Apple released OS updates for all of its devices this week, the latter likely to come before the new versions come out in the fall. At first glance they seem quite small, with very few new features to speak of, but that doesn’t mean you have to drag your feet when updating.
The new OS updates are iOS 15.6, iPadOS 15.6, macOS 12.5 Monterey, watchOS 8.7, and tvOS 15.6. The only new feature people might notice is the TV app, where Apple has added the option to restart, pause, rewind, or fast-forward when watching live sports, which is Friday Night Baseball. There is also a new switch to disable Test Emergency Alerts in the US
Otherwise, there are a few specific bug fixes, including one where a Safari tab goes back to a previous page and an iOS issue that caused braille devices to slow down or stop responding in the Mail app.
But the main reason to update immediately is security. There are dozens of updates this round, some of which are critical:
- iOS 15.6 and iPadOS 15.6: 37 updates
- macOS Monterey 12.5: 50 updates
- watchOS 8.7: 26 updates
- tvOS 15.6: 27 updates
- macOS Big Sur 11.6.8: 29 updates
- Security Update 2022-005 Catalina: 36 updates
That’s a lot of updates, and while many of the many systems obviously overlap between the systems, each contains a few that are unique to the particular update. Even Safari itself received three security updates. You can see them all on Apple’s support page.
The security updates span the entire system, from the Apple file system to iCloud Photo Library, the Neural Engine, GPU drivers, and WebKit. Several of them may allow root privileges or arbitrary code extortion, which is as serious as it gets.
Plus, these updates are likely to be the last to arrive before the new OS lands in the fall, so if you have an iPhone or iPad that isn’t compatible with the upcoming iOS 16, you probably won’t get another update for a while (if ever), so make sure it is installed as soon as possible. See These Apple devices are no longer getting annual updates.
To update your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, go to the Settings app and then General (iPhone or iPad) or System (Apple TV) and Software update. On the Mac, go to System Preferences, then Software Update. you have to go to General then Software update in the Watch app on your iPhone to update the Apple Watch.