Friday, September 20, 2013

Updating your iPad Operating System

Some people don't like change. Sometimes change is something we seek; sometimes change is thrust upon us. When technology changes, those who seek it are called early adopters. They are the ones who come right after the innovators - the guys who invented it in the first place. Whether or not you consider yourself an early adopter, excited to see what Apple has to offer this time, or a laggard waiting until your iPad no longer functions right to update your operating system, there are some benefits to keeping your device up to date.

First of all, your iPad will run better over time if you are updated to the newest operating system (iOS) and keep your apps up to date. Secondly, app and iOS updates provide cool new features for your iPad.

In our district, if you have a teacher iPad, you should be able to keep your iPad up to date on your own. Check Settings > General > Software Update and your iPad will let you know if there is an update ready for you. Keep in mind that it takes some time, generally a couple of hours, to download and then install a new operating system.

Updates to apps take only a few minutes. Click on your App Store icon and select Updates in the lower right-hand corner. If you have many apps to update, you may want to consider clicking "update" for 5-10 at a time. Otherwise, you can just click Update All.

The newest operating system, iOS 7 is supported by iPad 2, 3, and 4. Some of the new features will not be available on the iPads 2 & 3. Most of the iPads that we have in the district are iPad 2s.

iOS 7 looks completely different than the iOS's that precede it. The navigation is still generally the same, but the look and feel are different. iOS 7 gives you quick access to the most frequently used tools like wifi settings, bluetooth, screen brightness, the calculator and even a flashlight by flicking your finger up from the bottom of any home screen. If you pull down from the middle of any home screen, you will get a spotlight search to look for emails, apps, calendar appointments, etc. This use to require you to swipe to the right until you got to the spotlight search screen.

The Notification Center has changed as well. Now you can look at categories of notifications. In the Today category, you will find calendar events and reminders for today. In the All category, you will find regular notifications such as Twitter updates, Facebook notifications, etc. In the Missed category, you will find missed calls and text messages.

Other fun features of iOS 7 include a compass and level, using Safari bookmarks to see websites people you follow have posted to Twitter (click the @ symbol in Safari bookmarks), unlimited number of apps organized into folders on your home screen, and allow apps to update automatically when they're ready.

iPad carts are updated by Chris Perri at the middle school. Managers of special education iPad carts in each building should contact Chris to see when he'd like to update those devices. This may not be done for a while as Chris will be starting to get second carts of iPads ready for the elementary schools this week. If you have a small classroom set and wish to update your iPads yourself, you can do that as well.

*If you use the GOLD Documentation app, please wait at least 4 weeks before updating to iOS 7.

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