Today we want to walk you through the most important things you need to know about the iOS 10.2.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch as we push deeper into February.
Last year, Apple put its iOS 10.2.1 update into beta for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. After several weeks of testing, the company decided the iOS 10.2.1 update was ready for primetime.
The iOS 10.2.1 update has been available for several weeks now and it still reigns as the the most up-to-date version of iOS 10. Its days are numbered though.
iOS 10.2.1 is a maintenance release which means it’s much smaller than a milestone update like iOS 10.2 was or iOS 10.3 will be. That doesn’t make it any less important.
The iOS 10.2.1 update delivers bug fixes and security patches for potential exploits. If you value your security you probably want to install iOS 10.2.1 in the near future.
Today we’re taking an updated look at the iOS 10.2.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Here are the most important things you need to know as we push toward the next big iOS 10 release.
iOS 10.2.1 Review
The iOS 10.2.1 update has been out for several weeks. And for several weeks, we’ve been poking and prodding the update in order to give you feedback about the update’s performance.
Tiny updates like iOS 10.2.1 can have a huge impact on performance so it’s important to dig into feedback before you install.
Those roundups offer a glimpse at iOS 10.2.1’s performance in key areas like battery life, connectivity and speed. If you’re on the fence about iOS 10.2.1, and you own one of those devices, dig into that feedback. It should help.
We’ve also put together a list of reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 10.2.1 update right now. If you’re having an excellent experience on iOS 10.2 or below, we highly recommend digging into those reasons before making a move.
iOS 10.2.1 Problems
The iOS 10.2.1 update went through a fairly lengthy beta but various problems slipped through the cracks.
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users continue to complain about an assortment of iOS 10.2.1 bugs and performance issues including issues with apps, battery life, connectivity, lag, random reboots, installation issues, and more.
Fortunately, these are fairly common and most can be solved from the comfort of a computer chair at work or the office. If you’re seeing an issue with one of these, or something else, take a look at our list of fixes.
Unfortunately, it looks like there’s at least one major bug lurking on board some versions of the iOS 10.2.1 update.
The widespread “30% battery bug” that’s been affecting owners of older iPhones (iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners aren’t seeing the issue) is still an issue. The issue has been around since October, shortly after Apple released iOS 10.
It’s unclear if Apple’s next iOS 10 update, thought to be iOS 10.3, will solve the issue once and for all.
You Can’t Downgrade from iOS 10.2.1
If you download iOS 10.2.1 you won’t be able to get off it (unless you jump to Apple’s new iOS 10 beta) until Apple rolls out a new iOS 10 update. And that release could be weeks from now.
Apple’s no longer signing off on iOS 10.2 which means you can’t take advantage of a loophole and drop back down if you decide that you hate the iOS 10.2.1 update’s performance on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
You can’t drop down to anything older than iOS 10.2 either. Apple’s no longer signing off on any iOS updates older than iOS 10.2.1.
Now that a downgrade is no longer available you’ll want to be absolutely sure about your version of the iOS 10.2.1 update.
If you experience even the slightest hesitation, you might be better off waiting for Apple’s next version of iOS 10 which is expected to arrive next month alongside new iPads and more.
For more on the downgrade process, take a look at our roundup. It’ll walk you through everything you need to know for next time.
iOS 10.2.1 Jailbreak
Jailbreak developers recently released an iOS 10 jailbreak tool that works with iOS 10.2 and below. It’s not compatible with the iOS 10.2.1 update.
It’s not clear if jailbreak developers will release a public jailbreak tool for iOS 10.2.1. It could happen tomorrow, it could happen months from now. It’s unclear.
If you want to jailbreak your device (the iOS 10.2/iOS 10.1.1 jailbreaks are only available for select devices) you need to avoid the iOS 10.2.1 update.
If you’re already on iOS 10.2.1 you’ll just have to cross your fingers and wait.
A new iOS 10 update is currently in testing ahead of an unknown release date.
The company’s released an iOS 10.3 update into beta for developers and anyone with a working Apple ID. Unlike iOS 10.2.1, iOS 10.3 is a large milestone update which means it comes with more than just bug fixes and security patches.
The iOS 10.3 update, in its current state, features numerous changes to iOS 10. These include performance improvements, a Find My AirPods feature located in the Find My iPhone app, some huge improvements to CarPlay, Apple File System (AFPS), and a whole lot more.
Apple is still testing the iOS 10.3 update which means we could see more changes added before the update’s official release date.
The iOS 10.3 beta is the only way to get off iOS 10.2.1 at this point. The beta’s features certainly make it a tempting install in February.
That said, there are some reasons to avoid the iOS 10.3 beta. For one, the update is causing problems for us and many others. Early software is unstable.
The company hasn’t sent out media invites yet but it typically hosts a March media event as bridge between its iPhone event and WWDC.
Last year, the company used its March launch event to announce a new iPad Pro, the iPhone SE, and the iOS 9.3 update’s release.
Install iOS 10.2.1 If You Want Better Security
If you value your security, you'll want to seriously consider downloading the iOS 10.2.1 update on your iPhone or iPad.
The iOS 10.2 update brings 13 known patches for potential exploits. That's one more than its predecessor (iOS 10.2).
These patches enhance the security on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch making them ideal for those of you who store sensitive files/data on your device. Most people do.
If you skipped the iOS 10.2 update and/or the iOS 10.1.1 update, know that iOS 10.2.1 brings their security patches with it as well. Again, the iOS 10.2 update had 12 important patches on board. You can see them all right here.
If you failed to install Apple's iOS 9.3.5 update, iOS 10.2.1 will also bring the three crucial security patches it delivered last year. These patch up serious security problems that could potentially expose your calls, contacts, texts, and emails.
If security is important to you, iOS 10.2.1 is probably worth a download right now.