Apple’s iOS 11.2.6 update isn’t a milestone release, but it could still have a significant impact on your device’s performance. While most of you should install the iOS 11.2.6 update today, others might benefit from waiting a few more hours or even a few more days.
It’s not as big as iOS 11.3, but Apple’s new iOS 11.2.6 update comes with a very important security patch for your iPhone, iPad, or iPad touch.
The company’s latest iOS 11.2.6 update also comes with a bug fix that’ll be important for those of you using third-party and external accessories.
The iOS 11.2.6 update is a fairly small download for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models. If you’re coming from iOS 11.2.5, your update is just a few megabytes. It’s just 41.5 MB for the iPhone X. It’s about the same size for Apple’s other iOS-powered devices.
Your iOS 11.2.6 update will be much larger if you skipped iOS 11.0, iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0.2, iOS 11.0.3, iOS 11.1, iOS 11.1.1, iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, or iOS 11.2.2, or iOS 11.2.5. The fixes and features from those updates are baked into your version of iOS 11.2.6.
iOS 11.2.6: Should You Upgrade?
iOS 11.2.6 is a small update, but Apple’s incremental releases can have tremendous impact on your device’s performance. Some of you could see a boost to your device’s performance. Many others will encounter performance issues. The iOS 11.2.6 update fixes some annoying issues, but it’s also causing problems for some iPhone and iPad users.
If iOS 11.2.6 starts causing problems on your device you can try dropping back down to iOS 11.2.5. Unfortunately, Apple’s permanently closed off older versions of iOS and Apple’s decision to close off those updates puts an even greater importance on your move to iOS 11.2.6.
There are plenty of reasons to consider installing iOS 11.2.6 right now. That said, there are also some reasons why you might want to temporarily hold off on an installation.
If you’re on the fence about upgrading your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the latest version of iOS, allow us to walk you through the best reasons to and not to install it right now.
Install iOS 11.2.6 for Better Security
If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose is to patch up this issue.
If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.
If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.2.6 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.2.6 update will come with a lot more.
Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.
The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.2.6.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.2.6 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.
The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."
Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.2.6 if you skipped iOS 11.2.
If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.2.6 update.
The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.2.6 update will come with additional security features.
In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.
If you skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.2.6 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.2.6. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your version of iOS 11.2.6.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.2.6 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.