This past weekend, in anticipation of iOS 11, I bought an iPad Pro; specifically, the 12.9-inch model. The screen is as remarkable as the reviewers say; it’s like a MacBook Pro screen in physical size, but the display itself is a notable improvement you can see instantly. It’s just missing the Mac’s keyboard.
This iPad purchase precedes the iOS 11 launch. I’ve been running iOS 11 on an older MacBook Air. This iOS is different. The iPad and iPhone get a Dock that works somewhat like the Dock on the Mac. But different.
How do you prepare your iPhone or iPad for iOS 11?
It’s easy and the steps are few and mostly painless, but they mirror what I did on my new iPad Pro. At first, I thought I would simply set up the iPad Pro manually. So, I started to download and arrange all my applications the way I wanted, and change Settings accordingly.
After two hours I stopped and did the obvious.
In this case, I set the iPad Pro back to new. Settings, General, and Erase All Content and Settings. That gives you a new device, ready to be set up.
A new iPad or iPhone gives you the option to restore settings and applications from iCloud. Since all my devices get backed up to iCloud, restoring was absolutely painless. Tap the right buttons and get some lunch or dinner. The deed will be done when you return a couple of hours later.
Yes, it’s that painless.
The only negatives will be a few apps that need their passwords loaded again and some permissions to set, otherwise, the new iPad Pro had all the same settings as the iPad Air 2 it replaced.
iOS 11 will work on older iPhones and iPads; the latter dating back to the iPad Air and iPad Air 2, plus the former iPhone 5s and iPhone SE– but not iPhone 5 or iPhone 5c, or older iPads beyond Air. That also means iOS 11 will be running on about 90-percent of all iOS devices this time next year.
Simply put, back up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud, and back up each device to iTunes if you have a Mac or Windows PC. If something goes wonky you’ll still have a recent backup to use.
iOS 11 should be a painless installation, as usual, but it is different. The Dock is different. Control Panel is different. The App Store is different. Control center is a delight and highly customizable. The Lock screen is merged with Notification Center. The App Switcher is mashed into the Control Center.
iPhones get a new one-handed keyboard option. Maps gets lane guidance and speed limit info. And, my favorite, a Mac Finder-like Files app to manage local files.
Oh, and Siri is smarter and sounds more human. Siriously.
Change is inevitable. It seems to be a major constant in the universe. How we deal with change is a reflection of how we deal with reality. I prefer incremental changes to major changes.
Finally, the iPad Pro’s screen is to die for, and as it was with the iPhone’s original Retina display and the displays in recent Macs, going backwards is less enjoyable than going forward.