version of iOS 11.4 will come with an even longer list of changes. They’re baked into your upgrade.
Apple’s intentions are good, but it’s difficult to predict how new software will treat your device so you’ll want to do some prep work before you start up the download. A little prep typically goes a long way toward preventing problems with the download, installation, and the update itself.
If iOS 11.4 starts acting up on your device, you’re stuck until Apple releases a new version of iOS 11. Apple’s pipeline includes iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 12, but iOS 11.4.1 doesn’t have a release date and iOS 12 arrives this fall.
This means those of you using older devices and/or coming from older versions of iOS need to be extremely careful with iOS 11.4. There’s no longer a way to downgrade to an older version of iOS 11.
We’ve put together a game plan that will walk you through some of the things we do before we install an update like iOS 11.4. iOS 11.4 is a milestone upgrade so you’ll still want to spend some time preparing yourself, and your device, for the download.
Our guide shows you how to make a backup, how to properly get familiar with iOS 11.4, and a few tips that will come in handy as you start your transition from whatever you’re currently running to the latest version of iOS 11.
Backup Your Data
This is an extremely important step to take before you download and install iOS 11.4 on your device.
If you store important data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and we assume most of you do, you’ll want to make sure that data is backed up properly before transitioning to iOS 11.4.
Data loss issues are rare but there’s no telling what will happen when you tap that install button so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
We have a guide that will walk you through the backup process using iTunes. If you don’t want open up iTunes, and we don’t blame you if you don’t, we also have a guide that details the backup process via iCloud.
The transition from one operating system/update to another might appear simple, but it can be treacherous, particularly for older devices running old software.
If you want to keep your work and your precious photos and videos safe, make sure you’re backed up.
Get Familiar with iOS 11.4 & Older Updates
The iOS 11.4 update is a massive update so it’s important to get familiar with its changes before you install it on your phone or tablet. This way you won’t be caught off guard.
We’ve put together a walkthrough that’ll walk you through everything you need to know about iOS 11.4. If you’re lingering on an older version, make sure you take a look at that before you install.
If you’re moving your device up from iOS 11.3, you get new security patches and bug fixes with your version of iOS 11.4 thanks to iOS 11.3.1.
If you’re coming from iOS 11.2.6, your iOS 11.4 update is packed with changes including new iPhone Battery Health features, new Animojis (if you own an iPhone X), improvements to Apple Music, a new Business Chat in Messages, and more.
For more on these changes please take a look at our full rundown of iOS 11.3. It’ll take you through the features, fixes, enhancements, and patches on board.
If you’re coming from iOS 11.2.5, your iOS 11.4 update comes with the two changes from Apple’s iOS 11.2.6 update.
One is a fix for an issue where using a certain character sequence would cause apps to crash. The other change is a fix for a problem where some third-party apps would fail to connect to external accessories.
If you’re coming from iOS 11.2.2, your iOS 11.4 update comes with HomePod support, several bug fixes, an upgrade to Siri, and security enhancements.
If you skipped iOS 11.2.2, you’ll get a patch for the Spectre exploit in your version of iOS 11.4.
If you skipped iOS 11.2.1, you’ll get a fix for HomeKit issues. If you’re skipped iOS 11.2, your iOS 11.4 update will bring substantial changes to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and it’s important to get familiar with those changes before you upgrade.
iOS 11.2 was milestone upgrade which means it delivered a long list of bug fixes, patches, and new features including Apple Pay Cash, Sports in the Apple TV app, and a whole lot more.
If you failed to install iOS 11.1.2 or iOS 11.1.1, your iOS 11.4 update will deliver the bug fixes from these updates. If you skipped iOS 11.1, your iOS 11.4 update will bring additional features, fixes and patches.
Dig Into iOS 11.4 Feedback
Before you download iOS 11.4 you’ll want to dig into feedback from those using the update. This is important if you’re using an older device and/or an older version of iOS. New software can be problematic on older devices.
