How To: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Install iOS 14 on Your iPhone Just Yet

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Install iOS 14 on Your iPhone Just Yet

WWDC is just about the most exciting time of year to be an iPhone user (second only to new device unveilings, of course). This year, Apple introduced iOS 14, which promises fun new features like home screen widgets, picture-in-picture video, and major upgrades to Messages. Before you jump into all the fun, however, you might just want to consider waiting.

It can be tempting to download iOS 14 on your iPhone right away. After waiting a full year for major iPhone update, why wouldn't you dive in headfirst? However, you might not realize that downloading and installing iOS 14 comes with some drawbacks and limitations you aren't used to on iOS. Buggy apps, restrictive behaviors, and the risk of data loss are just a taste of what could go wrong.

1. iOS 14 Is Currently in Beta

While iOS 14 is technically available right now, it isn't really. What you're actually downloading is the iOS 14 beta. A beta is a special version of iOS (or any software, for that matter) that isn't quite finished. Developers, like Apple, release this software to a specific pool of people to test for bugs, instability, and any other issues they'd like to catch and fix before an official release.

One of the significant hurdles with this type of software is getting on the beta in the first place. You won't find it by directly heading to the Software Update page in Settings. Instead, you'll either need to be a registered iOS developer or enroll your iPhone in Apple's beta program.

As of this article, the iOS 14 beta is only for registered developers. That means you either need to wait for Apple to release iOS 14's first public beta or find yourself an IPSW file for the dev beta. Either way, downloading and installing iOS 14 on your iPhone right now is a bit of a pain.

2. It's Likely Buggy

There's a reason it's frowned upon to download beta software onto your primary devices. While we haven't had much time to test it out yet, Apple's iOS 14 beta is likely buggy, even very buggy.

How do we know that, without trying out the software for ourselves? Betas, by their nature, are buggy and problematic. Like we said above, their purpose is to test new software to weed out all of the issues. Apple has no prerogative to ensure every glitch is taken care of before seeding betas to its testers because they know the community will report those issues as they come up.

If you try out the beta today, you need to understand the inherent risks involved. Apple's iOS 13 beta ran somewhat smooth overall, while iOS 12's was a disaster at first. So, you never know which will be a bad apple.

3. You Could Lose All Your Data

One of those risks is data loss. Complete and total data loss, mind you. If you download iOS 14 on your iPhone, and something goes wrong, you will lose all of your data downgrading back to iOS 13.5.1. You'll need to choose to either hope the next beta update fixes your problems or hit the nuclear option to get back to a stable version of iOS.

You can avoid this reality if you plan. You'll need to make a backup of iOS 13.5.1 with iTunes or Finder before updating to iOS 14. If you eventually want to downgrade, you'll be able to restore your iPhone to your backup, losing only the data you accrued while using iOS 14. Just know, backing up your iPhone while using iOS 14 will overwrite an older 13.5.1 backup. To avoid this issue, make sure to archive your backup as well.

4. There's a Stable iOS Update Around the Corner

While all eyes are on iOS 14, there's actually a new iPhone update that will be coming out much sooner. Apple has been beta testing iOS 13.6 since June 1, floating new features like a symptom tracker in Health, audio support for Apple News+, and a refreshed "Automatic Updates" page.

If you'd rather jump on an iOS update that is stable, you might want to wait for 13.6 instead of 14.0.

5. You Won't Be Able to Jailbreak

Jailbreaking is still alive and well in the iOS community. It might not be Apple-approved, but jailbreaking opens your iPhone up to thousands of new features and tweaks you can't find otherwise.

Unfortunately, updating your iPhone to iOS 14 blocks your ability to jailbreak your iPhone, at least until someone jailbreaks iOS 14, too. You see, jailbreaking isn't an iOS-wide service. Third parties need to find the vulnerabilities in any given version of iOS to exploit for jailbreaking purposes.

Apple always has a lead when releasing new versions of iOS because no one has seen the software yet. But the second the software comes out, it's a countdown to the jailbreak. That said, we likely won't see a jailbreak vulnerability until iOS 14 comes out this fall. It just doesn't make sense for exploiters to jailbreak iOS betas, as Apple will just release a new update in as short as a week or two.

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Cover image by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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