If you own an iPhone, you'll be only too well aware of the regular software updates that Apple, ahem, 'encourages' users to install. The latest and greatest version, iOS 15, became available back in September 2021, but should you upgrade to iOS 15?
Apple is obviously keen for everyone to upgrade as soon as possible. But should you? We'll examine reasons for and against doing so. Then you can decide for yourself which choice is right for you. At the time of writing, roughly 63% of all iOS devices are running iOS 15. Is it time for you to join them?
Reasons To Upgrade To iOS 15
Let's start with the positives. As is so often the case, a new OS brings with it a raft of new features to enjoy. And iOS 15 is no exception. We won't break down the full list here; suffice to say that there are features designed to improve a wide range of user experiences. Let's take a look at some of the most important.
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iOS 15 brings with it a wealth of improvements on the privacy front. On Safari, there is a feature called Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which stops trackers from profiling you using your IP address.
More generally, there is a section in Settings called App Privacy Report. This tells you which apps are accessing things such as your location, photos, camera and microphone, and how often they've been doing this over the last 7 days. This is a great feature if you're concerned that apps may be accessing your data more often than you are comfortable with.
Just as importantly, iOS 15 patched two pretty significant security flaws, which had the potential to leave your data vulnerable to malicious third-party apps. Apparently, some apps were even able to bypass privacy preferences. iOS 15 has (in theory at least) resolved some of these pretty significant issues.
Other Features And Enhancements
As we said earlier, there is a huge range of additions to iOS 15 that are designed to improve the user experience. SharePlay, for example, allows you to enjoy different ways of connecting to others. Watch movies and shows on your Facetime calls, or share your screen and music.
Messages have a new 'Shared With You' feature, that organises content that's been shared with you via mesages. So if for instance, someone sends you a photo or a web link, your Photos app or Safari will have a dedicated section to show you content that has been sent to you.
Focus gives you control over how often you want to be disturbed. You can filter notifications, mute everything, and customise your Focus for whatever you're doing. You can even sync this across all your Apple devices.
There are plenty of other additions as well. This just offers an insight into some of the benefits that can be had from upgrading to iOS 15.
Support for iOS 14 Will Stop
As well as there being some potential security flaws in iOS 14, Apple has confirmed that support in the form of security updates will only be available for "a period of time". This is almost certainly deliberately vague, but we simply don't know how long support will be available for. And the last thing you want to do is have a device that isn't protected by further security updates. This will leave you vulnerable.
Those are a few good reasons for upgrading to iOS15. Now, let's consider why you may not want to.
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Reasons Not To Upgrade To iOS 15
We'll cover this right out of the box: the launch of iOS 15 did not go well. It has been described by some as a "dumpster fire". Users were hit by a range of issues, including camera bugs, issues with core apps, unresponsive screens, and accessories not working properly. Initially, this seemed to impact iPhone 13 users most of all. But the plague spread to other models of iPhone, leaving a lot of disgruntled owners with expensive handsets that don't work properly. This is a major reason for delaying that upgrade. Having said which, Apple has now released iOS 15.2.1, which is (so far at least) the most stable version of iOS15. It's likely that it will become more stable over time, so some people may prefer to wait until further updates have come through.
iOS 15 Isn't Compatible With Every iPhone
Let's just clarify this. iOS 15 will work with the vast majority of iPhones, going as far back as the iPhone 6s. However, there will still be some users who are almost unbelievably still using older iPhones than this. If that applies to you, then upgrading to iOS 15 is a no go. Your device won't be compatible. So really, you don't have a choice.
Maybe You Just Like iOS 14 and Don't Want To Change
We get it. Sometimes, it feels like Apple messes with stuff for no reason. Maybe the look of your apps has changed slightly. Or maybe stuff has been moved around by Apple. Everything just feels a little...off. Whatever it is, there can be a period of adjustment when you complete an upgrade. And if you're happy that you've got everything exactly where you want it, and hate the thought of going through that adjustment period again, maybe holding off from upgrading will work for you.
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Upgrading to iOS 15 is, for most people at least, going to be a relatively easy decision. Even purely for the additional security benefits, it is worth doing. That's before considering the additional features that it offers.
Of course, there will be some who really don't want to upgrade, for whatever reason. And that's fine too. But be aware that eventually, Apple will stop supporting your version of iOS. And that brings with it a whole host of other issues.
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