How to install Apple’s new software on your iPhone and iPad

It’s that time of year again when Apple releases a big software update for its iPhone and iPad lineup. 

graphical user interface: (Image: CNET)

© Provided by ZDNet
(Image: CNET)

graphical user interface

© ZDNet

This year, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are making their respective debuts, packed with new features and capabilities. There’s a new take on Do Not Disturb, an easier way to find stuff your friends share with you and enhanced privacy features. On the iPad, multitasking is now easier to discover and use than ever. 

If you’re eager to try out the new features, the update process shouldn’t take too long. Just make sure you’ve prepped your device(s) by creating a backup, clearing any old and unused apps, and triaging your camera roll to clear up free space. There’s a list of compatible devices at the bottom of this post for those who aren’t sure if they’ll get the update. 

Below I’ll walk you through how to install iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 and make the process as smooth as possible. 

graphical user interface, application: The steps to back up your Apple device to Apple's iCloud. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

© Provided by ZDNet
The steps to back up your Apple device to Apple’s iCloud. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Create a backup before you update to iOS 15

It’s always a good idea before you tap the Update button to create a current backup of your device. That way, should anything go wrong during the update process, you have a recent copy of your iPhone or iPad exactly how it was moments before you updated. 


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The easiest way to create a backup is using Apple’s iCloud service. Before you start, make sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network and is plugged in. Doing both of those will ensure you don’t drain your battery and will speed up the process. 

On your iPhone or iPad, that means opening the Settings app, tapping on your name at the top of the screen, and then going to iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now

The amount of time it takes for the backup process to complete will depend on how long it’s been since you last backed up your device. You can keep using your phone or tablet while it’s backing up. 

If you don’t have enough iCloud Drive storage to create a backup, you have a couple of choices. You can either pay for more storage, pricing starts at $0.99 per month for 50GB (which should be…