Apple looks to be taking notes from Android for key features in iOS 14.5 should recent information hold to be true. It follows news that references have been identified in OS’ internal code, suggesting that Apple is developing a new mechanism for delivering standalone iOS security updates.
The new iOS updates settings page now earmarks security patches and OS updates as standalone packages for iPhone and iPad users. What this means is that users of devices like the Apple iPhone 12 and Apple iPad Pro (2020) could install security updates separately if they choose to, as opposed to being forced to do so as part of an enmeshed system update.
The report details a new section, embedded in the iOS software update menu, which points to separate security updates for iPad and iPhone users. It gives users more control over what they want to install: be that either only security updates, or fully-fledged iOS updates.
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The news could signal a big change from iOS' conventional update method, more akin to that of Android's update system. Many Android device manufacturers (also called Android original equipment manufacturers or Android OEMs for short), can roll out broad system updates and standalone security updates to the best Android phones.
It should bring iOS more in line with Android OS, letting users forgo the latest version of the operating software, but keep receiving important security patches. Likewise, Android doesn't need an installation of the most recent version for a user to receive the latest security patches.
The news hopefully means some flexibility for iOS users where Apple has historically lacked it. Despite users being able to choose to not install an update on iOS in its existing state, it leaves users and their best iPhone vulnerable because of the absence of the latest security fixes that come baked into the latest versions of iOS when Apple releases them.