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Upgrade to iOS 8.1.3: some tips and tricks

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I decided to upgrade to iOS 7.1.3 to iOS 8 recently due to the t-mobile wifi calling feature which is only available on iOS 8. Previously I tried to delay the update due to the main reason: my iPhone 5s is almost full and I need to back up and delete photos. I know people talk about just update it by the way of iTunes desktop (using USB/lighting cable connecting iPhone and laptop).

After back up my photos to two iPhoto library, and made an iTunes backup to my PC (laptop), I need to decide one thing quickly: whether I want o upgrade to iOS 8.2 which can be done from iPhone itself (Settings => General …), or do I go through the trouble to find 8.1.3 from web and restore it myself. I decided to go the latter, because I don’t want the Apple watch app on 8.2, also my company does not support 8.2 (I need to use it for company email). So here is the site I found the ipsw file. After the download, run checksum using this md5 command, then verify the SHA-1 digest using openssl command. Restore it using iTunes 11.1.5 on my mac (hold alt and click “restore” to open ipsw file).

The usual new iPhone setup afterwards (I used restore from iCloud, an old backup). After that I got all the email, plus the apps on the phone a while back (May 2014 to be precise). One interesting thing is I noticed even the phone call/messages are also back dated to May 2014. But iCloud had my recent contacts and it appears all intact on the phone.

Some odds and ends
The day after the update (yesterday morning), I found I could not install apps. Turns out there is a massive iTunes store outage (I found it out as I tried iTunes music and tried my iPad mini).

My Sienna audio does not recognize the “updated” phone. The trick is delete “car multi-media” from phone and pair it again. I have another post dedicate to this topic. Interestingly, my Camry 2012 audio recognize the the “new” iPhone without problem. Also, all the existing WiFi connections are gone after upgrade, so I need to ask around the Wifi passwords again 🙂

Google+ plus photo missed some recent pictures. I don’t think it’s a big deal, as I already have iPhoto and iTunes backup. But this combined with the iTunes outage, made me think twice about the cloud storage.

I will share more as I remember more things.

(Update 3-15-15) I learned form my friend, and also verified on my t-mobile account, the Wifi calling is not free. It’s merely use Wifi to enhance the signal. Because I am a prepaid user (legacy plan), so this does not really saving me money 🙁

Update vs. restore
The main difference between update and restore is like this: think Windows update vs. re-install the OS. In other words, all the stuff (files and software; pictures and apps) will be intact after update, but restore will get rid of all that. It will start fresh. The reason I did restore instead of update is I don’t have enough space on my 16Gb iPhone 5s.