iOS 15.7 Vs iOS 16—Here’s Which iPhone Update To Choose

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This week, Apple issued iOS 15.7 along with iOS 16. Both iPhone updates address a major security issue that is already being used by attackers, so which one should you choose?

A number of factors should help you to decide whether to upgrade to iOS 15.7 or iOS 16, but first things first. To keep your iPhone secure, you will need to update to one of them. That’s because iOS 15.7 and iOS 16 fix 11 security issues, one of which is being used in attacks. Some of the other 10 security issues fixed by the updates are pretty serious—these flaws can be chained together to take over your iPhone.

Ok, so now we’ve established why you should update to either iOS 15.7 or iOS 16, here’s the lowdown on each of them so you can decide which one suits you.

The case for iOS 15.7

When iOS 15.7 appeared as an update alongside iOS 16, many iPhone users were surprised. Why were they being given this option—and did they need to upgrade to iOS 15.7 before upgrading to iOS 16?

Apple has issued iOS 15.7 for two reasons: The first is because the iPhone maker knows many people don’t update to major new software versions to try and avoid any bugs. It is therefore seemingly stating its intention to continue to update iOS 15—at least for a while as it did with iOS 14 last year. That’s also good for anyone with an older iPhone that can’t run iOS 16.

Secondly, Apple issued iOS 15.7 because it deemed the already exploited security issue serious enough to warrant this update alongside iOS 16. It’s actually the second concurrent update for an exploited issue—the last update iOS 15.6.1 fixed two security flaws that were being used in real-life attacks.

So iOS 15.7 is for people with older iPhones and those who are more cautious updating to new software versions. If that’s you, you know what to do.

The case for iOS 16

Apple’s iOS 16 is the latest and greatest software update and it comes with a bunch of brilliant new iPhone features. Among the best include the ability to unsend messages and emails, Passkeys and Safety Check.

If you fancy playing around with iOS 16, it also includes Lockdown Mode—a highly targeted security setting which makes your iPhone super-safe from attacks but also nearly unusable.

Of course, iOS 16 also fixes those 11 security issues, so if you want to try out the new features too, it makes sense to skip iOS 15.7 and upgrade. I’ve updated to iOS 16 and haven’t had any issues yet, but others have reported minor problems.

iOS 15.7 or iOS 16: The choice is yours

So there you have it—both options are ok, but make sure you choose one. “One of the Kernel vulnerabilities has apparently been actively exploited which means there has been a higher chance of a more dangerous hacking on targeted devices,” says Jake Moore, global cyber security advisor at ESET. However, he says there is no need to panic as the attack is likely targeted at a small group such as journalists or activists.

“From a security standpoint, iPhone owners need to update to iOS 15.7 or iOS 16,” says Sean Wright, an independent security researcher. “Some prefer waiting for the kinks to be ironed out first, and that’s understandable,” he says.

However, Wright says you should eventually move over to iOS 16. “It is not clear how long Apple will support iOS 15 for, and it’s also worth noting that the new version of MacOS is yet to be released, and this carries some exciting new features, such as the ability to use your iPhone as webcam. This will most likely require your device to be running the latest version of iOS.”

So, what are you waiting for? Go to Settings > General > Software Update and upgrade to iOS 15.7 or iOS 16 to keep your iPhone safe.

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Kate O’Flaherty

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