Generally speaking iOS updates are a no-brainer.
They’re free to
install, and they add new features and plug security holes. They make your iPhone both more fun and safer to use, and these days they’re far more likely to speed up your phone than slow it down, as used to be the case in the bad old days. There are few downsides to upgrading, and I happily allow them to install automatically when available.
Occasionally, however, it’s worth advising caution, and turning off auto updates for a short while. And it looks like
iOS 14 comes under that category.
Apple didn’t manage to spring many surprises at its 15 September Time Flies event, but its announcement that iOS 14 would roll out the very next day gave a few app developers a shock. Normally there’s far more notice (usually around a week) between the announcement and the rollout; by Apple’s standards this was sudden.
And the general feeling among those app developers is not entirely positive. A lot of them have since expressed their concerns on social media, warning that the software isn’t ready – by which they don’t necessarily mean iOS 14 itself is faulty, but that a worrying number of apps don’t yet work well with it. They simply haven’t had enough time to sort out all the issues.
David Smith reacted by saying it was “quite a bit [sooner] than I was expecting…hoping for”, although he later softened this with a reflection that he “kinda like the fast turnaround launch”.
Guilherme Rambo, an app developer more widely known for his semi-regular discoveries of secrets hidden in iOS code, has gone so far as to flat-out warn iPhone owners against installing iOS 14, “unless you want a lot of your apps to be broken for a while”.
The developers of the podcast app Overcast took the responsibility for the issue themselves: “Sorry, my iOS 14 features aren’t ready yet.”
Another developer was less forgiving of Apple’s hasty scheduling. “Having spent countless hours over the past two months for it to end like this must be crushing,” said @JPEGuin.
The overall consensus is this: installing iOS 14 on the first day it’s available would be risky. You may be okay, or you may find that one or more apps you rely on no longer work properly.
If you’re unsure, and if you have one or more apps that simply have to work, it’s worth getting in touch with the developer and asking how confident they are that it’s ready for the update. But we’d be inclined to simply put off the update for a week or two – which means the servers will be less busy in any case, and the update should download considerably more quickly.