iOS 8 Is Here, But You Really Should Wait (At Least A Little)

As you probably heard, iOS 8 is now available for you to download and install on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. But as exciting as it is to install a new OS on launch day, there are some good reasons to wait for a few days—or at least a few hours.

Avoid Server issues

The first-day crush of downloads can slow Apple’s Software Update servers to a crawl—and frustrate you to no end. What’s the hurry? Wait a day or two—or at least a few hours—for the mad rush to subside before you get into the download queue.

Clean Up That iPhone

iOS 8 is no small upgrade—it requires 4.6GB of storage space. You’ll want to make sure you have enough room on your phone or tablet, so take some time before you rush in to upgrade to consider whether or not you have enough space, and to clean up your iPhone’s storage. Remove apps you no longer use, clean up your music collection, delete those 400 screenshots you don’t need any more.

While you’re at it, back up your iOS device before you proceed, just in case disaster strikes. Chris Breen at Macworld wrote a great how-to that takes you to the process of preparing for the upgrade, and how to revert to iOS 7 if you change your mind. (Note: I am a freelance contributor to various IDG publications—including Macworld—and a former IDG employee.)

Wait Until Bugs Get Ironed Out

Every new software release has bugs and other glitches, and iOS 8 is no exception. If you’re feeling really cautious, you may want to wait until iOS 8.0.1 before you upgrade, but at the least, wait a day or two for the dust to settle to get an idea if there are any major issues.

Get A Better Idea Of How It’ll Run On Your Phone

Little is more disappointing than installing a new version of iOS onto your older iPhone…then realizing that it now runs like garbage. Argh. New iOS versions can seriously slow down an older iPhone, and in some cases, you may not get all the new features.

Ars Technica installed iOS 8 on an iPhone 4S and found that performance was poor, features were missing, and the interface was cramped on the smaller screen. So wait and see what others are experiencing before you dive in—you might be better off sticking with iOS 7.

Have your own iOS upgrade tips that you’d like to share? Tweet them to us @macgasm.

Nick spends way too much time in front of a computer, so he figures he may as well write about it. He's previously written for IDG's PCWorld and TechHive.