September has rolled around once again, and Apple lovers know what that means: time for a major iOS update. This year brings us iOS 11. While the rest of your friends are off browsing through the selection of retro wallpapers and playing with Animoji, you might be wondering why you don't have iOS 11 yet. Apple is known for pestering users about updating their software as quickly as possible, to the point where articles have been written to help people put a stop to iOS update notifications, so what gives?
First of all, you need to make sure it's after Sept. 19, because that's when the iOS 11 update is set to begin rolling out. If it's after Sept. 19, then make sure that the update is available to you in Settings. A ready-for-download version of iOS 11 may have been leaked on the weekend before its official release, but Apple announced during their keynote event on Sept. 12 that iOS 11 wouldn't be available to download until Sept. 19. If you haven't checked for a new update in a while, Sept. 19 is the time.
After making sure your phone is plugged in and you're connected to the Internet, open Settings. Tap General, then scroll to find the Software Update section. Tapping on Software Update will cause your phone to automatically check for the latest update. As of Tuesday, that's iOS 11. If your phone pulls up iOS 10.3.3 instead, or it doesn't find a new update at all, it's possible that iOS hasn't reached you just yet.
Alternatively, to make absolutely sure you can get the update, you can try downloading it manually. Begin by checking to see if you have the latest version of iTunes. (Currently, that's iTunes 12.6.2, and you can download it here.) Plug your device into your computer and open iTunes. Select your device within the program, then click Summary. Finally, click Check for Update. If iOS 11 is available to you after Sept. 19, it should pull up.
Is it after Sept. 19 and you're still not seeing iOS 11? Hang tight for a few days, then try again to see if the update has reached your device. In the meantime, you may also want to make sure there's enough space on your device to host the download wirelessly. Even though it disappears after installation, this kind of download can take up a substantial amount of room when it's sitting around waiting to be installed.
If you have iOS 11 downloaded but can't figure out why your device isn't using it, there could be a simple explanation: You may not have installed the operating system yet. Follow the steps outlined above to get to the Software Update section of your device. Below a description of the new system, there should be an option to Install Now. Tap that, follow the instructions (which probably include entering your passcode), and you should be good to go.
Apple's operating system updates always arrive with a splash. Last year, iOS 10 came with some major overhauls to iMessages. This year, that trend continued with Animoji — animated, 3D cartoons that can use facial tracking to influence their expressions — and a cleaned-up iMessage app drawer.
But the changes go far beyond iMessage. Users can now turn Live Photos into a continuous, GIF-style loop, and a QuickType keyboard makes it easier to type one-handed. At long last, gone are the days of pecking out misspelled, nonsensical texts with one hand while you try not to spill coffee with the other. (Well, in theory.)
Even Siri has gotten a makeover, with a "new, more natural" voice. Clearly, there are some compelling reasons to install the updated iOS. If you can't manage to figure out why your software isn't updating even after checking to see if you have it downloaded, you may want to head over to Apple Support.