It’s important to get a feel for iOS 11.4’s performance on your iPhone or iPad before you download it. This feedback will alert you to potential problems affecting your device. It’ll also alert you to potential benefits of iOS 11.4.
You’ll want to look around on Apple’s discussion forums, YouTube, and social media sites like Twitter for feedback about iOS 11.4’s performance.
Remember, once you make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.4, there’s no going back to anything older.
Those of you using an older device might want to wait for long-term iOS 11.4 feedback to emerge before committing to the update.
Bookmark Fixes for Potential iOS 11.4 Problems
The iOS 11.4 update is causing problems for some users and it could give you issues today, tomorrow, or sometime down the road. It’s important to be prepared.
To do that you’ll want to track down bug fixes for common iOS 11 problems like severe battery drain, broken Wi-Fi, and busted Bluetooth. This way, you’ll be ready to face whatever iOS 11 and iOS 11.4 throw your way.
We’ve put together a list of fixes for the most common iOS 11 problems impacting the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
We’ve also released guides that will help you improve your device’s battery life and its overall performance. Take a look at those, get familiar with the fixes and tips, and then make your move to iOS 11.4.
Check in With IT
If you use your iPhone or iPad for work and you have an IT department, you’ll probably want to check in with them before you download iOS 11.4.
Enterprise problems are extremely common after major iOS releases, particularly after major iOS releases, and we expect to see numerous issues popup in the days ahead.
We highly recommend getting in touch with IT to see if the latest iOS 11 update is safe for you to use. If you’re lucky, they’ve already been testing the software.
If you don’t have an IT department or a tech on site, you might think about asking guinea pigs your co-workers for feedback about the apps and services you use the most.
Dig Into App Reviews
If you rely on apps and services to get you through school or work you’ll want to dig into app reviews and updates before installing iOS 11.4.
Developers are rolling out a steady stream of iOS 11 support updates. These updates will come with crucial bug fixes for potential issues with Apple’s software.
If you depend on apps throughout the day make sure you read app reviews from iOS 11.4 users. These reviews will alert you to potential benefits and problems with your favorite apps.
Most apps should work fine with iOS 11.4, but there are always a few that take a step backward.
Get Your Login Info Ready
Once the iOS 11.4 installation finishes up, your device might prompt you to input your Apple ID/iCloud account details and your passcode.
Most of you should know these but if it’s been awhile since you had to login, you’ll want to make sure you have the information handy.
There’s also a chance some of your apps and services will log you out. If you want to complete the iOS 11.4 installation process in the shortest amount of time, make sure you have all of those logins ready.
This way, you’ll be able to jump into your most important applications and services for work or school right away.
Decide How to Download iOS 11.4
You have a few options when it comes to downloading the iOS 11.4 update on your phone, tablet, or iPod.
If you plan on installing the iOS 11.4 update Over-the-Air (OTA) through your device’s Settings, you’ll need to have at least a 50% charge.
If you want to avoid installing the update via iTunes, now would be a good time to find a Lightning Cable and charge up your phone or tablet.
If you do decide to install Over-the-Air, and you want to get it downloaded and installed ASAP, you’ll want to find a fast Wi-Fi connection.
You can also install the iOS 11.4 update through iTunes. Simply plug your device in, click the correct device under the Devices tab and check for an update.
Research the iOS 11 Jailbreak
If you’re currently jailbroken or if you want to jailbreak a device at some point, be careful with Apple’s iOS 11.4 update.
There’s a working iOS 11 jailbreak for iOS 11.0-iOS 11.1.2, but there’s nothing for iOS 11.2 and above. Not yet at least.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to downgrade to any of the older versions of iOS 11 so you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of jailbreaking your phone before jumping to iOS 11.4.
We also recommend following prominent members of the jailbreak community for news. Chronic and Evad3rs are two solid resources.
The iOS 11 jailbreak is tempting, but it’s aimed at more advanced users. It’s also currently without Cydia. So make sure you dig in before you upgrade.