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Apple No Longer Releasing Security Patches for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, Says Updating Older Versions Was ‘Temporary’

iOS 14.8.1 and iPadOS 14.8.1 were the last updates given to users on the older software versions.

Apple No Longer Releasing Security Patches for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, Says Updating Older Versions Was ‘Temporary’

Photo Credit: Apple

iOS 15 is already the leading platform among other iOS releases

Highlights
  • iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 users should update devices to get security patches
  • Apple didn’t initially confirm any specific timeline for ditching updates
  • iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1 are the latest versions to update

iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 are no longer getting security patches as Apple is intending to convince people to update their devices to the latest software releases. The Cupertino company originally gave iPhone and iPad users the option to stick to the older versions if they don't want to update to iOS 15 or iPadOS 15. For this, it promised to provide security patches for iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. Apple is, however, no longer providing any new updates to both software releases and has reportedly confirmed the move.

Apple told Ars Technica that the intention to provide security updates to iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 was of “temporary” nature. The company also redirected the tech publication to a support page published in September last year that noted that the previous iOS and iPadOS releases receiving security updates was meant only for “a period of time” and not intended for getting security patches forever. The page, though, doesn't provide any specific timeline to confirm when exactly the change will come into force.

However, 9to5Mac noticed that iOS 14.8.1 — and iPadOS 14.8.1 — were the last releases for users who were adhering to the last software releases and not planning to move to iOS 15 or iPadOS 15. Those releases, iOS 14.8.1 and iPadOS 14.8.1, were rolled out in October last year.

The features page for iOS 15 ambiguously mentioned users on iOS 14 will still get security patches from the company side.

“You can update to the latest version of iOS 15 as soon as it's released for the latest features and most complete set of security updates. Or continue on iOS 14 and still get important security updates,” the page included.

Same description is available for iPadOS users on the features page of iPadOS 15.

The grace period helped users stay unharmed from the bugs that were available in the early releases of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.

But by not giving any further security patches to people using the last-generation iOS and iPadOS releases, Apple is essentially pushing them to update their devices to the latest iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 versions, which are iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1, respectively. Among other possible goals, it will help the company increase the base of its iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 users in the market.

According to the data available on the Apple Developer portal, iOS 15 is already available on 72 percent of the total iPhone units introduced in the last four years, while iOS 14 is still on 26 percent of the overall base.

Similar is the case with iPadOS 15 that is available on 57 percent of all iPad units launched in the last four years. The previous iPadOS version is available on 39 percent of that base.

iOS 15 is also on 63 percent of the total iPhone units available in the market worldwide, whereas iPadOS 15 is on 49 percent of all iPad units available, the statistics available on the Apple portal show.

In the past, Apple managed to provide security patches to its older iOS versions for quite some time. The company, for instance, continued to support iOS 12 users throughout the iOS 13 and iOS 14 lifecycles. The reason for that, though, could be the fact that some devices running on iOS 12 were not eligible for receiving newer iOS releases. This is not the case with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 as all their compatible devices are eligible for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, respectively.

Moreover, the move by Apple simply means that you should update your device to the latest iOS or iPadOS release in order to have all the fresh security patches installed.


What are the best phones of 2021? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Jagmeet Singh
Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a principal correspondent for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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