PSA: You don’t have to upgrade to iOS 15

Enlarge / It is OK to hit the pause button on iOS 15, if you would like.

Andrew Cunningham

Apple releases iOS and iPadOS 15 to the public today, following the announcement at WWDC earlier this yr and the customary public beta interval. The brand new software program will run on each single iPhone and iPad that might run iOS or iPadOS 14, going all the way in which again to 2014’s iPad Air 2 and 2015’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

Usually, this might imply the tip of iOS 14. If Apple patched a serious zero-day safety vulnerability in iOS subsequent week, in previous years you’d have to maneuver to iOS 15 to get the repair whether or not you wished the remainder of its options or not. However beginning this yr, that is not the case. For the primary time ever, if you wish to postpone the iOS 15 replace for a number of weeks or months, you are able to do that with out lacking out on vital safety updates. It’s because Apple is planning to proceed updates for iOS 14—not only for outdated gadgets, however for any cellphone or pill that runs iOS 14 or iPadOS 14.

This replace coverage change brings iOS and iPadOS extra intently in step with macOS. Apple supplies function updates for the most recent macOS launch and vital safety updates for the 2 earlier macOS variations, for a complete of three macOS releases at a time. Apple is not committing to that very same coverage with iOS (and the macOS coverage is not really spelled out wherever, as Microsoft does for its software program releases), however safety updates for even one different model of iOS is an enchancment.

Apple will continue to release security updates for iOS 14, at least for now.
Enlarge / Apple will proceed to launch safety updates for iOS 14, at the least for now.


There are many explanation why you may not wish to set up an x.0 model of a brand new working system the day it comes out. Apple’s main software program updates are normally tied to the set-in-stone September launch window for brand new iPhones, and the preliminary variations can embrace main bugs that Apple could not repair earlier than it was time to ship the software program. You is perhaps involved concerning the efficiency of recent software program in your outdated system (although it has been years since a brand new model of iOS made older gadgets really feel intolerably sluggish, which is one cause we aren’t testing iOS 15 on outdated gadgets like we normally do). Or, possibly you wish to anticipate the apps that you just depend on to be up to date for the brand new OS, simply in case any of Apple’s modifications break vital performance.

This coverage change may even prolong the lifetime of gadgets that may’t be upgraded to the most recent model of iOS or iPadOS. It’s possible you’ll not have realized it, however for the final two years Apple has been quietly releasing security-only iOS 12 updates for 2013’s iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and iPad mini 2, in addition to 2014’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. None of those gadgets made the cutoff for iOS 13, however individuals who did not have to or could not afford to purchase a brand new system may proceed to make use of them with out worrying about core performance breaking or about placing their information at further danger. It is a accountable transfer from an organization that already supplies years extra software program help than the very best Android cellphone makers.

We’ll see whether or not this impacts the adoption charge of recent iOS variations and the way aggressively Apple tries to get individuals to improve from iOS 14 to iOS 15 as time goes on. On the Mac, the primary replace you are provided on outdated variations of macOS is the improve to the subsequent model, offered your Mac helps it—it’s a must to click on an “different updates” button to see the safety updates obtainable for Mojave or Catalina.

Finally, should you can set up iOS 15, you may most likely wish to. There are all the time a few options which might be value upgrading for, whether or not it is FaceTime display sharing, iPad residence display widgets, and even new emoji. And you will not have the ability to run iOS 14 without end; Apple will cease updating it will definitely, and third-party apps can also cease supporting it as their builders’ consideration shifts to iOS 15 and newer releases. It is simply good to have the choice to attend for some time if you wish to skip the bugs and teething points that include most brand-new working techniques.

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