Apple’s iPhones run the iOS operating system, while iPads run iPadOS—based on iOS. You can find the installed software version and upgrade to the latest iOS right from your Settings app if Apple still supports your device.
The Latest Major Version is iOS 14 and iPadOS 14
The latest major versions of Apple’s mobile operating systems are iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, which Apple released on September 16, 2020. Apple releases new major versions of iOS and iPadOS roughly once every twelve months.
iOS 14 on iPhones adds home screen widgets, an App Library, Picture-in-Picture support, and more. Many features and improvements were added to both iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. For example on both iPhone and iPad, you can now change your default web browser and email apps.
How to Check if You Have the Latest Version
You can check which version of iOS you have on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch via the Settings app.
To do so, navigate to Settings > General > About. You’ll see the version number to the right of the “Version” entry on the About page. In the screenshot below, we have iOS 12 installed on our iPhone.
How to Update to the Latest Version
You can upgrade iOS to the latest version available for your device from the Software Update screen. Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch may occasionally show a notification telling you a new version of iOS is available, too.
To start an update, head to Settings > General > Software Update. Your device will immediately check for an updated operating system. If an update is available, you can download and install it whenever you want. Just tap the “Download and Install” option at the bottom of the screen to install it.
If no updates are available for your device, you’ll see a “Your software is up to date” message instead.
You can also use iTunes to update an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Why Can’t I Update to iOS 14?
If your device tells you your software is up to date, but you aren’t running iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 yet, you’re probably using an older iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch that Apple is no longer supporting with operating system updates.
According to Apple, the following devices are compatible with the iOS 13 operating system:
- iPhone: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (2nd generation), and iPhone SE (1st generation)
- iPad: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad (8th generation), iPad (7th generation), iPad (6th generation), iPad (5th generation), iPad mini (5th generation), iPad mini 4, iPad Air (4th generation), iPad Air (3rd generation), and iPad Air 2
- iPod touch: iPod touch (7th generation)
If you have an older iPhone, iPad, or iPod that isn’t on this list, you won’t be offered iOS 14 on the Software Update screen. You can still install the latest version that is compatible with your device. But, to get iOS 14 or iPadOS 14, you’ll need a new device.
Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock.com.