iOS 10 is available now
Apple's latest mobile operating system is available now, but not every iOS device will get the upgrade.
Apple’s had iOS 10 in public beta for some time, showing off its new features while bug testing them, and last week as part of the iPhone 7 launch, it announced that iOS 10 would be made available to the public on 13 September. International datelines being what they are, that meant 14 September in Australia, and indeed, if you have a qualifying device, you can upgrade to iOS 10 right now. If you’re an Apple Watch owner, you can also upgrade to watchOS 3 now as well.
Which iOS devices can run iOS 10?
As with most major point releases of iOS, there are devices that meet the specifications, and those that don’t. Apple advises that the following devices are iOS 10 compatible:
- iPad 4 and later (ie, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro (9.7in and 12.9in)
- iPad mini 2 and later (iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4)
- iPod touch 6th generation
- iPhone 5 and later (iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus)
If you have a device not on that list, then you’re not eligible for iOS 10.
Bear in mind, however, that "eligible" and "runs all features" are slightly different things, so some new features in iOS 10 may not appear on your device even if it meets the base installation requirements.
How do I upgrade to iOS 10?
It's worth backing up your iOS device before you start, preferably to a desktop PC or Mac running iTunes, just to cover yourself if something goes wrong. You may find that your device lets you know that iOS 10 is available from the main screen, but if you want to force the upgrade, it’s quite easy to do so. Open up the Settings app, and tap on the General menu section. Then tap on Software Update, and as long as you’re connected to the Internet, it should contact Apple’s update server and commence the download. You will have to agree to the new End User Licence Agreement (EULA) and may have to enter your Apple ID password to continue.
If you’re unsure if your iOS device qualifies for iOS 10, checking software update will also let you know. If you’re told your device is up-to-date, then you don’t qualify but have reached the end of your device’s iOS updates (or you’ve already updated to iOS 10 and you’re therefore actually up to date).
The update for iOS 10 is pretty hefty, however, weighing in at over 1GB on every device we’ve updated, so it would be wise to make sure you’ve got a decent, preferably fixed line broadband connection before commencing the upgrade. Also, as with any iOS upgrade, you may find that the download times out due to server congestion. There’s no absolute fix for that beyond perhaps waiting a while and trying again.
What if something goes wrong?
There have been some reports of devices locking up if updating over the air, as distinct from managing the update via iTunes. If that happens to you, you may find the update fails, pushing you back to iOS 9.3.5, or that the device locks up entirely. If that happens to you, try connecting to a PC or Mac running iTunes and managing the update from there. This may involve clearing your device entirely, which is why it's well worth backing up your device before starting the upgrade.
Should I upgrade to iOS 10?
As with any new operating system there are bound to be a few bugs and quirks yet to be uncovered. That being said, we’ve been testing out the public beta version for a while now and in its later stages it’s been remarkably stable. App developers have been rolling out iOS 10 compatible versions of their apps over the past few days, and you can expect that to accelerate rapidly in the coming weeks. The choice is up to you, but across both new features and some under the hood security updates, we’d generally advise keeping up to date rather than staying on older code if you’ve got a newer device.
That may not be true, however, if you’re barely scraping into the iOS 10 device pool. Older devices won’t get as many features due to their hardware configurations, and historically they have struggled with newer iOS releases. It may be wise to hold off and check the experiences of others before upgrading.