iOS 17.3 Should I Update or Wait?

Apple recently released iOS 17.3, its latest software update for iPhones. This update comes with some useful new features like Stolen Device Protection and collaborative playlists for Apple Music. However, some users may be wondering if they should update right away or wait. Here is a look at the key reasons to update to iOS 17.3, as well as some potential drawbacks to be aware of.

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iOS 17.3 is a major update for iPhones that was released by Apple on January 23, 2024. This update contains bug fixes, security updates, and new features for iPhone users.

Some of the key changes and additions in iOS 17.3 include:

  • Stolen Device Protection – New capability to remotely lock and track a lost or stolen iPhone even when it is turned off or erased.
  • Collaborative playlists – Apple Music users can now create shared playlists with friends that everyone can add songs to.
  • Bug fixes – Addresses several bugs in Safari, Messages, CarPlay, and other apps.
  • Security updates – Patches over a dozen vulnerabilities, including one that may have been actively exploited.

While iOS 17.3 offers useful updates, some users may be hesitant to upgrade right away. Every iOS update has the potential to cause bugs or issues with older apps. So should you update to iOS 17.3 now, or wait? Here is a look at the pros and cons.

Reasons to Update to iOS 17.3

Critical Security Fixes

The most compelling reason to install iOS 17.3 is to get important security fixes. Apple disclosed that iOS 17.3 patches over a dozen vulnerabilities, including CVE-2024-3852 which may have been actively exploited.

Installing iOS updates quickly is always recommended to prevent your device from being compromised by new security flaws before they can be patched. iOS 17.3 addresses vulnerabilities in the kernel, WebKit and other components that could allow an attacker to take over your device.

So for those concerned about keeping their iPhone secure, updating to iOS 17.3 should be a priority.

Stolen Device Protection

A new feature that makes iOS 17.3 worthwhile for many users is Stolen Device Protection. This feature builds on existing Find My capabilities to further protect your iPhone if it is ever lost or stolen.

Even if your iPhone is erased and offline, Stolen Device Protection allows you to put it into Lost Mode so that it cannot be reactivated without your Apple ID credentials. The update also enables your locked iPhone to connect to networks and be tracked when possible, so you have a better chance of recovering it.

For those who worry about their iPhone being taken, Stolen Device Protection alone may make upgrading to iOS 17.3 worth it. It provides vital peace of mind.

Apple Music Shared Playlists

The new shared playlists feature in iOS 17.3 brings a convenient social component to Apple Music.

Now Apple Music subscribers can collaborate with friends on playlists. Anyone in a shared playlist can add, delete or reorder songs in it.

This is ideal for situations like road trips, parties or group workout sessions where you want a dynamic playlist that caters to everyone’s tastes. Shared playlists help make Apple Music more competitive with Spotify for social listening.

How To Bug Fixes and Improvements

In addition to major changes, iOS 17.3 provides a wide array of useful bug fixes and refinements. The update addresses multiple bugs in apps like Safari, Messages, CarPlay, Weather and Music.

Fixes include resolving issues like webpage screenshots not saving properly in Safari, errant copy and paste permission prompts in Messages, and CarPlay sometimes disconnecting during drives.

There are also underlying improvements to system stability, performance and usability in iOS 17.3. So updating provides a smoother overall experience.

Reasons You May Want to Wait to Update

While iOS 17.3 has significant benefits, there are also some reasons you may want to hold off on installing it. Potential downsides to updating right away include:

Compatibility Issues

Due to under-the-hood changes in iOS updates, they sometimes introduce bugs or glitches with certain apps and services, particularly older ones. Developers need time to update their apps to remain fully compatible.

There have been reports of apps like banking apps crashing after updating to iOS 17.3. As a precaution, you may want to wait a few days to see if any major compatibility issues emerge before deciding whether to update.

Update Stability Issues

Major iOS versions sometimes have issues like rapid battery drain, crashes, or performance lag when they first release. Apple may still need to fine-tune things under-the-hood.

To avoid dealing with any post-update headaches, you may want to wait a little bit to give Apple time to issue any follow-up fixes for major bugs that slip through initial testing.

Jailbreak Concerns

If you rely on jailbreaking your iPhone, updating right away could be problematic since iOS 17.3 likely closes the exploits used for current jailbreaks.

Jailbreak teams will need time to discover new vulnerabilities and create an iOS 17.3 jailbreak. So holding off updating will maintain your access to a jailbroken device.

Update Interruptions

The iOS 17.3 update requires a significant download on your iPhone, and the installation process can take some time to complete. Updating immediately may disrupt your ability to use your device normally in the short term.

You may want to wait until you have ample time and device charging to complete the update without interrupting your normal usage.

Lost Feature Compatibility

In very rare cases, new iOS versions abandon support for certain features and devices. For example, iOS 11 removed Apple’s 32-bit app support.

While iOS 17.3 is not expected to remove any major capabilities, if you rely on niche or outdated iPhone features for critical tasks, you may want to double-check compatibility before rushing to update.

How to Update to iOS 17.3

If you decide updating to iOS 17.3 makes sense for your needs, here is how to install it:

  1. Make sure your iPhone is charged up to at least 50% before starting the update process. This ensures your device won’t run out of power mid-update.
  2. Connect your iPhone to a WiFi network to avoid potential mobile data charges for the large update download.
  3. Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Go to General > Software Update.
  4. You’ll see the iOS 17.3 update available. Tap “Download and Install”.
  5. Agree to Apple’s Terms and Conditions for the update.
  6. Let the update download and install. This may take some time. Do not interrupt the process or power off your iPhone.
  7. If prompted, enter your passcode to complete the update. Your iPhone will reboot a couple times during the process.
  8. Once it finishes, iOS 17.3 will be installed! Your iPhone will be updated with the latest features and security protections.
  9. Open Settings and check for any additional app updates, which are common after major iOS updates. Install these to finish syncing your apps with the new OS.
  10. Enjoy using iOS 17.3! Be sure to explore new additions like Stolen Device Protection and shared Apple Music playlists.


iOS 17.3 delivers helpful new features and key security fixes that make it a valuable update for most iPhone users. However, with any major iOS release, there is potential for unforeseen bugs and compatibility issues shortly after launch.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons based on how you use your iPhone before deciding whether to upgrade. Make sure you have time set aside to smoothly complete the update when ready. Following Apple’s security updates and maintaining your apps is key for getting the most out of your iPhone.

Table: Key Pros and Cons of Updating

Critical security patchesPotential app compatibility issues
New Stolen Device ProtectionRisk of update bugs
Shared Apple Music playlistsCould disrupt jailbreak access
Bug fixes and refinementsUpdate process takes time
Latest features and improvementsSmall chance of lost feature support

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