If you want to ensure your iOS devices are updated as soon as new releases are available, you should do manual iOS updates. The indirect advice comes from no less a source than Apple SVP of software engineering, Craig Federighi.

If you instead rely on automatic updates, you could be waiting days or weeks …

Federighi answered an email from a Reddit user.

I wrote an email to Craig Federighi who is the senior vice president of software engineering at Apple to ask him about explanation how does exactly iOS auto-update feature actually works. I was inspired to ask him after reading some Reddit posts and news online about customers complaining that iOS auto-update feature working slow (sometimes even whole month after iOS update release they receive a notification) or not working at all (in my case included).

Apple’s software chief said that the delay to automatic updates was a feature, not a bug.

We incrementally rollout new iOS updates by first making them available for those that explicitly seek them out in Settings, and then 1-4 weeks later (after we’ve received feedback on the update) ramp up to rolling out to devices with auto-update enabled.
Hope that helps!

Another user in the thread suggested that having auto-updates apply immediately would also place too great a strain on Apple’s servers.

Do you really expect over a billion devices to immediately start hammering the **** out of Apples servers to download an update the moment it’s released? Staged rollouts for that quantity of devices has basically always been a thing.

Other users suggested the same may be true of app updates, which can also take a significant amount of time to trigger automatically.

Some days I’ll look and some apps have updated recently, but I’ll have 30 or 40 apps with updates from the last week or two. This has definitely been happening for the last 2 or 3 years. I’m sure they used to update themselves overnight.

Via MacRumors. Photo: Daniel Romero/Unsplash.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear