Apple 15.2.1 has landed and it is shaping up to be a surprisingly important upgrade for iPhone owners around the world. Why? Because it looks like the release which will finally put the iOS 15 dumpster fire launch behind it. Something bigger releases failed to do. Here’s everything you need to know.
Tip: bookmark this page because I will keep it up to date if/when new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.
Who Is It For?
Apple iOS 15.2.1 is immediately available for all iOS 14-compatible devices, this means the iPhone 6S and newer. iPhone owners should automatically be prompted to update but, if not, you can trigger the update manually by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. If you are running a newer iOS 15 beta (see ‘The Road Ahead’ section at the end), you must unenroll your iPhone before iOS 15.2.1 will show up.
Note: this guide is not focused on older iOS updates or iPadOS, but I will touch upon pertinent issues in these guides.
The Deal Breakers
Jailbreak fans are still stuck twiddling their thumbs because neither Unc0ver nor checkra1n has cracked the latter iOS 14 releases, let alone iOS 15. iPhone 13 owners, having seen the phone launch with iOS 15, have yet to benefit from a supported jailbreak. The longest wait for a new device in iPhone history.
For everyone else, the first 24 hours look extremely good. Activity on Reddit is quiet (other than some missing release notes with the update), Apple Support Communities has only shown isolated issues with the update not installing while on Twitter there are individual reports of iMessage errors and battery drain but nothing that should cause concern. The only discontent I have found is some ongoing CarPlay connectivity issues though in nowhere near the same numbers as previously.
This is as good a start to an iOS 15 release as I have seen. This can still change as more users upgrade, but it’s very promising.
So What Do You Get?
iOS 15.2.1 contains no new features, only (officially) two fixes. Here are Apple’s official release notes:
iOS 15.2.1 contains bug fixes for your iPhone including:
- Messages may not load photos sent using an iCloud Link
- Third-party CarPlay apps may not respond to input
The big one here is CarPlay. Apple did not acknowledge the car connectivity problems experienced by owners of almost every car brand with iOS 15.1 and iOS 15.2. But 24 hours after the release of iOS 15.2.1, despite the fix not being exactly the same as the problems people were suffering, I’m seeing almost no complaints across message boards and social media. With the odd isolated exception.
Apple is well known for slipping additional fixes into iOS releases without officially listing them and I suspect there are a lot in iOS 15.2.1.
The other talking point here is security with Apple’s official security page revealing that iOS 15.2.1 fixes a vulnerability which allowed hackers to attack iPhones and iPads via HomeKit. This is a far cry from the eye-opening 42 security fixes in iOS 15.2, but still a significant one for Apple to fix.
It is also worth noting that for iOS 14 hold-outs, Apple has not released an update since iOS 14.8.1 in October. Considering the mass of security updates patched in iOS 15 since this time, it feels like iOS 14 users are getting a raw deal after Apple promised to keep supporting it after iOS 15’s release. It looks like time to jump ship.
Apple iOS 15.2.1 Verdict: Upgrade
Considering the lack of bugs reported and the neglectful lack of iOS 14 updates, iOS 15.2.1 represents a major opportunity for cautious updaters to finally migrate to Apple’s latest version of iOS. Needless to say, bugs could still emerge but the early signs are extremely positive.
Note: bookmark this guide, I will continue to update it with any relevant flaws or features I find and you will receive my final verdict here in one week.
The Road Ahead
Apple has seeded the second beta of iOS 15.3 with testers. This puts it in-line for a mid to late-February release, which means we may still get an iOS 15.2.2 update should any notable bugs be discovered before then. Apple has yet to include any new features in iOS 15.3, but as a ‘major point’ update and with several major iOS 15 tent poles still missing — IDs in Apple Wallet being the most likely — I would expect this to change before release.
Follow Gordon on Facebook
More On Forbes