Wednesday, January 19, 2022

No More iOS 14 Security Updates

Juli Clover:

Last week, MacRumors shared news that Apple had stopped releasing iOS 14 security updates and was pushing those still on iOS 14 to upgrade to iOS 15, an apparent reversal of a promise to allow users to stay on the iOS 14 operating system.

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. It is not a mistake that there are no more security updates to iOS 14, and support for the update has essentially ended.


“Always meant to be temporary” is a hell of a reply to people who thought they were getting more reliable OS support from a keynote announcement.


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Read the extract from Apple's iOS 15 features page quoted in both MR and Ars Technica:

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 until you're ready to upgrade to the next major version.

That's still the current wording on the page, and it's a lie. The single security update for iOS 14 post-iOS 15, 14.8.1, is now unavailable and iOS 15 is being pushed aggressively. iOS 14 had a grand total of 1 patch in 1 month of post-15 "support."

It's kind of a weird move, and I imagine "always meant to be temporary" isn't true. Did they really go through all that trouble of complicating the iOS update mechanism for, what, a window of three and a half months each year?

If the point all along of this "temporary grace period" was merely to allow users to wait out the early days of iOS 15, and not have to upgrade until iOS 15 bugs have been squashed, then they should have waited until the Safari IndexedDB bug was squashed, before implementing this policy.

Sounds like a after-the-fact rationalization for a change in policy.

Letting people remain on 14 until 16 is released would make a lot more sense, and fits the spirit of Apple’s original statement on their new security update policy.

If the policy changed, they should say so, and tell us why. Otherwise they should apologize for not being more clear in their initial announcement.

It turns out that my continued patronage of Apple was always meant to be temporary, as well.

This leads directly to the primary problem with having only a small number of products to choose from. If the best one (on whatever metric you choose) gets worse, what recourse do you as a consumer (i.e., the Invisible Hand of market) have to correct it?

You can't just switch to a competitor to improve your situation. Companies have no incentive to maintain their past performance. They only have to stay slightly better than the competition.

Chris: "If the policy changed, they should say so, and tell us why" -- haha! "Otherwise they should apologize" -- oh, you're killing me!

Thanks for that. I needed a good laugh this morning.

Other than the Safari breach, why not just get iOS 15?

I lost the option to stay on iOS 14 in mid-December.

I'd guess they changed their mind with the amount of back-porting needed for serious bug fixes.

You're welcome!

Of course it was always meant to be temporary. The opposite would be infinite security updates for iOS 14, which is obviously not reasonable.

I guess most people assumed something like 12 months. But since they didn’t specify a time frame, they probably did always intend to pull the trigger whenever it suits them.

Well this is unfortunate. It also leaves people more in the lurch with abandonware. And learning Android OS is not as easy. Even I, an Apple Certified Tech, and computer specialist of over 25 years find the Android OS less intuitive, and more difficult to navigate than iOS. Please submit it there, and tell them why this is not a good idea.

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