By Ian Bush

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Apple today is releasing a major overhaul of the software that powers iPhones and iPads. There are some important steps to take before you take the plunge.

“iOS 7 is a pretty big change from what we’re used to,” Christina Bonnington said. She’s a writer for Wired Magazine and says gone are those textured icons, and the fake felt, leather, and wood look in Apple’s game center, notepad, and newsstand.

“The design is a lot flatter. This is plain colors, a bit simpler, more minimalist.”

She says iOS 7 (available for iPhone 4 and newer, iPad 2 and newer, and the fifth-generation iPod Touch) introduces new gestures — swipes on the screen with fingers.

“That just make things a bit more efficient. Like in the Safari app, you can swipe a tab off to the left to get rid of it.”

But before taking advantage of the free download, back up your contacts, photos, and music to a computer or cloud, and sync with iTunes.

“After you back up your device, you may want to go through and do some housecleaning on the apps you have on your phone,” she said. “It’s a good time to get a fresh slate. If you have 10 apps you never use, delete those.”

And since early adopters sometimes find bugs that Apple missed, it can make sense to wait to upgrade.

“One of them had a bug with the alarm clock, and I remember some of my co-workers didn’t quite wake up in time for work the next day. If you wait a day or two, that could be good. Especially if you do have an older device like an iPhone 4 or a second-generation iPad,” she said. “Sometimes the newer versions of iOS can bog down the processor on those devices, so you may want to wait and see if anyone who has those is experiencing any issues.”


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