Apple is preparing a surprise for iPhone users worldwide

And it's coming soon.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

Apple is planning to do something that it's not done before.

We're going to get an x.8 release for iOS, in the form of iOS 14.8.

There's never been an x.8 release of iOS before.

It's no secret that each major iOS release seems to spin off more and more update versions downstream in the form of patches and new features. But iOS 14 is also different in that Apple has said that it will allow users to stay on this release and still get patches after iOS 15 has been released.

We're currently on iOS 14.7.1, but for weeks now we've been hearing about an iOS 14.8. What's weird is that there's no beta and only speculation about what the update might contain.

But it's coming.

The name is buried in the Xcode development environment, telltale traces of its existence have been uncovered in the logs of websites, and I've had independent confirmation from two sources at Apple that it both exists and it's landing.

And it could be landing as soon as this week.

But what's in this update?

A contact at Apple says that it's likely to be a bugfix that also contains the framework to allow iPhone users to stick with iOS 14 once iOS 15 is released later this month.

But what about Apple's child sexual abuse material (CSAM) detection system? Is Apple planning to roll this out to iPhones running iOS 14?

According to what I've been told, that's unlikely at this stage. However, given that iOS 14 will carry on getting updates beyond September of this year, its inclusion in a future update can't be ruled out.

So, we're entering uncharted territory. Both in the form of an x.8 release, and Apple making it easier for users to stick with an older iOS release.

Editorial standards