I currently have Arduino 1.0.1 and I want to upgrade to the new version. However, do I just replace the old files? How do I know if I need to update the drivers for the boards? Does Arduino even release new drivers? I admit, I have been putting this off, but I think it's time to update. Also, should I be wary of deleting anything stored in the Arduino files? I like how it has all the sketches in the file menu, does this regenerate when Arduino is opened?
On Windows and Mac your Arduino sketches and custom libraries are placed in your Documents folder by default. Most importantly, they are outside of the program directory. I'm almost positive the same goes for Linux.
You can upgrade it just like any other Mac application. Download and mount the .dmg, then drag and drop it to your Applications folder, replacing the old Arduino.app.
Windows & Linux
The Arduino IDE doesn't install to any specific location. It's just a standalone folder. To update, just delete your old folder you previously extracted with the new one. If you're on Linux and you installed Arduino through your package manager you may be able to update it through that venue. The Arduino Playground attempts to cover most popular distributions.
The Arduino changelog should note if there's an update to these. To update the drivers you'll have to perform the driver installation operation again. Instructions for: Windows (drivers required) and Mac (drivers only required for using older, pre-Uno boards). On Linux, if you're using kernel version 2.6 or greater (verify with
uname -r) then there are no drivers for you to install. You'll need to remove the
brltty application if it exists on your system.
Technically, "drivers" for boards like the Uno do not exist. The "drivers" for Windows are information files to tell Windows to treat the board as a usb-modem or serial port. Mac and Linux operating systems do this by default and so do not have a corresponding file.
The "signed driver" is just a "signed information file."
There would be no practical reason for a "driver upgrade" to occur, since the drivers are built into the host operating system already.