Apple may be working on a surprise iPhone update these days

November 7 update below. This post was first published on November 5, 2023.

Although Apple has only recently released iOS 17.1, its latest iPhone software, and anticipation is already building for iOS 17.2, expected in December, it now looks like another update could arrive before then.

According to MacRumors, there is evidence that iOS 17.1.1 could be with us in a matter of days.

The site’s analytics log has shown evidence of this new software, the publication claims, and it could be released “within the next week or two.”

You can read my verdict on whether to upgrade your iPhone to iOS 17.1 here, but the supposed existence of iOS 17.1.1 suggests that there are things that need to be fixed and iOS 17.2 may be too long to wait. So what does that mean?

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Minor updates are almost always aimed at squashing bugs and fixing issues rather than introducing new features, so it seems that may be the case here.

Some users pointed out that their battery life decreased after installing iOS 17.1, although in my research this did not seem very widespread. Still, it’s possible that this could be a focus of the update.

If you’ve been one of those iPhone users whose handset has turned itself off overnight (the obvious clue is that you have to enter your passcode in the morning instead of, say, using Face ID), then know you that this was something that iOS 17.1 didn’t understand to sort. So it could come in the next software.

There are other outstanding issues, such as a wireless charging issue for some BMW vehicles. Or perhaps it will speed up the wireless connectivity fix seen in the earliest iOS 17.2 beta if Apple deems this too urgent.

Just as likely, it’s something we don’t know about, such as a security issue. Apple never discloses that there’s been a security issue until it’s fixed, so it could be something as straightforward—and important—as that.

What we do know for sure is that the supposed iOS 17.1.1 cannot be a Rapid Security Response update, something Apple introduced back in May 2023. Soon after, it was explained that RSRs were only applicable to minor OS versions, which iOS 17.1 is not. But iOS 17.1.1 would be, as it has the extra dot in its version title. So it’s just possible that iOS 17.1.1 could be followed by an RSR, which would be called iOS 17.1.1 (a), for example. I’m not saying it will happen, just that iOS 17.1.1 will be an update, not an RSR.

Apple likes to release updates on a Tuesday, making November 7th or 14th possible dates to check your iPhone for an update.

I’ll cover it as soon as it’s released, of course.

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Update November 7. As you can see above, the first date I thought this update could land was today, November 7th. Next Tuesday seems likely, but I won’t give up hope for this week just yet – Tuesday may be Apple’s preferred release date for iOS updates, but other days have been used in the past. I would strongly recommend that you check tomorrow’s news (or better yet, check back right here where I will tell you).

There has been a development that indicates it will come sooner rather than later: according to 9to5Mac, an account on X, formerly known as Twitter, has some information. The account is called @Fame_G_Monster and it has shared details about the expected update. I haven’t linked to it because their tweets are protected. Apparently they say the update will have a build number of 21B91. The number itself doesn’t tell us much, except that the update may indeed be on its way. And since this information is usually published by this particular X account right before the update lands, it’s further indication that the update is almost upon us. In fact, it suggests that this is the week that iOS 17.1.1 lands instead of next week. So tune in tomorrow for the latest update – either some extra details on this post or a new one welcoming the update itself.

Until then, we can only guess what Apple’s priorities are for iOS 17.1.1, as explored above.

Second update on November 7th: the new software launched today, after all just a little later than expected. You can read all the details here.

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