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iOS 14.5 beta just revealed a great new feature for older iPhones

iOS 14
iOS 14 (Image credit: Apple)

The latest iOS 14.5 beta has arrived on iPhones, and while not much has changed since previous versions of the software it has seemingly revealed an upcoming feature that's especially useful for older iPhones.

According to code spotted by 9to5Mac, the iOS 14.5 beta includes a new option for downloading future software updates. It gives you the option to download security updates separately from the software updates.

Why does this matter? It may allow you to get the latest security fixes on a device that you don't want to upgrade to the latest software.

Newer software can often struggle on older devices, and you may find that updating your much older iPhone to iOS 14 - or the upcoming iOS 15 - would slow down your handset or impact battery life.

Apple has always offered the choice to not upgrade to the latest software, but previously it wouldn't offer security updates to your iPhone if you weren't running the latest software.

Although this hasn't been confirmed, this settings menu suggests the iOS 14.5 beta will give you an option so you can just install the security updates separately.

More choice

This change may also prove useful for those who like their current software on their smartphone and don't want it to change. It'll allow you to stick to the current look and feel, without missing out on those all important security elements.

Apple offers a similar system on its Mac products where you're able to download the security update separately from the rest of the software.

We've yet to find out when iOS 14.5 will officially land - and when this feature will be fully confirmed - but the public beta of the software is available to download now to your iPhone. 

The new software is expected to bring a whole bunch of new emoji as well as a feature where you can use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone.

James Peckham

James is Phones Editor for TechRadar and covers all the big announcements from the best manufacturers making mobile phones, tablets and wearables. Based in London, James is often testing out the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, VR headsets and - when he can be motivated to go outside - fitness bands. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest from the mobile world.