How to get iOS 7 before the masses

How to get iOS 7 before the masses

Summary: iOS 7 begins its worldwide rollout Wednesday, here's how to get it first.


The good news: Apple released iOS 7 to the world Wednesday (here's what's new).

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.


Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Mobile OS, Mobility

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  • Code is signed

    "these versions aren't guaranteed to be authentic"

    One of the first things iTunes does (you will need to use iTunes to install a leaked GM) is to check the cryptographic signatures of the update - if the versions aren't authentic they will not be installed.
    • True

      Nothing runs on trash AAPL trashware i mean hardware. Nothing. In fact, you dont even own your own device, and only AAPL extortion jailed walled garden software can run on AAPL junk hardware.

      • Get a life

        Doesn't ZDNet have a minimum 13 year age requirement for posting? I guess not.
      • The joke

        Is in your mirror.

        But let me ask you something - since you seem to be an expert on this - what mobile device can run something other than it's intended OS? Can and Android-based device such as say the HTC ONE run iOS, WP8, or BB 10? Can a WP8-based device like the Lumia run iOS, Android, or BB10? Can a BB10-based device run iOS, Android, or WP8?

        Do you see where I'm going with this?

        When you root an Android device and install a custom ROM what are you installing? Android. Or a Linux-based OS which Android actually is.

        Yes, Apple is a walled garden - some people like it that way and it works for them. Who are YOU to determine what works for someone else? I personally don't care what you use - if it works for you then it's all good, if not then try something else. But that's what you religious types don't get - these devices are tools. Some people prefer Craftsman, some prefer Mac Tools (no, not an Apple company but a tool company that's been around for a long time).
  • AAPL on the way out.

    Everytime jobs leaves, APPL goes down. This time there is no coming back.

    This company, AAPL, stinks its ultra expensive, behind the times and not innovating anything. AAPL fanbois are pathetic apologists at this point.

    What a sad joke AAPL is.
    • Over-priced?

      If Apple is over-priced then what does that say about Microsoft? When the surface was released the tear-downs showed that Microsoft was going for a higher margin than Apple typically does.
      • Overpriced

        He didn't say that, he said expensive, which they are. They're obviously not Overpriced. If they were, no one would but them.
    • APPLE

      @mickrussom......first of all its APPLE not appl..........its a bit expensive.....but the hardware and software are just too good . secondly. Its not behind the time at all. Infact is the best . third thing you must be a android fan with very big size of mobile and happy in that to show how expensive your phone is. But android stands nowhere in terms of ios. THAT is only if you have any technical knowledge. U must be a kid who loves playing in big screen. why phone get a xbox dude that much better.
      • Apple

        @tarun I think @mickrussom refers to Apple Nasdaq code AAPL or $AAPL on twitter, for the rest his arguments are absurds ...
        Steph Reinstein
      • APPL

        Please understand that APPL is the nasdaq stock market code for Apple Inc.
        I'm not trying act smart, but your statements are full of misconceptions and are quite biased. You're throwing in random statements without elaborating on why one thing is better than the other.
        First of all, Apple products are way too expensive for it's hardware. Basically, Apple's products have a 200% price increase than the regular price since majority of the cost of an Apple product comes from it's brand name. Yes, apple has innovated in technology, but not in a large scale. It took them a while to integrate a 64-bit processor and fingerprint technology, but isn't that just a scheme to get more people to buy their products. Samsung is doing the same thing, but they are adding more than just that. In a technical side, if you look at recent phone benchmarks, the samsung galaxy s4 seems to perform better than the iphone 5, based on hardware.
        It seems you are way off on operating system. Operating system mainly manages tasks and applications based on how it's programmed, it can't simply determine the speed on how it runs, that's where hardware plays a role on how fast it will operate. Although, bigger screens may be inferior because the hardware may be lacking due to the manufacturers adding so much to the screen than the rest of it's hardware. It's still fun to play with a bigger screen/resolution with a decent gpu "on the go".
        Yes, I mean on the go, because comparing a phone to an xbox is absurd. There is currently no xbox portables, so why would you compare a stationary gaming system to a multimedia/communication device that can be used anywhere you go. They are two completely different animals. It's funny, your last sentence, choosing an xbox over a necessity. Since you said "phone", it is a universal term used for communication by vibrations to electrical signals to transmit sound to the other side. It's required in today's world to communicate with one another at a long distance. I may be blabbing so much, but your statements dude it makes me feel a bit uneasy. It's quite scary how you talk in your text.
        Brian Aure
    • Innovation?

      What a sad joke... What does that even mean? What's innovation to you - larger screen size? This is just a phone, a very popular one at that and highly regarded by the entire industry. Those are the facts. You don't like the price, get an older one. ALL flagship phones, even for Samsung are at the same pricepoint.

      When you're looking for innovation, remember there are other products being developed. All of those products will have their time in the limelight. But seriously, a "sad joke"? Without Apple, we would still be years behind - the company has spurred smartphone competition and given you all of the great features you have today. But in one single year if all of your wishes are not met, all of the sudden they're "pathetic" and "behind the times". Wow.

      Want more features? Develop some yourself, come up with great ideas and stop complaining.
    • Really ?

      Nobody holds a gun to your head forcing you to buy AAPL stuff. Are you tellin me what I am supposed to do, or not supposed to do, with my money ?
    • Owlnet

      Is that you with yet another pseudonym?
  • This column's advise is total GAME BOY

    If your serious about avoiding trouble then avoid the advice of this column.

    Just wait... what's a few days or even a week? You'll be fine and you might just find that those early adopters are like the first ones into the intersection... hit by the bus.
    • Nah

      I'll go for it today. I'm off work today so good time to do it.

      iOS has been in beta for developers for a long time and all the things I rely on day to day are Apple apps - Safari, Mail, iMessage etc.

      Games and other trivial apps I can do without if necessary but most decent devs have updates out already
  • Not showing in UK 8am

    iTunes and phone still say phone is up to date at v6.1.4
    • Re: Not showing in UK 8am....

      iOS 7 will be available for download at 6pm (18:00) UK Time.
      • Cheers!

        Good to know thanks

        Where did you get the info?
        • Re: Cheers....

          Found the info here: