How to get yourself ready to upgrade to the iPhone X

What’s next.
What’s next.
Image: Reuters/Thomas Peter
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Early tomorrow, on Nov. 3, scores of people will wait out in the chilly fall morning air to buy or pick up the iPhone X, Apple’s new $1,000-and-up flagship phone.

If you’re one of those people, like me, who has decided to hand his life over to Apple by enrolling in the iPhone Upgrade Program, here’s a quick rundown on how to prepare your phone (and yourself!) for upgrading to the iPhone X:

  1. Back up your phone. Tonight, before going to bed, plug your phone into iTunes, or make sure it’s connected to your wifi network and backing up to iCloud. If you’re not sure if it’s backing up, go to Settings > Your Apple ID profile at the top > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now. That page will also tell you the last time your phone was backed up.
  2. If you haven’t upgraded to the latest version of iOS—iOS 11.1—do that before backing up one last time.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes. Even if you’ve been allotted a half-hour window in which to pick up your phone, it’s likely that you’ll have to wait around for a bit longer. Most Apple stores line people up based on their time slot (so if you show up at 9:25 am for the 9:30 am window, you will have to wait until everyone from the 9:00 am window has been served), and then the actual process of upgrading the phone tends to take a little while as well. And other than the new little wooden boxes, there isn’t much to sit on in Apple stores.
  4. If you’re trying to buy an iPhone on launch day and didn’t preorder, I’d recommend bringing a chair. And some food.
  5. Bring what you need. When you show up at the Apple store for your pickup, make sure you have the credit card you preordered with, along with a valid photo ID, and your old iPhone. You don’t need to bring the old box, cables, or chargers.
  6. Hope your phone is in good shape. To upgrade, your phone needs to turn on, be able to hold a charge, and have a screen that isn’t broken. If your screen is cracked, you can get it repaired through the AppleCare that comes with the iPhone Upgrade Program, but if the phone is broken beyond repair, your upgrade will be canceled. You just have to last one more day.
  7. Erase your data. Right before handing over your phone, delete all of the personal data on it. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. (This might take a few minutes.)
  8. Get some accessories. If this is your first upgrade in a while, you’re probably going to want some wireless headphones: Apple’s own AirPods are very good. You might also want to pick up a wireless charging pad—Apple’s own model won’t be out until 2018, but it sells a few others in the store.
  9. Be prepared to be annoyed. While the reviews of the iPhone X itself have been pretty stellar, it’s going to take some time for all the kinks of using the device to be ironed out. From the early review, it looks like all the new portrait modes on the camera still need work, and many non-Apple apps will still need to be updated for the X’s elongated screen with the notch missing out of the top. This will take some time.

Good luck.