Sun. Sep 24th, 2023

Apple iOS 15
Apple iOS 15.6 and iPadOS 15.6 have been released for millions of iPhones and iPads around the world. The update brings new functionality and critical security fixes, but should you upgrade? 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.
07/30 Update: Final verdict below.
Who Is It For?
Apple iOS 15.6 and iPadOS 15.6 are available for all iOS 15-compatible devices, this means the iPhone 6S (2015) and newer and iPad Mini 4 (2015) and newer. With Apple admitting to auto-update delays, it is best to trigger the update manually by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. If you are running newer beta software (see ‘The Road Ahead’ section at the end), you must unenroll your device before the update appears.
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
Good news may be on the horizon for Jailbreakers, with claims from hacker group The Odyssey Team that they are about to release the first jailbreak for iOS 15 using a tool called ‘Cheyote’. Until this is delivered, jailbreak fans remain in a holding pattern — for better or (mostly) worse.
For everyone else, the first 24 hours is looking very good. This continues a recent run of very solid iOS 15 releases. The only concern I’ve seen is problems getting the update, with some users reporting “inordinately” long download times and delays in it showing up. Aside from this, no significant problems have been reported, but I will continue to monitor feedback as more iPhone and iPad owners update.
Apple iOS 15.6
So What Do You Get?
Apple’s official iOS 15.6 release notes are surprisingly short for a ‘major point’ update:
– TV app adds the option to restart a live sports game already in-progress and pause, rewind, or fast-forward
– Fixes an issue where Settings may continue to display that device storage is full even if it is available
– Fixes an issue that may cause braille devices to slow down or stop responding when navigating text in Mail
– Fixes an issue in Safari where a tab may revert back to a previous page
With Apple reportedly looking to grow its footprint in live sport, the additional live sports functionality is well timed. False storage warnings have also been annoying users for some time and it is good to see Apple stamp this one out. There are also reports that iPadOS 15.6 quietly fixes a charging bug introduced by iPadOS 15.5.
But the real news in iOS 15.6, and perhaps what earns the release its major point status (as opposed to a minor point 15.5.1 title), are several major security fixes. No fewer than 39 security patches are included in the release, which is the most I can remember outside of a generational upgrade.
These include vulnerabilities that could potentially take control of your device ( CVE-2022-32832) and remotely execute malicious code (CVE-2022-32788). Apple also disclosed flaws in its Neural Engine, WiFiΩaudio, graphics drivers, iCloud Photo Library, Safari browser and even the iOS/iPadOS software update system.
Apple iOS 15.6 Verdict: Upgrade
iOS 15 has been a stable operating system for some time now, and the early signs are iOS 15.6 will follow in its footsteps. Moreover, while it may be light on features, the new update is packed with important security patches, making it a priority install.
Note: hesitant upgraders should bookmark this guide because it will be updated with any relevant flaws or features I find. I will also publish my final verdict here in one week.
07/30 Update: apologies for the late final verdict; I noticed some isolated reports of battery drain from the iOS 15.6 update (1,2,3,4 etc) and wanted to check it did not spread. That has not happened so iOS 15.6 gets a thumbs up from me.
The Road Ahead
At the time of publication, Apple has not released another iOS 15 beta and — while that may still happen — it is clear that the company’s focus is now on iOS 16. If you want to try this next-generation update early, you can get it at the Apple Beta Software Program ahead of its expected release in September.
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