iOS 10, the latest, greatest version of Apple's mobile operating system, shipped last month not only on the brand new iPhone 7, but to iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5. That's every iPhone going back to 2012. And what's more — it shipped to every model, on every carrier, in every region, all on the same day.
Software updates are valuable
Fast, free software updates are an enormous added value enjoyed by iPhone owners and not only is it unmatched by Android or any other platform, due to the way they manage their platforms, it's unmatchable. It's also one of the very best reasons to switch to iPhone.
By contrast, Samsung's 2012 Galaxy S III, can only run up to Android 4.4 Kit Kat, which was released in late 2014. The latest version is Android 7.0, Nougat. Even Google's own 2012 Nexus 4, can only be officially updated to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Again, the latest version is 7.
Imagine if iPhone 5 was stuck on iOS 5 or iOS 7?
Sure, comparing iOS updates to Android updates is like comparing apples to oranges, and there are a variety of reasons why an operating system created by Google but deployed by a wide range of vendors across hundreds of carries will never equal the penetration rate of an integrated, intentional company like Apple.
But that's not the customer's problem. Update or update not, there is no excuse.
It's not just older devices either. This month Apple will be providing an update to every iPhone 7 Plus owner that will enable both portrait mode for simulated depth-of-field photography, and provide compatibility with the soon-to-be-launching AirPods headphones.
Last year, Apple kept updating iOS 9 through the spring, with iOS 9.3 bringing Night Shift, secure notes, and other new features to every iPhone 6s owner on the planet. Then, of course, came iOS 10. Again, free of charge, to every iPhone owner going back to the 2012 iPhone 5, delivered to everyone, all at once.
Security updates are essential
While new features are nice to have, updates also bring with the bug fixes and — most importantly — security fixes that are must have.
Every platform has exploits. What matters is how they deal with them, both well and fast.
Apple can patch iOS, distribute it without interference from carriers, and get it on the vast majority of devices as fast as the bits can travel. They've been doing it for years. They've done it several times recently.
iOS 10 just brought new apps, new intelligence, better privacy and security, increased performance and battery life, and much, much to hundreds of millions of iPhone owners around the world. For many, it'll make them feel like they're getting a whole new phone. Based on past history, within a few months the vast majority of iPhone owners will be running it.
At the same time, the small percentage of people expecting Android 7.0 Nougat will be wondering where it is, and the vast majority, apparently, won't even know or care.
So, if it's important to you that the software running on your device be up to date, that you get all the new features and fixes as soon as they're available, and that you continue to get new features for years to come, then it should be important to you to switch to iPhone.
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