iOS 8.4.1 & iOS 9 Release Timeline: 5 Things to Know

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve started to see Apple peel back some of the shroud covering its iOS update pipeline. And today, with a new iOS 8.4.1 update on the way, we want to breakdown an iOS 8.4.1 to iOS 9 release timeline that will help set your expectations as we move forward.

In April, Apple confirmed an iOS 8.4 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update would come to replace the company’s iOS 8.3 update with a number of new features including a revamped Music application complete with a new streaming music service.

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In the weeks that followed, Apple declined to offer specifics about the iOS 8.4 update and its release date. It wasn’t until after WWDC 2015 that we learned about the iOS 8.4 release date.

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On June 30th, Apple released iOS 8.4 and its new Music application. Many believed that iOS 8.4 would serve as the final piece of the bridge to Apple’s upcoming iOS 9 update. We now know that that will not be the case.

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Last week, Apple confirmed the arrival of another iOS 8.4 update dubbed iOS 8.4.1. The update isn’t available to the public just yet but it will be released sometime in the near future. Exactly when is unknown and we don’t expect Apple to release specific details about its iOS release pipeline.

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So, we’re going to do our best to outline what you need to know about the iOS 8.4.1 release and its proximity to the upcoming iOS 9 release. This timeline will help you mentally prepare for both updates, one of which (iOS 9) will be much bigger than the other (iOS 8.4.1).

iOS 8.4.1 Beta

Let’s start with what’s available to you right now. Last week, Apple released an iOS 8.4.1 beta 1 though the iOS 8.4.1 beta is currently limited in scope.

Instead of a widespread beta for both developers and those in the public Beta Software Program, the iOS 8.4.1 beta is limited to developers. What this means is that you need a paid developer account with Apple to access the iOS 8.4.1 update ahead of its release.

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The iOS 8.4.1 beta, at least the first one, is probably not going to be worth the extra cost or the hassle. It’s small and according to those testing it, it’s not coming with much on board.

At this point, we’re not sure how the iOS 8.4.1 beta process will play out. Smaller updates typically don’t endure a lengthy stay in the beta program. iOS 8.1.1, for instance, was released after just one beta.

What we do know is that Apple typically puts some space between its beta updates. So if there is going to be an iOS 8.4.1 beta 2, it probably won’t arrive until next week.

iOS 9 Beta

The iOS 8.4.1 beta isn’t the only iOS beta update available. Apple’s also running an iOS 9 beta that’s available to developers and the general public and today the company released another updated version of its new operating system.

The iOS 9 beta 4 update is now available to developers. It’s not available to those in the public beta testing program and it’s not clear if this version of the beta will be released to the public. However, the iOS 9 beta 4 does have a lot more appeal than the iOS 8.4.1 beta.

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iOS-9-Beta

According to MacRumors, iOS 9 beta 4 has tacked on several new features including the return of Home Sharing for Music for iOS. If you’re not familiar, iOS 8.4 removed the feature from iOS. The iOS 8.4.1 beta did not have the feature on board so you might have to wait until the iOS 9 release for that feature to come back. Or, you could just join the public iOS 9 beta.

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The iOS 9 beta will be available all the way up until the iOS 9 release date. This gives you plenty of time to look into the public beta. Look for Apple to release several more betas as we move deeper into the summer. There are still a number of problems that need to be resolved.

iOS 8.4.1 Release Date

The iOS 8.4.1 release date will come before the end of the iOS 9 beta and the iOS 9 release date.

Apple hasn’t announced an iOS 8.4.1 release date and it probably never will. What this means is that you’ll likely be waiting in the dark in the days and perhaps weeks to come. We do know a few things though.

We know that you can expect this update before the iOS 9 release. And with an iOS 9 release confirmed for the fall, we’d expect iOS 8.4.1 to arrive sometime before September 23rd (start of the fall). And given its size, we’d expect it to arrive much sooner than that.

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iOS 8.4.1 will likely be released sometime between Monday-Friday and probably around 9-10AM PST. The update’s release time isn’t confirmed but you can bet on Apple following protocol.

The iOS 8.4.1 update figures to be the last iOS 8 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. That is unless it brings some problems that need an immediate fix.

iOS 9 Release Date

iOS 8.4.1 will be out before iOS 9 though we don’t know how big of a space Apple will leave between the two updates.

The iOS 9 release date is confirmed for the fall. Apple reiterated its plans in an announcement about its third quarter results so the update is still on track.

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With an iPhone 6s release rumored for September, there’s a good chance that the iOS 9 update will replace iOS 8.4.1 on or around September 23rd. Apple likes to use the third week of the month as its release window so we wouldn’t bet against a September 16th iOS 9 release.

If your device is capable of running iOS 8.4.1, it’s capable of running iOS 9. iOS 9 will be coming to all iOS 8 powered devices and it will be coming to all of those devices on the same day. This isn’t Android and there are no staggered iOS roll outs. Everyone gets the software at the same time.

iOS Jailbreak Status

There is an iOS 8.4 jailbreak available but it’s not clear if Apple’s iOS 8.4.1 update will break it. As we’ve pointed out, there’s a good chance that it will which means that if you haven’t already updated to iOS 8.4, you’ll want to think about doing so in the near future.

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If that happens, we probably won’t see another jailbreak until the release of iOS 9 in the fall. Developers have said that they’re working on an iOS 9 jailbreak but it’s not clear if it’ll work right when the iOS 9 update comes out. Apple’s security enhancements might complicate a release.

For those that want the cliff notes, here’s the breakdown:

July

  • iOS 8.4.1 Beta 1 now available
  • iOS 9 beta 4 available for developers
  • iOS 8.4.1 release date possible
  • More betas possible

August

  • iOS 8.4.1 release date possible
  • More betas possible

September

  • iOS 8.4.1 release date possible
  • End of iOS 9 beta likely
  • iOS 9 release date likely
10 Important iOS 8.4.1 Release Details

Start Preparing for iOS 8.4.1 Soon

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Start Preparing for iOS 8.4.1 Soon

When Apple announced the iOS 8.4.1 update it did not confirm a specific release date. And because this is an incremental update, it probably means that we probably won't see an iOS 8.4.1 release date announced ahead of the update's release. 

If you're a wily iOS vet, you already knew that. If you are new to iOS updates, this is an important detail that you're just going to have to get used to. And this is precisely why it's a good idea to start thinking about preparng for the iOS 8.4.1 release.

We're not sure when the update will be released so you're not going to want to go crazy but you might want to think about doing a little prep work so that you're ready when the update arrives. 

Take the time between now and the update's release to do a little cleanup and get rid of unnecessary files you no longer use. Get familiar with iOS 8.4 and Apple Music if you haven't already because the changes from iOS 8.4 will be present on iOS 8.4.1. Look into jailbreaking. Research how to make a backup. Things of that nature.

It's too early to start prep work for iOS 9 but it's never too early to start prep work for an update that could come at any time. 

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