Updating your device to the latest version of the firmware is always recommended. The best practice approach is usually to update with every new release, and don’t stay more than a minor version behind. That means the upgrade process would be less complex i.e moving from the last version to the current version. Some of us do have challenges updating regularly due to slow/no internet connection among other obstacles.
Sometime ago, a friend was trying to update his iPad (first generation) which had iOS 3.2.1 version to the 5.1.1 and was getting different error messages. I had to enlighten him on why he was encountering the problem and what he had to do to fix it.
The biggest obstacle for him was that there have been several versions in between the 3.2.1 and 5.1.1. With Apple shutting the shutters on previous version whenever there is a release of a newer OS.
Apple servers communicate with our i-devices via a signature file called ‘SHSH BLOB‘. This is a file which is verified against Apple Server to verify the the device is running the latest version of iOS. If for some reason, when you try to restore to a previous version, Apple will not allow you to restore it because, you are trying load a older version of iOS.
The SHSH blob file is exclusive to each device and it’s always advisable to save this before updating your device to the latest version of the OS because you will not be able to downgrade to an earlier version.
You can search the Internet for methods on how to save your SHSH BLOB.
The very essence of updating your i-device is to fix known bugs, battery drain, improve the performance of the device amongst others.
Another important thing to note when updating your i-device is the issue of “Compatibility”. For instance, owners of the second generation of iPhone (iPhone 3GS) complained that they were experiencing battery drain and sluggish response from the phone after updating to iOS 5. One of the main factors for this has to do with the hardware configuration. Imagine driving the old Beetle (Volkswagen) for so long and you got the Bug (not the insect :))as a birthday gift. The driving experience would be far mor pleasurable.
Updating or Restoring your device.
a. Ensure your PC or device (iOS 5 and above can be updated OTA) is connected to the internet
b. Connect your device to the PC via the USB port
c. Allow iTunes communicate with the Apple server
d. Once that is done, you will receive a notification for the available update (if any).
e. Click on update and wait for the process to complete. Please note that it’s normally for the device to go off and then come back on with a status bar display on your screen.
f. Once the process is complete, you will be guided through some few clicks and your device should be running on the newest version.
Should you get any error message while carrying out this process, you can try following the guide below (putting your device in a recovery mode) or simply google the error message.
1. Turn off iPad
2. Connect USB cable to computer only
3. Press and hold the Home button down and connect the docking end of cable to iPad
4. Continue holding the Home button until you see the “Connect To iTune” screen
5. Release the Home button
6. Open iTunes
7. You should see “iTunes has detected an iPad in recovery mode”
8. Use iTune to restore iPad