Apple released the iOS 15 software for the iPhone on 20 September 2021. You may be wondering if you should upgrade your iPhone.
The new iOS has several new features that may make you want to upgrade. Some of the most notable changes are the upgrades to FaceTime, Messages, Apple Maps, and privacy controls. While it may be tempting to jump into iOS 15 to use the new features, there have traditionally been issues with the initial version of any new major iOS release. While not everyone experiences issues with a new iOS version, there are typically some users that report having reduced battery life or connectivity problems with either Wi-Fi or cellular service.
When considering an upgrade, it is important to check if your device is capable of running the new iOS. Apple publishes a list of compatible devices with each new iOS version. Older devices not on the list can not run the new iOS.
According to Apple, the iOS 15 software can be used on all devices that run iOS 14, which are as follows.
Apple has also released iPadOS 15 as an upgrade for the iPad, which is compatible with the following devices.
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro
- 11-inch iPad Pro
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad Air (3rd and 4th generations)
- iPad Air 2
- iPad (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th generations)
- iPad mini (4th, 5th, and 6th generations)
Should I Upgrade My iOS?
Given iOS 15 has just been released, don’t be in a hurry to upgrade. You may want to update immediately to get the latest features offered in iOS 15, but I would suggest waiting until the software is more mature and stable. When Apple releases iOS 15.1, it should be more stable and resolve some of the issues found in the initial software release. If you are satisfied with the way your iPhone is working with the current iOS and you are not in a hurry to use any of the new features in iOS 15, then you may want to wait until iOS 15.1 is released.
If you have already upgraded to iOS 15, you typically can’t go back to iOS 14. If you are having issues, you will can try restoring your device to reinstall the software. See the “What Can I Do if the new iOS Isn’t Working Right?” section below for additional information.
Generally, the newer model devices will run the new iOS without any issues. However, things get a little more unpredictable for older model devices near the bottom of the compatibility list. While these devices may technically be able to run the new iOS, their performance may suffer because they have older processors and less RAM than the newer devices. The performance decrease could be minimal and some people may see no difference in speed or responsiveness while others may notice their device appears to run slower or feel sluggish.
Apple tries to ensure the best user experience possible when determining which devices are compatible with a new iOS. However, it is difficult to predict how an old device will handle a new iOS version. If there is a noticeable decrease in speed, this is typically evident regardless of which app you are using. Things like opening and closing apps may take a fraction of a second longer. App responsiveness when using an app may seem a bit slower than it was. The impact generally isn’t significant, but it can be noticeable.
Backup Your Device Before Starting the Upgrade
It is a good practice to backup your device before upgrading just in case something goes wrong with the upgrade. This article from the Apple website provides more information about backing up your device.
How to Update to iOS 15
You can easily update the iPhone or iPad by going to Settings -> General -> Software Update. Tap Download and Install then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
What Can I Do If the New iOS Isn’t Working Right?
Typically, you will not have an issue when upgrading the iOS on your iPhone. If something doesn’t seem right after upgrading, you can try restoring the device to reinstall the new iOS. A fresh installation of the iOS may resolve the issue. This article from the Apple website explains how to restore your device. Restoring the backup you made prior to beginning the upgrade will reinstall all your data on your device.
Can I Go Back to an old iOS If I Don’t Like iOS 15?
In most cases, the answer is No.
When you install any iOS version on your device, it will check with Apple servers to get a digital signature. This is basically a check to make sure the iOS is the latest approved version by Apple. There is only a short period of time from when a new iOS version is released that Apple continues to sign the older iOS. When Apple stops signing iOS 14.8, you will no longer be able to downgrade from iOS 15 to iOS 14 on your device.
Typically you won’t have an issue when upgrading a fairly new iPhone model. It is the oldest models on the iOS device compatibility list that could potentially suffer a performance decrease. You will need to weight the advantages and new features of the new iOS to determine if it is worthwhile upgrading an older device.