Apple will not force you to update to iOS 15 if you're comfortable running iOS 14
With the (online-only) 2021 edition of WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) finally underway earlier today, all the media attention is naturally directed at the next versions of Apple's many popular operating systems, set to be released in their stable form at some point in the fall.
But in an unusual move, the Cupertino-based tech giant is keeping iOS 14 in the limelight (in a way) after unveiling and fully detailing its sequel by... essentially taking a page out of Google's book.
As reported by MacRumors, Apple plans to make the iOS 15 update optional for every single owner of all current and previous-gen iPhones eligible to make the software leap starting in September. Obviously, no one was ever forced at gunpoint to install iOS 14 or any older OS builds as soon as they were made generally available.
But until this year, if you wanted to keep your handset's security up-to-date, you had to first embrace whatever major iOS version was latest. In other words, you could refuse to jump on the iOS 14 bandwagon, for instance, until you felt comfortable leaving iOS 13 behind, but from a security standpoint, it was pretty dangerous to hold off for too long.
That will no longer be the case when iOS 15 rolls out to the masses, as said masses will be offered a real choice between "the latest features and most complete set of security updates" on one hand and slightly older features nonetheless combined with "important security updates" on the other.
While that may feel like a no-brainer for many users, others will undoubtedly relish the opportunity to wait and see just how stable and smooth iOS 15 proves at launch before committing to an update. You can also hang onto your beloved iOS 14 if you fear your ancient iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, first-gen SE, or iPhone 7 will have trouble making the most of Apple's "latest features."
Separately delivering major OS promotions and "important" security patches for the exact same devices, of course, is what Google and its mobile hardware-making partners have been doing since, well, forever. In the short run, Apple's very uncharacteristic move is bound to impact the adoption rate of iOS 15, but after a while, we don't expect many people to stick with the older version.
Besides, something tells us the company is fully aware that this could lead to a mini-fragmentation problem of sorts, which probably means you will eventually need to get iOS 15 to continue receiving security updates.
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