For those still running iOS 14, Apple is encouraging them to upgrade to iOS 15. It’s a reversal of an earlier policy that allowed iOS 14 users to opt-out of installing the iOS 15 update. When iOS 15 launched, Apple said iOS offered “a choice between two software update versions,” promising security updates for those who chose to stick with iOS 14.
Apple said at the time: iOS now offers a choice of two software update versions in the Settings app. You can update to the latest version as soon as iOS 15 is released to get the latest features and the most complete security updates. Or keep using iOS 14, still getting important security updates until you’re ready to upgrade to the next major release.
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Under normal releases, iOS updates are front and center in the software update section of the Settings app, but when iOS 15 first came out, on devices running iOS 14, it was a footnote at the bottom of the software update interface, and it was easy to avoid.
Apple’s patience with those who shy away from iOS 15 seems to have dwindled over the past few months, and the company is now pushing iOS 14 users to update. On devices running iOS 14, iOS 15 updates are no longer a footnote at the bottom of the “Software Updates” section, and Apple has stopped releasing iOS 14 security updates.
There was originally an explicit option to stay on iOS 14 and receive updates, but with the introduction of iOS 15.2, that option appears to be removed. In the iOS 15.2.1 update released yesterday, Apple didn’t reintroduce the option to stay on iOS 14, which seems like a clear sign that Apple now wants people to upgrade. iPhone users must now update to iOS 15 if they want to have the latest security protections.
For example, Apple released iOS 14.8.1 with security updates in October. On iPhones still running iOS 14.8, the update for iOS 14.8.1 is no longer available, and Apple only offers iOS 15.2.1 as an installation option. iOS 15 is available on all devices capable of running iOS 14, and removing the option to stay on iOS 14 may spur people to upgrade. iOS 15 has now been installed on 72% of devices over the past four years on iPhones, which is significantly lower than the adoption rate we’ve seen with previous versions of iOS.