iOS 9 vs. iOS 8.4 Update: 5 Things to Know Before WWDC

As we approach Monday’s WWDC 2015 keynote, we’ve been hearing a whole lot about the successors to Apple’s iOS 8.3 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. With iOS 9 and iOS 8.4 on the brains of iOS users around the world, we want to take a look at a few important things we think you need to know about the iOS 9 vs. iOS 8.4 release.

Every year, Apple holds a developers conference in San Francisco dubbed Worldwide Developers Conference. This year, WWDC 2015 will be kicking off on June 8th with a keynote from Tim Cook and other Apple executives as the company looks to impress its developers and consumers around the world.

In the buildup to the keynote address, we’ve been hearing about Apple’s plans for next week and they supposedly include a number of new products and at least one that will be familiar to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users.

We probably won’t see a new Apple TV 2015 but that doesn’t mean that Monday will be void of exciting announcements. Rumors point to the arrival of a new streaming music service to take on Pandora and Spotify, a new version of OS X for Macs, and two brand new iOS updates, one of which is already confirmed.


The iOS 8.4 release for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch was confirmed back in April though it remains inside the company’s beta program for testers ahead of a public release. Apple’s iOS 9 update is still unconfirmed but we’ve seen rumors seep to the surface almost daily in the days before WWDC 2015.

These are two big updates for iOS users and today, we want to take a look at their relationship ahead of WWDC. If you’ve had your eyes on both of these updates ahead of WWDC 2015, here’s what you need to know about the iOS 9 vs. iOS 8.4 release.

iOS 9 & iOS 8.4 Release in June

If you’re at all interested in how the iOS 9 release will compare to the iOS 8.4 release then you’ll want to tune into Apple’s keynote address on Monday morning.

Apple has announced plans to kick off the keynote starting at 10AM PST. The company also confirmed a live stream of the event which will give those of you at home or at work a chance to be a part of the action as it unfolds.

The event will last two hours and those interested in tuning in will be able to do so through Apple’s Live website. Unfortunately, Apple’s live stream will not officially support Windows users which means that those with Windows will need to find another way to watch. We’ll fill you in on those details on Monday before the event.

Apple hasn’t confirmed what it will announce on stage but iOS 9 and iOS 8.4 should be a big part of the show as Apple runs down their features and quite possibly, their release dates.

At this point, it looks like the iOS 9 release will come before the iOS 8.4 release. The iOS 9 beta, at least.

iOS 9 Beta devices

Apple is expected to confirm both of these updates on stage and it should deliver some details regarding their release dates. The public iOS 9 release isn’t expected to arrive until the fall but Apple should release an iOS 9 beta shortly after the event so that its developers and testers can get to work ahead of the public roll out.

If that happens Monday and it probably will, the iOS 9 update will become available before iOS 8.4. iOS 8.4’s release date isn’t rumored for Monday. Instead, credible reports suggest that the update will arrive in late June.

9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman claims that the update will be removed from beta in the last week of June. It’s not clear if Apple plans to confirm a date on stage during WWDC 2015.

If You Install the iOS 9 Beta You Should Be Able to Downgrade

If you decide to install the iOS 9 beta on Monday or whenever it is released, you should be able to take advantage of a loophole and downgrade back to iOS 8 so that you can use the official version of iOS 8.4. It’s a nice option for those that just want to see what iOS 9 is all about before moving back down to a stable version of the software.

We’ll discuss the process on Monday but the one thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that you absolutely must make an iOS 8 backup before you move to the beta. If you backup with iOS 9 on board, you’re going to be stuck there until the company pushes the official version of the update.

iOS 8.4 Features in iOS 9

You should be able to get the best of both worlds if you download and install the iOS 9 beta.

The iOS 9 beta should come with most if not all of the features that will be available with Apple’s iOS 8.4 update. That means the new music application with the new iTunes Radio and the new streaming music service.

iOS 8.4 is centered around music and it’s not expected to bring much else other than bug fixes and the usual array of security enhancements.

If You Are Running iOS 8, You’ll Probably Get Both

If you are currently running iOS 8, you will be getting iOS 8.4. iOS 8.4 is confirmed for all iOS 8 powered smartphones and tablets.

If you are currently running iOS 8, there’s also a very good chance that you’ll get iOS 9. Rumor has it, Apple’s been working hard to improve iOS performance on older devices and it looks like the company is planning to get the update out to older devices like the iPhone 4s and iPad mini 1.

Apple will likely confirm this on stage which is another reason you’ll want to tune into the live stream.

If You Jailbreak, Avoid Their Release Dates

Finally, if you’re at all interested in jailbreaking your phone or tablet on iOS 8.4 or iOS 9, know that you should probably avoid their release dates.

Rumor has it, iOS 9 is going to be coming with tight security and those enhancements could make it difficult for prominent jailbreak developers to release an early jailbreak. Developers have always found exploits to use in iOS so we’d expect one down the road, just not an immediate release for the iOS 9 beta.

We know that iOS 8.4 can be jailbroken but that doesn’t mean that developers will have a public release ready for the iOS 8.4 release date. So you’ll probably want to avoid iOS 8.4 when it arrives as well. We’re betting on an iOS 8.4 jailbreak but we probably won’t see any concrete details emerge before WWDC or in the days immediately after it.