Apple: Ability to skip iOS 15 updates was never meant to be permanent


iOS 15
It's iOS 15 or it's nothing now.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has confirmed that giving users the option to skip iOS 15 updates and stick with iOS 14 was always intended to be temporary.

Its clarification comes after it last week stopped delivering security updates to those who have chosen not to update their devices since iOS 15 made its debut last September. iOS 15.2.1 is now the only upgrade option.

Apple wasn’t going to let you use iOS 14 forever

When iOS 15 landed last fall, Apple said it would give iPhone and iPad users a choice “between two software update versions.” They could install iOS 15 and its new features, or they could stick with iOS 14 and get security improvements.

Inside the Settings app, those security updates were presented front and center, while the iOS 15 upgrade was more of an optional install that was relegated to the bottom of the screen. That’s no longer the case.

Apple originally users they could continue to use iOS 14 “until you’re ready to upgrade to the next major version.” But it this week told Ars Technica that iOS 14 security updates were always intended to be temporary.

Apple also pointed to a September 2021 support article that mentions standalone security improvements for iOS and iPadOS 14 would only be available “for a period of time.” That’s as specific as it gets.

It’s time to update to iOS 15

With the release of iOS 15.2.1 last week, then, security updates for iOS 14 have stopped. You can either upgrade to iOS 15, or continue to use the version of iOS 14 you have installed now — with any security flaws it might have.

There’s really no reason to cling onto iOS 14 at this point, however. iOS 15 is compatible with all devices that could run iOS 14, and the bugs it launched with have all been ironed out. What’s more, it’s just as snappy as its predecessor.


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