With the availability of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus right around the corner, now is the time for those who will be upgrading to prepare. In theory, you can simply turn on the new device, work your way through the short setup wizard and restore from a previous backup (whether via iCloud or iTunes), however in my experience, there are a few things you can do to make the transition easier and quicker.
What to do on your OLD iPhone
1) Upgrade Your Old iPhone First
iOS 8 is now available, and it's free to upgrade! Your new iPhone 6/6 Plus will already have iOS 8 pre-installed, so it's always a good idea to have the Operating System (iOS) on both old and new iPhone match. Making this happen is simple! On your old iPhone, go to Settings > General > Software Update. That will get you on the latest version of iOS before migrating to the new iPhone.
2) Dump Your Photos and Videos
Reading the heading here too quickly, one would assume I am recommending erasing your photos and videos. This is NOT the case. Rather, it's a (very) good idea to physically connect your iPhone to your computer and transfer your old iPhone's Camera Roll (photos and videos) to your computer, then remove them from your iPhone. Not only is it a good idea to do this once in a while anyway, but it will help the speed up the migration process from your old iPhone to your new iPhone.
3) Backup Your Old iPhone
The last (and most important) thing is to backup your old iPhone one last time. I usually do this just before shutting my old iPhone down for the last time. There are two ways to backup your iPhone:
- iTunes (backes up every time you connect your iPhone to iTunes)
- iCloud (backs up once a day automatically over WiFi)
My personal preference is to backup to iCloud as a general rule because it's one less thing I have to think about it... it just happens automatically once a day. You are, however, limited to the storage allotment that Apple gives you (the first 5 GB is free, additional storage is available for purchase). Backing up to iTunes is also a valid backup option for two reasons: 1) you aren't limited on storage like you are with iCloud and 2) the backup and restore processes happen much faster (because it's local rather than over the Internet). Regardless of which method you use, you will want to backup your old iPhone one last time.
Note: backing up your iPhone will capture everything (settings, apps, data, etc) except for passwords. Those are not backed up, for security reasons.
What to do on your NEW iPhone
Once you have completed the three steps above, it's time to unbox your new iPhone and turn it on. If you backed up to iTunes, you will want to make sure you have easy access to the computer that you performed your last backup on. If you backed up to iCloud, you will want to make sure you have access to a fast WiFi connection (restores require WiFi). During the new iPhone setup process, it will ask if you want to restore from a backup (at this point, you still have the option to set the new iPhone up as a new phone without a restore). If you choose to restore, it will ask which method (via iCloud or iTunes). The rest of the setup is crazy straight forward.
If you chose to restore via iTunes, the restore will take anywhere from 5 - 20 minutes, depending on how much content (apps, data, movies, music, etc) you are restoring. If you chose to restore from iCloud, it will take longer, and will happen in two phases. Phase 1 will restore your settings then restart your phone. After the phone restarts, it will being Phase 2, which is re-downloading your apps.
Once the restore has completed, you are all set to start using your shiny new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus!