iOS 9.2.1 Release: 5 Things to Expect & 4 Things Not To

Apple’s iOS 9.2.1 update is confirmed but many of the important details remain in the shadows. Based on what we know about Apple’s update process and the update itself, here’s what we expect from the iOS 9.2.1 release from Apple.

iOS 9.2 is only a couple of weeks old but we’re already talking about its successor. Apple’s iOS 9.2.1 update is already confirmed thanks to a release into the company’s beta program for developers and public testers in December.

Update: iOS 9.2.1 is here. Here’s how to prepare and here’s what you need to know about the update for iPhone 6s, iPhone 5s, and iPad.

If you have a paid developer account or an Apple ID, you can download the iOS 9.2.1 beta right now and try it out ahead of its public release date.

The iOS 9.2.1 update is officially going to be the follow-up to iOS 9.2 but we don’t know when Apple will release it for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. We don’t have an official change log either. The company is keeping those details to itself for now.

While we wait for more information, this is what we expect and don’t expect from the iOS 9.2.1 release for iOS 9 users.

With lots of questions swirling around about iOS 9.2 problems and the iOS 9.2.1 release, we want to do our best to explain what to expect and what not to expect from Apple and its next iOS update.

Our goal here is to help you figure out what you can expect so that you are ready for any changes that come to your device. These are predictions and they are not based on insider information or leaks from Apple.

Don't Expect Anything Official From Apple

While it would be great to hear about the official iOS 9.2.1 change log and iOS 9.2.1 release date and time from Apple itself, that probably won't happen.

We don't expect Apple to reveal the official change log, iOS 9.2.1 release date or time ahead of time. The only time it confirms iOS release dates before the release day itself is when the update joins hardware on stage during a media event.

Apple's rumored to have an iPhone and Apple Watch event planned for March but we don't expect the iOS 9.2.1 beta to stretch that far into 2016. It's a small incremental update and we'd be surprised if Apple put it through a lengthy testing process.

Like the iOS 9.1 and iOS 9.2 updates before it, look for the iOS 9.2.1 update to emerge out of the blue for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch sometime before March.

Expect a Familiar iOS 9.2.1 Release Time

It's difficult to predict the iOS 9.2.1 release date though we'd expect the company to roll it out in the early part of 2016.

The update's release date is hard to predict but it's actually rather easy to set expectations for the iOS 9.2.1 release time. Unlike its iOS release dates, Apple sticks to a predictable formula for its iOS release times and we expect the iOS 9.2.1 release to fall under the standard protocol.

The company almost always releases new iOS updates around 10AM Pacific on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. The exact date and time varies but there's no reason to check for the iOS 9.2.1 release at 8PM Eastern on a Saturday night.

Here's what we expect from the iOS 9.2 release time in the United States and other major markets like Japan and Australia:

  • Eastern – 1 PM
  • Central – 12 PM
  • Mountain – 11AM
  • London – 6 PM
  • Moscow – 9 PM
  • New Dehli – 10:30 PM
  • Shanghai – 1 AM
  • Tokyo – 2 AM
  • Melbourne – 3 AM
  • Auckland – 5 AM

Expect Bug Fixes for iOS 9 Problems

Thanks to the iOS 9.2.1 beta and Apple's long history of incremental iOS releases, we know that iOS 9.2.1 is almost certainly going to be focused on fixing iOS 9 problems. In fact, we're fairly confident that it will include at least one major fix for an issue that popped up in iOS 9.2.

Apple's acknowledges that iOS 9.2 features a Mobile Device Management problem. And while it provides a potential fix, it also notes that it "plans to resolve this issue in a future software update." We expect that update to be iOS 9.2.1.

Developers have been unable to track down any major changes in the iOS 9.2.1 beta and that usually means that an update is going to feature bug fixes and if we're lucky, enhancements.

Given that it's a point update (x.x.1), we'd expect the change log to be fairly small and focused on improving the stability of iOS 9.

