The beautiful thing about technology is that it can change literally overnight. Yesterday, iPad 2 owners cried out as one when they discovered that the new iOS 9.3 update was bricking their devices, leaving them locked in a perpetual pre-activation state.
Apple responded with uncharacteristic speed, last night (March 24) issuing a new build for the update, which has proven much less detrimental to target devices.
9to5Mac, an Apple-specific news site, did a little digging and found that the new build of the iOS 9.3 patch is somewhat different than the previous one. In theory, this should provide iPad 2 owners with a clean and simple patch. In an earlier statement, Apple also pointed out that this issue could theoretically affect the iPad Air, iPhone 5s and other older devices.
Either way, no matter what kind of Apple mobile device you have, feel free to boot it up and let it update automatically. In addition to updating iOS, you'll get a number of vital security fixes.
However, this update is cold comfort to users who already attempted to update their devices and got locked into an endless activation loop. Luckily, Apple has a few tips for those users, and at least one of its suggested methods should work.
The most reliable method involves plugging in your iDevice to a computer, opening iTunes, selecting your device and clicking Activate on the iTunes screen.
You can also try powering off the device, going into iCloud and removing the device from your Find My iPhone device list, and then powering on the device. Removing Find My iPhone should bypass the activation screen, but don't forget to turn the feature back on once the device is back up and running.
Failing either of those methods, Apple recommends that users contact Apple support. Some forum users reported yesterday that representatives at Apple Stores were unable to fix the issue, however, so even this may not be a surefire solution. If all else fails, try a hard factory reset — but be aware that it means kissing all of your stored data on the device goodbye. (All of your cloud data will still be safe.)
To update your iPad 2, just turn it on and make sure it's connected to the Internet. You should get a prompt about updating, but if not, you can force one manually in the Settings menu.