Craig Federighi answers complaint about why iOS auto-update doesn't work

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 30
Apple's Craig Federighi has outlined how the company handles rolling out of automatic updates to iOS, including why it can take weeks to work.




Reddit user Mateusz Buda reports emailing Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi. He was asked about iOS auto-updates since Buda's iPhone had not updated itself two weeks after the release of iOS 15.4.

"We incrementally rollout new iOS updates," replied Federighi, "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!"

There is no further detail over what delays a widespread auto-update from one to four weeks, but it suggests Apple is conscious that bugs can be found even after beta testing.

To receive automatic updates, go to Settings, General, Software Update, and tap Automatic Updates to on.

Even with that enabled, users do not have to wait for the automatic download. They can still manually go into Software Update and tap to have the iPhone search for, and download, any new update.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,389member
    It’s a reasonable form of server network bandwidth management.  
    byronlkillroyheadfull0winewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    Is it the same with app updates? I’ve never had a app auto update,then I check manually and have 20 updates available 
    killroy
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,516administrator
    insync88 said:
    Is it the same with app updates? I’ve never had a app auto update,then I check manually and have 20 updates available 
    Maybe. Seems like a reasonable assumption, given what Federighi said about OS updates.
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,396member
    Didn’t know auto-update has a wait-and-see pause built in. Thats certainly what I do with manual updates, to varying degrees. It’s both brilliant and somewhat amusing that Apple itself also takes the ‘no, you go first’ approach. 
    killroyheadfull0wineviclauyycbestkeptsecretAppleSince1976watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,038member

    "We incrementally rollout new iOS updates," replied Federighi, "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!”

    Follow Federighi’s advice. If Apple waits for feedback on update releases we should too. Zero day updating could be problematic even though I personally have never had one go south. On the same day of a release we always start getting the “this update bricked my (insert device)” rants. 

    Of course, SOMEBODY has to be a guinea pig I suppose.
    edited March 30 killroyAppleSince1976watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    insync88 said:
    Is it the same with app updates? I’ve never had a app auto update,then I check manually and have 20 updates available 
    I had 11 apps that auto updated today. So I would say no to your question. 
    Spitbathkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,397member
    Interesting to know the reason why automatic updates never seemed to be automatic. I’m usually too impatient to wait and force the updates manually. I know that apps do update automatically because I rarely touch anything on my wife’s phone and her apps always seem to be up to date. I do ask her to manually update the OS when there is a security related update available. I suppose Apple could add more user-controlled settings, like giving higher priority to security related updates, but it’s reassuring to know that the automatic updates do work - eventually.

    Apple should probably assign a “criticality” or “severity” level to all OS updates and push out the automatic updates in accordance with this rating. Users who manually update could use this rating too, especially when the update will interrupt their workflow (due to the machine being unavailable). If the severity is high they may decide to take the time/productivity hit anyway just to stay safe. If the severity level is low they can decide to wait until they finish what they are doing before kicking it off.
    edited March 30 killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    igforbes said:
    insync88 said:
    Is it the same with app updates? I’ve never had a app auto update,then I check manually and have 20 updates available 
    I had 11 apps that auto updated today. So I would say no to your question. 
    Same here. I've never had to manually update apps. That's not to say I've never opened the App Store and found apps waiting to be updated... they just sit in the queue until I place the phone on the charger when I go to sleep at night.
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,975member
    My thinking is that the automatic update lag has nothing (or very little) to do with finding bugs and more to do with spacing out calls to customer service. Some percentage of the less tech-comfortable users probably panic when something changes on their phone and their discomfort would be compounded by long wait times for support.  Even if it’s a tiny percentage each time, there are millions and millions of users out there…

    People who force the upgrade manually are more likely to be able to work things out on their own, so if they go all at once, it’s less likely an issue.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    When did 15.4 come out? I've been waiting and waiting for the mask option to appear. I just checked and 15.4 was waiting for me to manually discover it and download it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    Hum my Apple TV never auto updates and I have to manually do it even though the auto update toggle is enabled.  My sons Appletv was on 14.2 till last week. But I had to manually update it.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    thttht Posts: 4,501member
    Yup. That's the way auto-update works. I always wait for the update to be pushed, instead of updating right away. By the time it's pushed, most of the critical bugs are worked out.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    AppleZulu said:
    Didn’t know auto-update has a wait-and-see pause built in. Thats certainly what I do with manual updates, to varying degrees. It’s both brilliant and somewhat amusing that Apple itself also takes the ‘no, you go first’ approach. 
    There are a bazillion ‘I’ll go first’ bleeding edge keeners out there. Apple is simply doing them the favour of freeing up bandwidth for them.  They’re also sparing my mum (and by extension, me) the headache of dealing with residual bugs.  It’s a win-win. I’d make that same decision. 
    muthuk_vanalingamthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    digitoldigitol Posts: 269member
    I have several issues with Craig’s response. First of all No, because I’ve had plenty of instances where auto update does not work. Until you manually check … then all of a sudden multiple updates become available, dating much more than 4weeks back.  Second, Apple needs to be waaay more transparent about these “rules” or prerequisites.. If I contest Apple, and tell support my auto update didn’t update and has 20 updates available only when I check it dating longer than 4 weeks, Apple can and will just say “oh 4 weeks and or 20 items to update” whatever comes first or both.”  If Apple does indeed document all these stipulations, then Apple needs to do a better job communicating. Ridiculous. 
    edited March 30 dewme
  • Reply 15 of 17
    So I have the same issue, I have auto update enabled but I can’t ever get the update. I’ll wait a couple of days) still no update then I’ll just manually update. Most times if I see there’s a new update out there because of an article on AppleInsider I just do the update right away anymore. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 17
    Sorry but no. My 2018 iPad is still on 15.2.1 despite Automatic Updates enabled and the device in daily use. 15.3 came out early January, three months ago. Totally ignored. 
    edited April 1
  • Reply 17 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,516administrator
    When did 15.4 come out? I've been waiting and waiting for the mask option to appear. I just checked and 15.4 was waiting for me to manually discover it and download it.
    March 14.
    watto_cobra
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