Today, Apple released several new operating system updates to the public: iOS 15.3, iPadOS 15.3, macOS Monterey 12.2, watchOS 8.4, tvOS 15.3, and HomePod Software 15.3.
The update notes for these releases are some of the thinnest I’ve seen. iOS, iPadOS and macOS simply state that the update “contains bug fixes and security updates” and is “recommended for all users”.
iOS and iPadOS 15.3 don’t add any new user-centric features. Instead, they fix several important security vulnerabilities. Most notable is a zero-day vulnerability that was exploited in the wild. Tracked as CVE-2022-22587, the threat stems from a memory corruption bug in the IOMobileFrameBuffer. Hackers who successfully exploit the bug can run malicious code with kernel privileges on vulnerable devices. The vulnerability is also in macOS Monterey.
“Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” Apple said in Wednesday’s release notes.
Apple also patched a previously reported vulnerability in Safari that allowed websites using the generic IndexedDB API to access database names from other websites. Note that this also affected other browsers on iOS and not just Safari (that’s because all iOS web browsers must use WebKit). macOS 12.2 fixes the same bug in the desktop version of Safari. (Unlike iOS, there are macOS web browsers that were not affected.)
For the full list of security updates in iOS and iPadOS, visit Apple’s support page on this topic. There is also a similar page for macOS.
macOS 12.2 finally makes Apple Music fully native and AppKit-based in macOS, too, and the update improves the smoothness of scrolling in Safari on Macs with 120Hz ProMotion displays.
As for the Apple Watch update, it’s all about bug fixes again. In particular, watchOS 8.4 fixes a widespread issue that prevented some Apple Watch Series 7 owners from properly charging the device through certain chargers.
Updates to the Apple TV and HomePod software also arrived today. The HomePod 15.3 update “adds Siri voice recognition support for up to six users in a home in English (India) and Italian (Italy)” plus “performance and stability improvements.” The HomePod mini was launched late last year in both Italy and India.
Apple hasn’t released any details about the tvOS update, but that update likely also offered performance and stability improvements under the hood.
Apple has been busy this week outside of software updates as well. For months, users have been complaining to app developers about iCloud syncing issues, accompanied by error messages saying “request failed with HTTP status code 503.” Developers quickly saw that this was a problem on Apple’s part, although many users assumed that the developers were at fault.
Now developers say on Twitter and elsewhere that the iCloud Sync bug appears to have been resolved. However, Apple has not yet released a public statement about it.
All the above software updates are available for all supported devices starting today.