All Of The Security, Less Of The Risk

iOS 15 has been out for a little while now, but I don’t have it on either of my devices. I almost never upgrade to the newest major releases right away. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The main one is accessibility. There is inevitably something or other that is going to get screwed up for people who use Voiceover, and I can’t be having that. I don’t rely on my phone the way a lot of people rely on their phones, but it also doesn’t take much to irritate me or make me lose my everloving mind. So for the sake of my blood vessels and the safety of everyone around me, I try to wait until at least the first followup release before taking the plunge.

The other reason is that I’m one of those people who will often hang on to something until I’m forced to let go of it, so the timing of the big upgrades rarely coincides with me possessing the latest and greatest technology. Right now, for instance, I’m happily running on an iPhone 8 that I got more than three and a half years ago for everyday use and the iPhone 6S I’ve had since 2015 that can barely hold a charge anymore but is still perfectly good for streaming to our bluetooth speaker. So as you can imagine, that sort of setup doesn’t exactly make one eager to jump into a brand new operating system right away even if technically one can. Apple usually does a pretty fair job of determining what will work on an older model and what won’t, but they don’t always get it right for everyone. And when they get it wrong, it can be pretty bloody. In a matter of hours you can go from everything working just fine to how soon can I make a trip to the god damn store?

The problem with my way of doing things is that whenever Apple releases new features, they also include security patches at the same time. That’s great if you’re wanting to upgrade everything right now, but not so fun if you’re me. But according to this and to the gander I just took at my phone to verify it, that’s no longer the case, which is pretty sweet.

With iOS 15, though, Apple is finally untethering security updates from feature updates. That allows you to stay on your current version of iOS without sacrificing your iPhone’s security, a win-win for everybody (besides hackers, I guess).

When iOS 15 is available on your device, you can go to Settings > General > Software Update. If you’re running the latest version of iOS 14, you’ll see that version listed in the middle of the screen; if a new security update is available in the future, you’ll be able to install that without installing the latest version of iOS 15.
Of course, any time you want to jump onto the latest version of iOS, you can. That option, “Upgrade to iOS 15,” now appears at the bottom of this screen, under Also Available.

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