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iOS 6: update or not, that's the question!

per Carlos Irano (@cairano)

This is an appeal. A sincere appeal to users of iOS 6 Migrate! And why iOS 6?

For you to understand why I'm here writing these lines to convince you to update your operating system, here's a brief story, a basic "blah blah blah" just to put it in context!

Apple maintains updated information on the Apple Developer website with the percentage of users per version of iOS using the App Store. In my last consultation, made on December 22, I was surprised to see that the customer base using a version prior to iOS 7 is still 4%. And this is a reasonable number, if you look at Apple's total customer base.

iOS 6

As an iOS app developer, looking at a customer base that uses iOS 6, however small, is still a difficult decision. Save the due proportions, forgive me for the example, and how to organize the team to debate if we are going to develop for Internet Explorer 7 or we are going to move on and use all the HTML5 features compatible only with the latest versions of browsers (since I touched on the subject and, for the sake of knowledge, Safari and Chrome are the browsers with the greatest compatibility of HTML5 and CSS3 features, but Microsoft has done a great job with the new versions of IE).

When iOS 6 was announced, it was packed with cool news: Siri was improved and, even without support for Brazilian Portuguese, it had features like suggestion of places and services, and it was possible to post directly to Facebook and Twitter using Dictation feature. The integration with Facebook itself was new, and it was also when the Passbook arrived that I used it a lot and the (controversial) Apple Maps app.

The next year, it was the turn of the revolutionary iOS 7! IMHO, the biggest change since iOS was created. The anxiety and interest of Applemaniacos (like me) there were so many that the beta version of the operating system ran freely from iPhone to iPhone before it was even officially released.

Although I really like the look of iOS 6, the switch to iOS 7 was immediate. It had a nice (new) interface, and a series of new features introduced that greatly improved my life: the ones I remember using immediately, the Control Center was the main one, because it gave immediate access to activate and deactivate the Bluetooth that I normally only turn on when I'm in the car or with Pebble; not to mention the new multitasking, easier and more intuitive, two clicks, select, drag and the program is out of memory.

But loud it! There was much more under the hood of this revamped operating system. The most praised by most specialized sites and blogs was, without a doubt, security implementations. The Find My iPhone feature, which most of us activate by default, can be easily disabled on iOS 6 by any well-informed thief. The feature was improved in iOS 7 with the so-called Activation Lock This means that if you lose your iPhone, anyone who finds it will need your Apple ID and password to disable the feature or to reset the device's initial settings.

Another legal feature introduced was the iCloud Keys, which, although initially confusing to set up (I always get in the way of this), is a feature that allows you to store credit card numbers and passwords so that they are synchronized between your devices . It is good that a password management feature is nothing new, but considering that you live in an Apple ecosystem, maintaining this synergy between your iGadgets and an advantage.

And why am I talking so much about the features of iOS 7, when iOS 8 was already released and has interesting benefits? Because, for devices with iOS 6, upgrading to iOS 7 is better, not to mention compatibility, since iOS 8 is more restricted.

But believe me, it's not just a matter of keeping up to date: the benefits of iOS 7, for those who are still on iOS 6, are huge. And here are just a few that I think are important to motivate you to update your system.

Another important one is that, more and more, new apps and updates will gradually stop looking at the public that uses a version of the previous iOS 7 (this is already happening with apps like Facebook, Twitter and Shazam, for example). And the main reason for developers to stop making versions of their apps available to this audience is that new features have been added, compatible only with iOS version 7 (or higher). A developer who wants to make use of one or more of these new features will have to file iOS 6 users.

If you have good hardware in your hands (yes, Apple devices take time to be depreciated), leaving iOS 6 and upgrading to iOS 7 will bring big gains, without talking about the security issue again. This was so important on iOS 7 that I remember seeing New York law enforcement officers handing out flyers to tourists and residents around Times Square who recommended that everyone update as soon as possible to iOS 7.

Do not understand this text as an unconformed appeal that every Apple user is committed to being with their customers. iGadgets and operating system always up to the contrary, my appeal here is focused on security and availability of software. It's already (almost) 2015! If you have a promise that is worth making, you will be migrating to iOS 7!

To update, very simple: connect to a Wi-Fi network and go to General Settings Software Update. If you have problems with space on your device, install the latest version of iTunes on your computer and connect the device via cable. It will automatically identify the recommended update and suggest installation, so just follow the instructions.