Last week MacTrast reported that Apple was pushing iOS 14 users to upgrade to its latest version of its iPhone operating system, iOS 15. The move was an apparent reversal of Apple’s promise from last year that users could stay on iOS 14 and still receive security updates.
Apple today told Ars Technica that the option to stay on iOS 14 and avoid the iOS 15 upgrade was always meant to be temporary. There are no more security updates, and support for the operating system has basically ended.
Apple told Ars that it always intended the iOS 14 security update option to be temporary. Essentially, people could have a short grace period while Apple worked out the worst of the new operating system’s early bugs, but you would always eventually have to upgrade to stay patched.
Apple’s iOS 15 feature page when iOS 15 was first released last fall, said the company would provide a choice “between two software update versions” in the Settings app. It also said that security updates for iOS 14 would be offered until users were ready to upgrade.
While Apple did not make it clear that this was a temporary option, it did publish an updated support document in September 2021 that did mention the option to stay on iOS 14 would be available “for a period of time.”
If you’re using iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or later, you might now see the option to choose between two software update versions. This option allows you to choose between updating to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS 15 as soon as it’s released, or continuing on iOS or iPadOS 14 while still getting important security updates for a period of time.
Apple’s last iOS 14 security update, iOS 14.8.1, was released in October and there have been and will be no updates for the older operating system.
iOS 15 is compatible with all of the devices that can run iOS 14, and removing the iOS 14 upgrade option will likely push those that are still on iOS 14 to install iOS 15.
Apple last week released iOS 15 installation numbers, showing that iOS 15 has been installed on just 72% of devices made in the last four years, which is a notably lower number of adoptees than were seen on prior versions of iOS at this point in their lifespan.