While leakers expected Apple to announce a next generation MacBook Pro (wrong) alongside macOS Monterrey, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 (right), the company kept the biggest news offstage and it fundamentally changes how all iPhone users will safeguard their phones moving forward.
“iOS now offers a choice between two software update versions in the Settings app. You can update to the latest version of iOS 15 as soon as it’s released for the latest features and most complete set of security updates. Or continue on iOS 14 and still get important security updates until you’re ready to upgrade to the next major version.”
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Having reviewed iOS updates for the best part of a decade, I can tell you this is huge. For the last 14 years, Apple has made iPhone owners choose between stability and security. Here are two examples from the most recent iOS updates:
Yes, some users will always rush to the latest iOS update regardless, but for many the need to be cautious about their phone’s performance has unfairly forced them to be reckless with its security. This is unlike almost all rival operating systems, with the likes of Android and Windows separating security updates from feature-based upgrades (source 1, source 2).
Consequently, this is a massive deal for both Apple and its users. It’s a radically different way to advance iOS and it fulfils a promise the company had been hinting at for some time when issuing sporadic updates to iOS 12. It is objectively superb news.
And yet one question remains. While users who choose to stay on iOS 14 will now continue to receive the latest security updates (historically often a smart move), will the same benefit be offered to iOS 15 upgraders if they choose to sit out some subsequent iOS 15 updates? I have contacted Apple and will update this article when/if I receive a response.