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Apple may look to Android to improve its iOS updates

It could make iOS a more secure operating system.

Published onMarch 16, 2021

Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 Max camera
  • iOS 14.5 updates may be delivered in a similar way to Android.
  • According to spied internal code, future iOS security and major updates will be available separately.

Apple could be looking to Android for inspiration regarding a key facet of iOS 14.5. According to internal code spied in its beta, Apple may change the way it delivers security updates to its mobile OS.

As discovered by 9to5Mac, the new iOS updates settings page now lists major OS updates and security patches as separate packages. This change would theoretically allow users to install only security updates if they so desire. Previously, iOS users would only be covered by any security patches if they installed the latest version of the OS.

This is a stark departure from iOS’ traditional update delivery method. The change would however bring iOS in line with Android’s update system. Android OEMs, in addition to providing major Android updates, can also push monthly Android security updates to users’ devices. There’s no need to install the latest version of Android to gain the latest security updates, either.

Read more: 8 things iOS does better than Android

It’s unclear how Apple will handle security updates across the major OS versions, though. 9to5Mac notes there’s some evidence that iOS users would need to uninstall any security updates before upgrading to the next major OS version. It’s likely that Apple will streamline this process going forward.

It wouldn’t be the first time Apple splits its major and security updates, though. MacOS already delivers its patches in a similar manner.

For Apple, it would let the firm quickly deliver security patches to iOS without major version revisions in tow. This should theoretically make iOS a whole lot more secure.