Expect iOS 9.2.1 Problems

iOS 9.2.1 will probably be a small bug fix update but small bug fix updates like iOS 9.2.1 typically bring probems of their own. We'd expect nothing less from iOS 9.2.1.

The iOS 9.2.1 update might be small in stature but we expect it to bring big problems for some iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners.

Apple's iOS 9.2.1 beta is designed to wipe out the biggest problems ahead of the public release and it will. Developers and public testers have already spotted issues and we expect Apple engineers to address many of these prior to release.

Problems and bugs always slip through the cracks though and you can expect to hear about iOS 9.2.1 Wi-Fi issues, Bluetooth problems, abnormal battery drain problems, and more. These are the most common iOS problems and they appear for users after every single iOS update. They will appear after iOS 9.2.1 is released.

This is precisely why we recommend preparing before every update. It would also be a good idea to get familiar with fixes for iOS 9 problems so that you're ready to tackle any issues you see after installing iOS 9.2.1.

Expect an iOS 9.2 Downgrade

Apple won't confirm it when it releases the iOS 9.2.1 change log but you can expect the iOS 9.2 downgrade loophole to open up once the iOS 9.2.1 update is released.

With this loophole open, you'll be able to downgrade to the iOS 9.2 update if you find that you don't like iOS 9.2.1 or its performance.

Expect Apple to close the iOS 9.2 downgrade a week or two after the iOS 9.2.1 release. It probably won't announce its plans so you'll need to keep an eye and an ear open.

Don't Expect a Ton of New Features

We expect the iOS 9.2.1 update to bring bug fixes and a collection of new and lingering iOS 9 problems but we don't expect it to come with a ton of new features. We actually wouldn't be surprised if the change log was void of new features.

First off, this is an incremental point update and point updates usually focus on fixes not features. We laid that out in an earlier slide. And if Apple was planning to release new features with it, we would've expected them to arrive in the first beta.

So far, developers have been unable to pinpoint any new features on board the iOS 9.2.1 beta 1. It would be unusual to see Apple backload the iOS 9.2.1 beta so at this point, we'd expect an extremely small, extremely focused change log.

Expect Security Patches

We don't expect the iOS 9.2.1 update's change log to be exciting but we do expect it to be useful. Bug fixes will almost certainly play a role and we wouldn't be shocked to see the update include some patches for potential exploits.

iOS updates almost always come with security patches. If we go back and look at Apple's update history between iOS 8.1 and the iOS 9.2 update, only one release didn't bring security patches with it. (iOS 9.0.1 was the update.)

The point is that it's pretty rare for an update to come without security patches. If patches are present, they will be added incentive to download and install iOS 9.2.1.

Don't Expect Firm iOS 9.2.1 Jailbreak Details

Don't expect any firm iOS 9.2.1 jailbreak details ahead of time. Rumors, yes, but we almost certainly won't see jailbreak developers commit to a specific date or confirm a release before iOS 9.2.1 arrives.

Developers claim that an "iOS 9.2 untethered jailbreak will definitely be released to everyone" but they haven't confirmed a release date.

As we've noted it’s possible that team behind the jailbreak could release the jailbreak once the iOS 9.2.1 update is released so that Apple doesn’t patch up the exploits at the last minute. Just don't expect them to tell you that ahead of time.

If the team releases a new iOS 9 jailbreak, it will probably come out of the blue, just like the iOS 9.2.1 update itself.

Don't Expect iOS 9.2.1 to Be Around for Long

The iOS 9.3 update is confirmed which means that there's a good chance the iOS 9.2.1 update will be the last iOS 9.2 update Apple releases.

Apple's new iOS 9.3 update is a big update (much bigger than iOS 9.2.1) and it's expected to roll out in March after a stint in beta. iOS 9.2.1 will reportedly roll out sometime between now and then. Again, a release date is unknown, but don't expect the iOS 9.2.1 update to be around for long.

It's not clear what's coming after iOS 9.3 but the important thing is that Apple won't be stopping after iOS 9.2 and iOS 9.2.1.
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