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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Phones

Getting Apple's iPhone 8 or iPhone X? Here's your upgrade checklist

You do have an upgrade checklist, right? If not, let us help you prepare for the newest iPhone.

Now that Apple's iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X are officially coming on September 22 (or early November for the iPhone X) , it is time to start preparing your current phone in anticipation of upgrading (if you absolutely must be on the bleeding edge of tech, of course).

Here are five tasks that should be on your upgrade check list:

Create an encrypted backup

Using iCloud Backup is super-convenient due to the fact that you don't have to do a single thing. Each night while you're sleeping and your phone is charging, iOS and iCloud work together to make sure it's backed up.

Restoring is just as easy: You enter your Apple ID during initial setup, then wait while iCloud restores settings and reinstalls apps.

But iCloud Backup falls short in one aspect of the process -- it doesn't restore all of your account passwords. So after restoring your device from an iCloud Backup, you will spend the next 30 minutes entering passwords in iOS settings and various apps.

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However, if you use iTunes to back up your iOS device with the box labeled "Encrypt iPhone Backup" checked, that backup will copy all passwords and information stored on your iOS device. In the end, you save yourself the headache of entering passwords -- if you can even remember all of them, that is.

You can find instructions for the process here.

It's best if you wait until the new iPhone arrives before creating your backup, instead of creating one now and losing at least a week of conversations and photos.

Wipe it clean

If you plan to sell your old phone (more on that later), there are a few things you should do to ensure your personal info is wiped from the device.

First, disable Find My iPhone in Settings > iCloud. After that's turned off, delete your iCloud account from your device. Finally, open Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings to factory reset your current phone.

Research upgrade options

Not only do you have the traditional option to upgrade through your wireless carrier, but Apple offers its own upgrade program as well.

Apple debuted its iPhone Upgrade Program alongside the iPhone 6S a couple of years ago and has continued to expand its availability by adding it to its online store.

Apple's program works a lot like wireless carriers' yearly upgrade programs, such as AT&T Next: You agree to make monthly payments, determined by the final cost of your device. After 12 months of payments, you can trade your iPhone in and upgrade to the newest iPhone.

Phones purchased through the Upgrade Program are unlocked and compatible with any carrier in the US. Additionally, AppleCare+ is included with all devices purchased through the program.

If Apple's program doesn't work for you, it's still a good idea to research your carrier's current plans, comparing them to competing carriers in order to find a better deal.

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Get some cash for your current phone

Most trade-in services allow for locking in a price ahead of a new iPhone's announcement and extending the amount of time allotted before sending in your old device. This lets those people get the best deal possible for their old device, receive the new iPhone, and then send in the outgoing device to recover some of the cost.

While prices might slide now that the iPhone's announcement has passed, you can still get the most money possible for your phone by getting that set up now, before the phone releases next week.

Of course, there are more options than just trading in your device and calling it a day. Swappa, eBay and Craigslist are just a few other options you have.

For a complete list of sites, services and more selling options for your soon-to-be-outdated device, check out this guide.

Repurpose your old phone

Sometimes an old phone is more valuable to you when it's repurposed. There are plenty of uses for old devices, such as turning it into a security camera or converting it into a psuedo-iPod for one of your kids.

For more ideas, complete with a list of apps to achieve your end goal, but sure to read this guide.