iOS 13.6 could give users control over automatic update downloads

iPhone automatic update option
iPhone automatic update option (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple seeded iOS 13.6 beta 2 to developers yesterday.
  • The update adds a new toggle to control system software updates.
  • Users can now have iPhones automatically download updates. Or not. Whichever.

Apple seeded iOS 13.6 beta 2 to developers yesterday, renaming the update from iOS 13.5.5. There's more than just a change in name here though, with Apple also adding a new toggle to control whether a system update is automatically downloaded or not.

In its current form, iOS will automatically update itself overnight when a device is connected to WiFi and charging if a user wishes it to. But this new change adds an extra layer to that – the iPhone can automatically download the update but not install it.

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The existing functionality to have an update applied overnight remains.

Automatically install software updates overnight after they have been downloaded. You will receive a notification before updates are installed. Your iPhone must be charging and connected to Wi-Fi to complete the update.

It's a subtle difference and one that will give users more control over whether they save storage space or have an update ready to go at a moment's notice.

There's no indication when iOS 13.6 will be made available to the public, but with iOS 14 set to enter beta at WWDC on June 22, it isn't likely to be long.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.