The bad news: Since several hundred million users will install it, you're unlikely to get it at precisely 12:01am ET (trust me, I just checked). You see, Apple can't push it to everyone simultaneously because that would cause its servers to melt down and the worldwide Internet to grind to a screeching halt.
Instead, Apple will be "pulsing" the release of iOS 7 to users in staggered waves according to their time zone. Thus evenly distributing the server load and ensuring that everyone that wants it can get it in a reasonable amount of time.
Here are a few tips on how to get iOS 7 as soon as absolutely possible:
- First, perform a backup right now. Don't wait for iOS 7 to land only to remember that you didn't make a backup. Do it now, so that you're ready to go as soon as iOS 7 hits your Settings app. This document explains how to backup your iPhone or iPad to iCloud (my preference) or to iTunes.
- If you're a registered developer (and impatient), you can download the GM (or "Golden Master") version of the code right now. It's been posted on Apple's Developer Center since just after its media event on September 10. While the final release can sometime vary from GM code, it doesn't happen that often.
- One of its dirty little secrets is that Apple doesn't push software updates automatically app very often. Sometimes you'll get a push notification (or the red software-update-is-waiting badge on your Settings app) but most times you won't. In order to get the iOS 7 update as soon as possible, manually touch Settings > General > Software Update and force it to check.
- Lastly, if you're tired and need to get some sleep before your big day tomorrow, make sure that your iPhone or iPad is connected to Wi-Fi and power before you go to bed and it will continue to check for the iOS 7 update overnight. If you're lucky, it'll be waiting for you when you wake up in the morning. (If you don't see the push notification or Settings badge in the morning, touch Settings > General > Software Update to force another update.)
- Pro Tip: Update all of your iOS apps now (easily done with "Update All") ahead of the iOS 7 release. There's a crush of updates coming out day-and-date with iOS 7 and Apple's servers are only going to bog down further as the day goes on.
Enjoy it and post the arrival time (and your locale) in the TalkBack below.